RCA Victor Stereo Action Series

“The Sound Your Eyes Can Follow” was the perfect slogan for the early 1960’s RCA Victor campaign to promote hifi stereo in general and indirectly to sell more stereo units with giant speakers for the true stereo dynamics in your mid-century living room. A series of great albums was produced for demonstration goals and some dealers even gave them away when customers bought a hifi-set with the new two speaker stereo system. The music was crystal clear in production and orchestral sound and in most cases had special sound effects added to the arrangements of original compositions by Juan Garcia Esquivel, Ray Martin and Dick Schory and standard repertoire as well. The stereospectrum still is really fantastic to hear and had an absolute separation of channels. One part of the orchestra was in Studio 1 and the others were recorded at the same time in Studio 2. Listening to Esquivel’s “La Raspa” is a stunning audio sensation with sounds going from the right to the left channel and back. Amazing!

For the design RCA gathered together some of the best graphic artists available. A corporate identity was chosen with beautiful colored high quality die-cut sleeves, each with a different cutting and within a glossy printed inner sleeve with liner notes. The photographs were made by David B. Hecht, Scotty Sapiro, Marie Jones and others, but strangely enough the name of the graphic designer on all albums is missing. The sleeves had that Eames Era modern feel and were very stylish. Look at the sleeve of Bernie Green’s “Futura” album. An iconic sleeve from a great period in American graphic design. The sleeves were very heavy, had perfectly chosen colors (beige, light blue, black, silver, gold and red copper) and had exceptional good printing quality. An offshoot was produced in Europe with at least four of the titles of the original series, but except for the nice girls on the front it was a poorly made commercial thing. 

Each Stereo Action album had the same synopsis on the back:

“Stereo Action is a new concept of music in motion; a new dimension in recorded sound. Stereo Action brings you unmatched fidelity through the full sound spectrum, plus the exciting new illusion of sound in motion. Soloists and entire sections of the orchestra appear to move thrillingly back and forth across the room. Stereo Action is musical movement so real, your eyes will follow the sound.”

RCA demonstration clip:

In 1995 RCA special markets released a three volume compilation of the Stereo Action series: “The History Of Space Age Pop”. Scroll down to find the wonderful ditties. 

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LSA-2287 Ray Martin and His Orchestra – Dynamica (1961)

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LSA-2290 Marty Gold and His Orchestra – It’s Magic (1961)

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LSA-2306 Dick Schory’s Percussion and Brass Ensemble – Runnin’ Wild (1961)

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LSA-2344 Vic Shoen and His Orchestra – Brass Laced with Strings (1961)

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LSA-2353 Leo Addeo and His Orchestra – The Music Goes Round and Round (1961)

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LSA-2365 The Chorus and Percussion of Keith Textor – Sounds Terrific (1961)

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LSA-2371 The Guitars Unlimited Plus 7 – Crazy Rhythm (1961)

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LSA-2376 Bernie Green and His Orchestra – Futura (1961)

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LSA-2381 Marty Gold and His Orchestra – Stereo Action Goes Hollywood (1961)

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LSA-2382 Dick Schory’s Percussion and Brass Ensemble – Stereo Action Goes Broadway (1961)

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LSA-2396 Henri Rene and His Orchestra – Dynamic Dimensions (1961)

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LSA-2414 Leo Addeo and His Orchestra – Paradise Regained (1961)

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LSA-2418 Esquivel and His Orchestra – Latin-Esque (1962)

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LSA-2422 Ray Martin and His Orchestra – Excitement, Incorporated (1962)

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LSA-2425 The Chorus and Percussion of Keith Textor – Sounds Sensational (1962)

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LSA-2432 Manny Albam and His Orchestra – More Double Exposure (1962)

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LSA-2485 Dick Schory’s Percussion Pops Orchestra – Holiday for Percussion (1962)

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LSA-2489 Various Artists – Stereo Action Unlimited (1962)

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LSA-2508 Manny Albam and His Orchestra – I Had the Craziest Dream (1962)

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LSA-2532 The Three Suns – Movin’ ‘n’ Groovin’ (1962) – stereo edition  

LPM-2532 The Three Suns – Movin’ ‘n’ Groovin’ (1962) – mono edition

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LSOD-2002 Phil Silvers – The New Musical Do-Re-Mi; An Original Cast Recording

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LM-2313 The Orchestra Of The Royal Opera House, Convent Garden – Venice; Solti

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The back of the sleeve

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RCA 07863 66645-2 The History Of Space Age Pop, Vol. 1: Melodies And Mischief

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RCA 07863 66646-2 The History Of Space Age Pop, Vol. 2: Mallets In Wonderland

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RCA 07863 66647-2 The History Of Space Age Pop, Vol. 3: The Stereo Action Dimension

One thought on “RCA Victor Stereo Action Series

  1. Found mint copies of Marty Gold – It’s Magic and Dick Schory – Goes Broadway in a thrift shop today. Was very happy to find your site explaining the series. It’s a fascinating bit of early stereo LP history.

    Like

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