Living in Hi-Fi

Living in Hi-Fi
A podcast about records
Bongo Rock by Michael Viner’s Incredible Bongo Band
Aug 18, 2017 • 36 min
This week we feature the source material of some of the most influential tracks in hip-hop. Complete show notes at
Aion by Dead Can Dance
Aug 8, 2017 • 31 min
Do you sometimes expect whistles and instead it’s flutes? Yeah, same.
Cowboy Favorites by Clint Eastwood
Aug 1, 2017 • 25 min
What is a dogie, anyway? Show notes at
Belly Dance from Lebanon by Omar Khorshid and His Magic Guitar
Jul 24, 2017 • 23 min
This week we bring you magic (psychedelic) guitar from Lebanon Belly Dance from Lebanon on Amazon Omar Khorshid on Wikipedia Omar Khorshid Fan Website Omar Khorshid Solo Guitar on YouTube
Music for an Arabian Night by Ron Goodwin and His Orchestra
Jul 17, 2017 • 29 min
This album has nothing to do with Middle Eastern music … or does it?
Maggot Brain by Funkadelic
Jul 10, 2017 • 31 min
We straighten out once and for all these eleventeen million of George Clinton projects, or at least we try.
Battle Hymn of the Republic
Jul 3, 2017 • 27 min
Happy 4th of July! Nothing says patriotism like racism and suppressing civil rights. Wait, what?
Cugat Cavalcade by Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra
Jun 19, 2017 • 20 min
A solid compilation of one of our favorite latin style big band artists.
Dance Again by Edmundo Ros and His Orchestra
Jun 12, 2017 • 21 min
Some good old hi-fi shenanigans featuring sound zooming across channels, and lots of cha-cha-cha!
Velvet Carpet by The George Shearing Quintet
Jun 5, 2017 • 20 min
We’re considering renaming this podcast “The Dinner Music Podcast.” What do you think?
Signs of the Zodiac: Gemini
May 29, 2017 • 20 min
Happy birthday, Geminis! Here’s your psychedelic horoscope.
Harp by Harpo Marx
May 22, 2017 • 19 min
We’re going to Hollywood! This week we feature serious harp playing by a legendary comedian.
Hypnotique by Korla Pandit
May 15, 2017 • 24 min
Exotica gets meta in this episode! You won’t want to miss the biography of this artist! Korla Pandit on Wikipedia Korla Pandit Bio on Fan Webpage Korla Documentary Teaser for Korla Documentary Korla Pandit Cameo on Ed Wood
3:47 by Klaatu
May 8, 2017 • 20 min
Slightly psychedelic prog rock allegedly recorded by The Beatles. Spoiler alert: nope, but still, recommended listening!
Madness by Madness
May 1, 2017 • 17 min
Welcome to the 80s and songs about houses! It’s the Living in Hi-Fi version of VH1 “Where are They Now?”
Rain Forest by Walter Wanderley
Apr 24, 2017 • 20 min
A staple of our easy listening collection! Upbeat, loungey, bossa nova and pop on a Hammond organ.
Folk Songs for the 21st Century by Sheldon Allman
Apr 17, 2017 • 20 min
This week we feature post-apocalyptic satire from an era we more often recognize for its optimism. Folk Songs for the 21st Century on AppleMusic Folk Songs for the 21st Century on Amazon Folk Songs for the 21st Century on Radioactive Green LP Sheldon…
Sail Out by Lord Cody and the Coralites
Apr 10, 2017 • 23 min
You’re probably not on vacation in the Caribbean right now, but you can imagine that you are listening to this album! Listen: Sail Out on Discogs More information: Baby’s on Fire Record Cafe in Baltimore, MD Video: Lord Cody and the Coralites
Thank You, Music Lovers by Spike Jones
Apr 3, 2017 • 23 min
In honor of April Fools’ Day we discuss puns, satire, and fart noises. Listen: Best of Spike Jones on AppleMusic Best of Spike Jones on Amazon More information: Spike Jones on Wikipedia Video: Der Fuehrer’s Face Sabre Dance
Recorded in Rio de Janeiro by Herbie Mann and João Gilberto
Mar 27, 2017 • 29 min
The best in American-Brazilian bossa nova collaboration. We only bust on Stan Getz a little bit.
