Wednesday, February 19, 2014


"Gatsby's World: Turned On Joplin" was issued on ABC in 1974, the same year that RCA's Tomita released "Snowflakes are Dancing." Moog fans were still digesting the tireless Walter Carlos' "Switched on Bach 2" from the previous year.

The craze for moog was winding down, and really, it was a little late for the unknown Chris Stone to amuse anyone with yet another "let's moog up music that shouldn't be moog'd" album.

The reason for electronic versions of Scott Joplin rags was to cash in on the surprise success of the soundtrack to Paul Newman and Robert Redford's "The Sting." Hey, if Nonesuch could release a "serious" album of somebody playing ragtime pieces, claiming that Scott's stuff was just as intricate to play as Bach, then what the hell….

Take already corny and silly ragtime music…and add some wacky moog-doodling and gurgling to it…and what can you lose? Ask ABC's accountants. I don't think this thing sold a whole lotta copies (mine was a promo, as you see). Still, in small doses, it's definitely a fun novelty.

Selling to a college audience, the cover (with some guy holding a bottle of hooch and another hanging over a toilet) makes sure to imply that you can get wasted listening to the music. I can't say I played this one through over an entire side very often, but I did sneak the best track, "The Entertainer," onto the radio air waves once in a while. PS, nice of 'em to try and interest the college market by the allusion to "The Great Gatsby." Or were they afraid of a lawsuit if they linked this as some kind of switched-on "Sting" soundtrack??

ENTERTAINER: from Chris Stone

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