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Stark Reality

Probably the farthest out of any children's record, The Stark Reality Discovers Hoagy Carmichael's Music Shop descended on unwitting pre-teens in 1970, thanks to Boston's public-television station WGBH and one of its producers, Hoagy Bix Carmichael. The son of America's most celebrated songwriter, Carmichael conceived a special devoted to reintroducing a new generation to his father's 1958 children's record Hoagy Carmichael's Having a Party. Introduced to a jazz fusion band named the Stark Reality, who'd recorded music for WGBH in the past, he allowed group leader Monty Stark the chance to re-harmonize and re-imagine the compositions of Carmichael Sr. The results were less Electric Company and more Magic Band, though it appeared on the record shelves through AJP with a minimum of fuss. Long an unlikely DJ favorite, the Stark Reality finally made it to CD in 2002 with a track on the Stones Throw compilation Jukebox 45s. A full album reissue followed one year later, titled Now. John Bush

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