Heads Up! by Baja Marimba Band
Mar 20, 2017 • 23 min
Wherein we profess our undying love of 1960s A&M (despite it being problematic). Maybe Herb Alpert is over the top for you, you need something more chill? Baja Marimba Band is the answer! More information: Baja Marimba Band on Wikipedia Julius…
Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk by Meco
Mar 13, 2017 • 23 min
Science-fiction themes, atom punk, listener request, oh yeah and DISCO… this episode has it all. Listen: Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk on AppleMusic Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk on Amazon More information: Meco on Wikipedia Meco…
Magic Sword Volume 1
Mar 6, 2017 • 22 min
This album is outside of our normal easy listening because it is both a new release and EPIC. It’s got a comic book that accompanies it and musicians veiled in anonymity. We’re so into it and hope you are too. Listen: Magic Sword Store Volume 1…
Calypso Classics from Trinidad by Wilmoth Houdini
Feb 27, 2017 • 21 min
We discovered Wilmoth Houdini way back in episode seven! This album is a compilation of Calypso music recorded in the 1930s. Listen: Wilmoth Houdini on AppleMusic Wilmoth Houdini on WFMU More information: Wilmoth Houdini on Wikipedia Episode 7…
Encore by John Gary
Feb 20, 2017 • 20 min
A new to us crooner found via digital and acquired on vinyl. You’ll love his wide range and clear tones covering some lovely vocal standards. Listen: Encore on AppleMusic Encore on Amazon More information: John Gary on Wikipedia Tribute Website …
Her Nibs by Georgia Gibbs
Feb 13, 2017 • 20 min
This album looks like it might be a romantic pick for Valentine’s Day. Is it? And what exactly is a nib anyway? Listen: “Her Nibs” on Amazon More information: Georgia Gibbs on Wikipedia Video: Medley of Million Sellers
Afternoon in Paris by Stephane Grappelli
Feb 6, 2017 • 28 min
Some cheerful hot jazz violin will cure what ails ya. Listen: Afternoon in Paris on AppleMusic Afternoon in Paris on Amazon More information: Stephane Grappelli on Wikipedia 1989 Interview on NPR Video: Quintette du Hot Club du France Stephane…
Winchester Cathedral by The New Vaudeville Band
Jan 30, 2017 • 26 min
A certain podcast host loves some affected man-singing voices, but does she love fake megaphone songs? Tune in this week for a novelty hit plus random songs from the 60s with vaudevillian affect. Listen: Winchester Cathedral on AppleMusic Winchester…
Samba ‘68 by Marcos Valle
Jan 23, 2017 • 22 min
You are in for the most precious husband and wife duo, ever, and perhaps the best Brazilian bossa nova album recorded in the US. Listen: Samba 68 on AppleMusic Samba 68 on Amazon More information: Marcos Valle on Wikipedia Marcos Valle on…
Savage Island by the Bomboras
Jan 16, 2017 • 18 min
We thought this would be an exotica album but it’s some lo-fi punk surf rock revival. Fire up your tiki torches anyway and have a listen! Listen: Savage Island on AppleMusic Savage Island on Amazon More information: The Bomboras on…
Cheerful Little Earful by Johnny Guarnieri
Jan 9, 2017 • 14 min
We got this album in a super roundabout way, but we finally got it! Some swinging intrepretations of jazz standards by a prolific, but under-recognized pianist. Listen: Cheerful Little Earful on AppleMusic More information: Johhny Guarnieri on…
Pamyu Pamyu Revolution by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
Jan 2, 2017 • 21 min
Kawaii! Harajuku! J-Pop! We shake things up a little with a newer release. Apparently this business went viral in 2011 but we’re nerds so we’re just finding out about it now via listener contribution. Listen: Pamyu Pamyu Revolution on…
Christmas 2001: A Space Age Adventure by Flo Price
Dec 26, 2016 • 16 min
Teaser: Truly, this album has all the warning signs of being terrible. Christmas in the distant future of 2001, missionaries to outer space (?), low budget children’s music… But it’s actually pretty good! More information: Christmas 2001 on…
A Merry Mancini Christmas by Henry Mancini
Dec 19, 2016 • 17 min
Part two of our holiday series, we bring you a low-key, yet festive Christmas album from movie composer extraordinaire, Henry Mancini. Listen: A Merry Mancini Christmas on AppleMusic A Merry Mancini Christmas on Amazon More information: Henry…
