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Recordings of the Month


From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Symphonies 1, 2, 3

The new advert for the AudiA6 Avant

You can view the advert here

You can buy the music here: John Charles Thomas - An American Classic

Or as an ideal Christmas stocking filler Open Road CD single £3 post free

The prestigious German car manufacturer, Audi, has selected an unusual piece of music to highlight the light and agile properties of the new A6 Avant estate. The highly stylised TV and Internet advertisement depicts a fantasy world and features a metallic "Audi hummingbird” which is able to nimbly fly among trees, flowers and fauna made from petrol pumps, road signs and traffic cones. The campaign aims to emphasise the advantages of the model's new "ultra-lightweight" construction. The soundtrack for this innovative advert is a 1939 recording of 'Open Road' by Johann Strauss', sung by American baritone John Charles Thomas. This transfer is available on the Prima Voce Series on a CD titled “An American Classic” which features 22 popular songs recorded by John Charles Thomas between 1931 and 1941.

For decades, John Charles Thomas was the most popular singer in America. A rare singer who could sing 'Boots and Saddles' and Beethoven's In Questa Tomba Oscura with equal aplomb, Thomas had a voice as rich as a cello, the physique of an athlete, and natural charm. He achieved enormous popularity as a matinee idol before achieving success as a concert artist and operatic star. But the stage and radio were only parts of a romantically active life. John Charles Thomas loved auto mobiles, raced hydroplanes, played a mean game of golf, raised chickens and champion hogs, and was famous for his spaghetti sauce.

Thomas had long and successful association with RCA Victor's prestigious Red Seal Records which were reserved for the aristocracy of the musical world (no 'popular' artists were recorded on the label). They were expensive - selling for a staggering $3.00 in 1910 when you could get a first class meal in New York for a dollar. A collection of Red Seal recordings established one as a person of both taste and property.

Johann STRAUSS (1825-99)
Der Zigeunerbaron (The Gypsy Baron); Open Road [2:50]
John Charles Thomas (baritone)
Victor Symphony Orchestra/Frank Tours
rec. 24 August 1939
NIMBUS NI1542 [2:50]
This is the shortest review I have ever, and probably will ever, write. It’s also the first CD single I’ve ever received, and lasts ten seconds shy of three minutes. If you’ve caught the TV advertisement for the ‘new A6 Avant estate’ you’ll have heard this music, sung in this 1939 recording by the superb American baritone and sometime hog farmer, John Charles Thomas. The advertisement depicts, as the CD slipcase shows, a ‘metallic Audi hummingbird’ and doubtless the lyrics, which robustly proclaim the singer ‘as free as the breeze’ all play to the car manufacturer’s promotion of romantic ideals. Lines on the subject of ‘the open road’ only add to the freewheeling feel.
That’s it, then; music for an ad, released as a single.
Jonathan Woolf

John Charles Thomas - An American Classic

MusicWeb can sell you the CD for only £7 post free anywhere in the world. Buy now


















































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