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The Story of Easy Listening Music

November 22, 2017

 The easy listening music genre is not the best known and is decreasing in popularity. I like to consider my music as a type of contemporary part of that genre. How did such a genre come to life anyway? What made it unique?


Music is one of the most loved pieces of art worldwide, with its ability to communicate in a universal language understood by all. Music is a great source of entertainment and there
are quite a number of popular musical genres such as Hip hop music, Blues, pop
music, jazz music, Rock music, reggae music and then there is also the Easy
listening music.

Easy listening music though not that very popular compared to other musical genres enumerated above, still has a respectable fan base. This genre of music
is also sometimes referred to as mood music, and also as a radio format was
very popular between the 1950s and 1970s.

For the most part, the radio format includes instrumentals of beautiful music, lounge music,
orchestral pop and popular non-rock vocals.


Stringed Instruments.

The use of stringed instruments from which Easy listening music mainly developed from also has a huge history. Stringed instruments were prevalently used during the 1930s
in background contexts in films and in sweet bands. During the 1940s and 1950s
the use of strings in popular music and jazz contexts soared even higher. In
the Jazz genre, for example
Charlie Parker and the recordings of Helen Merrill
and Clifford Brown featured heavily here. In terms of popular recordings, there
were respected performers such as Dinah Washington (1951) and Jackie Gleason


The Radio format.

Claude Hall is recorded as the one who coined the name “easy listening” in the year of 1965.
Hall, radio and TV editor, devised the term to describe the sound of WPIX-FM, which
was a popular radio station listened to within the metropolitan of New York

Charlie Whitaker, a program director of another news station, was the one who developed
the radio format. Quickly the radio format was accepted by the listeners and it became
the best radio station in New York. Additionally, it featured heavily on the top 5 list of AM and FM radio stations between 1964 and 1968. The popularity of the radio format later spread nationwide and it even later became widely known as Adult contemporary. This name change marked the end of the format’s instrumental content. Later during the 1990s there was an unsuccessful effort by Whitaker and Lynn Christian, her partner, to resuscitate the original radio format. They failed because there were delivery associated problems encountered.


Easy Listening producers and singers.

Even though the popularity of the Easy listening music has subsided, there are still a number
of people who listen to this popular musical genre. There are a number of popular
vocalists of lounge music/easy listening music and there are also song


Lounge Music.

Lounge music is sometimes referred to as the modern version of easy listening music. Lounge music which originated around the 1950s and 1960s is composed of several musical genres such as light jazz, exotica, easy listening and nostalgia. Of course even in the 2000s, lounge music has further been propelled by the musical works of Richard Cheese.


Contemporary Easy Listening Music.

In terms of renowned producers, Ketil Lien definitely features heavily whenever you talk
about the solid contemporary producers of this type of music, dreamy and
relaxing. The producer of the easy listening music, born and raised in Norway, was
inspired greatly by
Jean Michel Jarre, a pioneer in electronic music. Ketil Lien has
several albums to his name. Some of the popular songs from the 2016 Exosphere
album are
Anglead, In Memorium and Exosphere.






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