We Wish You a Merry Christmas by Ray Conniff and the Ray Conniff Singers
Dec 12, 2016 • 17 min
Perhaps the quintessential Christmas album? We encourage you to start your own Ray Conniff style caroling flash mob and take advantage of these extraordinarily festive arrangements of classic holiday songs. Listen: We Wish You a Merry Christmas on…
3rd Festival da Música Popular Brasiliera
Dec 5, 2016 • 49 min
It’s a special birthday episode! To celebrate co-host Steve’s birthday, we count down the top four songs from the 3rd Festival Da Music Popular Brasiliera from 1967, via the 3-LP collection. Stay tuned for a most epic geek-out about Brazilian music…
Elektra Folk Sampler
Nov 28, 2016 • 26 min
A listener request brings us folk songs from all over the world and we trace the path of a one-man recording operation to booming multimedia empire. More information: Elektra Records on Wikipedia The Elektra Story by David Edwards, Mike Callahan and…
Going Places by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
Nov 21, 2016 • 28 min
A staple of your local thrift store-dollar bin, and a long-time favorite artist of Living in Hi-Fi, Herb Alpert! All the upbeat, easy-listening brass you can handle, and some trivia about Herb Alpert’s diverse artistic interests. Listen: Going…
Return of the Parche by Steve Jordan
Nov 14, 2016 • 24 min
On this week’s episode, we feature a listener contribution! Pour yourself a margarita and settle in for some lively Tex-Mex accordion. Listen: Return of El Parche on AppleMusic Return of El Parche on Amazon More information: Steve Jordan on…
Ragtime Jug Stompers by Dave van Ronk
Nov 7, 2016 • 17 min
This album could totally have been made today by some earnest hipsters. It could be you and your neighbor who home-brews playing jugs and washboards on the porch. But no! It’s from 1964. A playful and timeless album of early jazz, blues, and folk…
Blues for Dracula by Philly Joe Jones Sextet
Oct 31, 2016 • 21 min
We love Halloween! A rather silly impression of Bela Lugosi as Dracula introduces a solid hard bop jazz album from 1958. Listen: Blues for Dracula on AppleMusic Blues for Dracula on Amazon More information: Philly Joe Jones on Wikipedia Video: …
West Side Story’s Dynamic George Chakiris
Oct 24, 2016 • 16 min
George Chakiris is a highly underrated vocalist. Best known for his role as Bernardo in West Side Story, in this self-titled album, George Chakiris sings effortless renditions of some pop standards. Listen: George Chakiris on AppleMusic More…
Softly by Wanda Sá
Oct 17, 2016 • 17 min
Wanda Sá (AKA Wanda de Sah) has the quintessential bossa nova singing voice: so sweet and gentle! It’s showcased beautifully in this American production on Capital from 1965. Listen: Softly! on AppleMusic Brasil ’65/Softly! on Amazon More…
The Joy of Belly Dancing by George Abdo
Oct 10, 2016 • 24 min
Let’s head to the 1970s, the golden era for… belly dance? Indeed! This classic belly dance album that could be considered early “world fusion” with its traditional songs from the Middle East repackaged for American night clubs. Listen: Joy of…
Volume 4 for Living in Hi-Fi
Oct 3, 2016 • 17 min
Listening to records isn’t just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. A selection from RCA victor’s Hi-Fi Living series sets the mood for lounging and romance. More information: For Hi-Fi Living (blog post series)
The Surfers at High Tide
Sep 26, 2016 • 18 min
You’d think that by this album cover, you’re in for some surf rock, but in fact, you’ll find a collection of exotica themed pop songs with traditional Hawaiian vocal stylizations and sweet harmony. Easy listening for your next luau! Listen: The…
Foggy Mountain Banjo by Flatt and Scruggs
Sep 19, 2016 • 14 min
Shredding on the banjo? Yeah, that’s a thing. Let’s take a trip to Appalachia with some instrumental bluegrass from 1961 by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. Listen: Foggy Mountain Banjo on Amazon Best of Flatt and Scruggs TV Show on DVD …
Look Around by Sergio Mendes and Brasil ‘66
Sep 12, 2016 • 22 min
One of our all-time favorite albums! A staple of our collection from A&M records, Sergio Mendes and Brazil ‘66 perfectly fuse bossa nova and american pop. Stellar arrangement and crystal clear lady vocals make this album shine. Listen: Look…
