Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

“Supersonics In Flight”: Billy Mure’s Jet-Age Guitar Army

Before The Barclay Stars and their lone 1966 breakthrough album, Billy Mure was the first and last name in military guitar ensembles.  The title track from Billy’s 1959 RCA album, Supersonics in Flight, demonstrates the glorious sound of multiple guitars playing stereophonically in tandem.

Supersonics In Flight

Billy Mure (1959)

Engineer – Bob Simpson

Producer – Eddie Heller

Billy Mure LP

Supersonics In Flight was recorded September 3 and 29 and October 7, 1958 in RCA Victor’s Studio A, New York City.

Billboard‘s review from their April 13, 1952 edition:

This album is inspired by the Navy jet fighter F-11F1, the Tiger. Mure and his guitar ensemble with their rapid-fire fingering, are supposedly capturing the speed and excitement of this modern aircraft. Actually there is little of the jet sound here. The production, however, has a fine sound and the artists are adept at their work. The guitars are heard with various types of percussion and in some cases with organ. Musically interesting and the set has a beat.

Cash Box reports in its April 11, 1959 issue that RCA Victor is making an “all out push” on “all of its current pop album releases”:

Manufacturers exhibiting at national hi-fi shows will receive the stereo version of [Sid] Ramin’s album [Love Is A Swingin’ Word] and Billy Mure’s new album, Supersonics In Flight. Ads featuring the Mure album will appear in The New Yorker and Esquire, plus ad mats, mounted album covers, transcribed radio spots for local dealer promotion, and a special minute-man record for added disk jockey play.

1959 NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences) Nominations would find Supersonics in Flight up for a Best Engineering award in the “Novelty Recording” category – duking it out against Alvino Rey‘s “The Bat!


LINK to Guitar Armies on Zero to 180

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