Probably the farthest out any children's record ever got, The Stark Reality Discovers Hoagy Carmichael's Music Shop descended on unwitting preteens 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 Havin' 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 from dust to digital in 2002 with a track on the Stones Throw compilation Jukebox 45's. A full album reissue followed one year later, titled Now, and the deluxe treatment (Acting, Thinking, Feeling: The Complete Works 1968-1978) appeared on Now-Again ten years later. ~ John Bush, Rovi