Mass Production Music!
September 18, 2011 1:11 PM   Subscribe

There's a piece of music always played in documentaries and other film clips usually to satirize the "age of mass production." It's a very peppy '50s bit, often with a guy talking in a stylized '50s radio announcer voice over it, accompanied by sped-up clips of factories rolling, women working, and the like. What is this music and how do I find it?
posted by mthomps00 to Society & Culture (18 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
posted by xil at 1:12 PM on September 18, 2011

Khachaturian's Sabre Dance?
posted by The Tensor at 1:18 PM on September 18, 2011

Gershwin's An American in Paris?
posted by Wet Spot at 1:19 PM on September 18, 2011

This cartoon montage includes the most popular portions of Powerhouse. A complete YT listing is here, including a live performance of the Raymond Scott Quintette from Your Hit Parade.
posted by maudlin at 1:20 PM on September 18, 2011

...and more Powerhouse related links from MetaFilter.
posted by xil at 1:23 PM on September 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: These are excellent, and in the mold of what I'm thinking of. The exact piece I've got in mind hasn't been named yet, but these are certainly the right flavor. Thanks so much!
posted by mthomps00 at 1:42 PM on September 18, 2011

Holiday for Strings? The Typewriter?
posted by 2N2222 at 1:58 PM on September 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Holiday for Strings! (Skip past the intro & you'll hear the melody around :35)
posted by BlahLaLa at 2:00 PM on September 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

Puffin' Billy?
posted by scruss at 2:20 PM on September 18, 2011

"Puffin Billy" and "Holiday for Strings" seem more like domestic, suburbia, classroom film sort of music, and the generic "industry/factory" music, to me, is more grandiose, vibrant, and brassy.

I tried looking on YouTube but couldn't find anything of use.

"Industry! Creating a better world! Our most valuable resource? People!"
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 3:00 PM on September 18, 2011

Puffin' Billy is Captain Kangaroo!!!!
posted by benito.strauss at 4:28 PM on September 18, 2011

Best answer: It's a bit domestic, but perhaps Happy Go Lively?
posted by rlk at 4:30 PM on September 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

On second though, OP's description might fit Workaday World better.
posted by rlk at 4:37 PM on September 18, 2011

Response by poster: HAPPY GO LIVELY!! That's it exactly! I love you, Ask MetaFilter, and you particularly, rlk. Still, so many great answers in this thread.
posted by mthomps00 at 5:57 PM on September 18, 2011

Related: Really awesome AskMe thread titled "What is that song they always use?" Extensive comment thread about all sorts of musical tropes, including Happy Go Lively.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 6:49 PM on September 18, 2011

Music for TV Dinners is an amazing collection of 1950's incidental music like this, including Happy Go Lively (I was beaten to the punch!) I know some of the same tracks are in the equally amazing Ren & Stimpy Production Music collection, but I don't know if the overlap is complete.
posted by usonian at 8:03 PM on September 18, 2011

[ > Puffin' Billy is Captain Kangaroo!!!!

  It was Children's Favourites first ... ]
posted by scruss at 12:14 PM on September 19, 2011

It was Children's Favourites first ...

Okay, it's more technically correct to say "The Captain Kangaroo theme song is Puffin' Billy", but that's not what my inner four-year old gleefully yelled on hearing the first few notes.

[And I apologize, but that same four-year old just stuck his tongue out at you. I admire his enthusiasm, but he's not very well behaved.]
posted by benito.strauss at 1:37 PM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

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