Dancing at the Grosvenor House by Sydney Lipton and His Orchestra
Sep 5, 2016 • 16 min
This week we deliver a charming collection of foxtrots and such for dancing or for a simply sophisticated evening at home via London’s long-time dance band leader, Sydney Lipton. Listen: Sweet Harmony & Dancing at the Grosvenor House on…
Rhapsody in White by The Love Unlimited Orchestra
Aug 29, 2016 • 15 min
There’s more to Barry White than just his sexy baritone voice. This episode, we check out his masterful and funky proto-disco instrumental arrangements. Listen: Rhapsody in White on AppleMusic More Information: Love Unlimited Orchestra…
Cha-Cha on the Rocks by The John Buzon Trio
Aug 22, 2016 • 17 min
Have we mentioned that we love cha-cha? And Hammond organs? This rare release from 1959 on Liberty is the height of Latin-flavored easy listening with its nonchalant solos and minimalist instrumentation. Listen: John Buzon Trio on AppleMusic…
Twist by Fats and the Chessman
Aug 15, 2016 • 12 min
Come on everybody, let’s do the twist! But in a really low budget kind of way. This 1962 album insists that you enjoy the first international dance craze. Listen: Twist on AppleMusic More information: The Twist dance Somerset Records …
Mambo by Yma Sumac
Aug 8, 2016 • 18 min
An exotica staple! Yma Sumac is most recognized for her extraordinary five octave vocal range. This diva is an Incan princess (true!) and her talent is showcased in traditional and not-so traditional latin music and backed by a hollywood-style…
Frankie Yankovic and HIs Yanks’ Greatest Hits
Aug 1, 2016 • 16 min
Do you like polka? Beer? Did you steal the keeshka? What is a keeshka, anyway? Answers to all these questions and more as we check out the best of Frankie Yankovic. Listen: Frankie Yankovic on AppleMusic More information: Frankie Yankovic on…
Getz au Go Go by the New Stan Getz Quartet featuring Astrud Gilberto
Jul 25, 2016 • 24 min
You can’t really go wrong with a Verve recording! This episode’s featured album will appeal to both jazz lovers and bossa nova fans. We’ll share with you a great introduction to Brazilian music of the 1950s and 60s. Listen: Apple Music Vinyl…
Wildflower by the Avalanches
Jul 18, 2016 • 27 min
This is our first time featuring a review of a new release on the podcast! As lovers of old funky records, we have mad respect for the Avalanches whose love of music is obvious in their ability to scout out only the most awesome bits of obscure music…
At the Organ Grinder, Volume 1
Jul 11, 2016 • 18 min
In this episode we learn that Pizza and Pipes was apparently a thing in the pacific northwest in the 1970s? Who knew. This episode may give you nightmares due to the shaky audio transfer or creepy movie themes or both. Browse Northwest…
Folk Songs from the Tyrol by Inge and Rudi Meixner
Jul 4, 2016 • 14 min
Yodeling gets a bad rap. It really can be quite lovely. We cheerfully sing along with chickens and things that sound like amusement park ride theme songs and you should too. Or at least that baby chicken song is going to be stuck in your head…
Tche Belew by Hailu Mergia and the Walias Band
Jun 27, 2016 • 13 min
Turns out that this episode’s featured artist is a local DC treasure. We’ll introduce you to some super funky, 1970s Ethiopian jams by Hailu Mergia and the Walias Band. Listen: Buy Hailu Mergia Albums from Awesome Tapes from Africa More Information:…
Mr. Bongo by Jack Costanzo
Jun 20, 2016 • 16 min
This cha-cha album goes by many names in multiple releases. You’ll love Mr. Bongo, Mr. Piano, and lively vocals, too. Listen: Buy Mr. Bongo Plays Cha-Cha-Cha on Amazon (same track list, different release) Jack Costanzo on Apple Music More…
Guantanamera by the Sandpipers
Jun 13, 2016 • 19 min
Spanish language easy listening versions of pop songs? Why? Why not?! This episode features a classic recording from our extensive collection of A&M records. Listen: Guantanamera on Apple Music Buy Guantanamera on Amazon More Information: …
The Fiddling Viking by Svend Asmussen and his Dancing Strings
Jun 5, 2016 • 16 min
This episode features a 1959 recording by Danish violinist Svend Asmussen. We name drop some other hot jazz violinists, and talk about our eclectic record collection. Audio: Download The Fiddling Viking on Amazon Svend Asmussen on Apple Music …