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About John Schroeder

Arranger/conductor/producer John Schroeder wrote a number one U.K. hit for British singer Helen Shapiro ("Walkin' Back to Happiness") in the early '60s, made the first licensing deal for Motown product on British shores, and formed Sounds Orchestral, which had a Top Ten hit on both sides of the Atlantic in 1965 with "Cast Your Fate to the Wind." To space age pop fans, however, he became known as one of the chief exponents of what the British called "easy": mostly instrumental recordings that welded easy listening pop arrangements to soul, rock, and psychedelic source material. It was critically ignored at the time, as his work was really aimed at creating background music for those who found the original versions too intense to handle. In the mid-'90s, however, it became all the rage in London clubs, where his blaring horn charts and pumping Hammond organs provided suitable background music for those looking for the cutting edge in retro sounds. This newfound demand paved the way for the reissue of some of his recordings decades after they had made a beeline for the cutout bin. ~ Richie Unterberger

London, England
Jan 19, 1935

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