What's the background music as Betty and Francine discuss pregnancy and taboo?
December 25, 2009 6:38 PM   Subscribe

Which lyricless (?) song is playing in the background of the beauty parlor in the season 2 finale of Mad Men?

You can (barely) hear it toward the end of this. Sounds like a woman singing on top of loungy music that we might call "elevator music". Much more audible on TV. It's such a minor thing, but, like so many things on that show, it has stuck in my head and I want to know more about it.

Any other suggestions for similar music or words to describe that style/genre would be appreciated. I think of it as similar to the music Nintendo uses in the salon in Animal Crossing. So maybe it should be called "beauty parlor music"?
posted by BaxterG4 to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
(Can't hear it at your link, but I recall noting it when I saw the episode.)

I think it was Acker Bilk's "Stranger On the Shore"?
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 9:15 PM on December 25, 2009

Stranger on the Shore is listed as included in episode 13 on the official AMC page detailing the music for Season 2, here.
posted by xiaolongbao at 2:51 AM on December 26, 2009

Not the clarinet led, vocal free Stranger on the Shore I'm afraid.
posted by Dr.Pill at 12:46 PM on December 26, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks, but that's not it. It's spacey and with a very ... modern (for the time) feel. I'll try to record a better sample in a few hours and put it up.
posted by BaxterG4 at 9:03 PM on December 26, 2009

I'm a Mad Men slow-coach and actually have only just reached the episode in question. Sorry, I don't have the credits on the copy I'm watching, but while 'Stranger On The Shore' definitely plays (around the bar scene) in it, I can hear but can't really make out any significant, hummable tune later on in the scene you link to. Maybe it's just a personal thing that I find it so insignificant, but I wonder if it's just basic TV background music? It makes me think a little bit of Johnny Mathis's 'Wonderful Wonderful' (just the strings and vocals in the background), so perhaps it's filler music inspired by the era's easy listening music?
posted by springbound at 11:50 PM on December 26, 2009

Errrr, if my response there came across as completely wanky, sorry!! I did mean tunefully insignificant (towards which end I might simply not be picking out a tune as well as you are), not insignificant inasmuch as it's a question about a style of music that's obviously not insignificant for the era (haven't listened to it to verify, but I have a feeling 'Love Is A Many-Splendoured Thing' at the start of 'Grease' isn't dissimilar either).

Could you try getting a hold of a DVD and watching the credits, maybe? If it's not specifically noted you'd at least know it wasn't a song in its own right, though that wouldn't help you with the genre/style question of course.
posted by springbound at 12:01 AM on December 27, 2009

Response by poster: Here's a 1 minute 45 second clip of the audio. I think that should help.

springbound, I checked the credits for that episode, but I don't think Mad Men puts song titles in credits — they didn't have a mention of Stranger on the Shore, either. Yes, I think it's possible that it's just "filler music", but I wouldn't bet on it.

Thanks everybody, so far. Hope that clip helps.
posted by BaxterG4 at 10:54 AM on December 27, 2009

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