Tony Schwartz ‘The Sound Of Children’


01 Introduction (2:00)
02 Recording Techniques (6:00)
03 The Death of a Turtle (7:46)
04 Stories About Your Child (3:17)
06 Children And God (8:55)
07 Nancy Grows Up (2:16)
08 Sound Snapshots (5:17)

Total time 38:30
LP released on Columbia, 1967

Tony Schwartz‘s focus on children’s voices pre-dates the ubiquitous use of children in advertising from the 1970s until today and Schwartz is possibly the creator of a genre which is a heavy trend nowadays. Schwartz pushed things rather far in his famous political ad known as the 1964 ‘Daisy ad’ (see below), an advertising milestone. There’s no denying there is a bit of cynicism in the use of children in advertising, let alone in a political TV spot, and Schwartz is no stranger to this. But his children recordings have an indubitable freshness, as he was basically inventing the genre from scratch. In a way, Tony Schwartz’s children recordings are as pioneering as David Greenberger’s Duplex Planet interviews with elders in the 1980s. Both break new ground in the art of interviews, focusing on marginalized populations not normally offered the opportunity to express themselves in the media. Schwartz started recording kids and teenagers in the early 1950s. He collected and later re-arranged interviews to create stories or atmosphere. Noticeable is the fact children’s voices sound the same today as 40 years ago. The grain of these untaught, un-trendy kids is the same. Or perhaps Tony Schwartz’s way of recording children influenced today’s technique – close miking, enhancing cute syllables, etc. The children here make marvellous sounds.


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Comprehensive history of the 1964 Daisy ad here.

2 Responses to “Tony Schwartz ‘The Sound Of Children’”

  1. 1 vaubu April 17, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    Thank You Continuo, this is a very magical recording. I’m curious if this posting is safe from the same complaints that you recieved on your last Tony Schwartz post?

  2. 2 continuo April 17, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    Complaint came from Folkways initially and this one, though a Folkways original release, was reissued on Columbia. Hence possibly the permission to post it. Glad you enjoyed it, Vaubu.

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