Biography Leroy Anderson at a recording session in 1950
Leroy Anderson at a recording session in 1950
Decca Records
From 1950 to 1962 Leroy Anderson had a recording contract with Decca Records of New York City (not to be confused with the then Decca Records of England). Decca Records was one of the most popular record labels of the 1950's with such artists as Jascha Heifetz, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Bing Crosby.

For the recording sessions a hand picked orchestra was selected from the many talented musicians in New York City. The recordings were made in the Pythian Temple and Manhattan Center in New York City. From 1950 to 1955 the recordings were made in monaural sound and from 1958 to 1962 they were in stereo sound.

Question: "Mr. Anderson, do you put any special demands or restrictions on the musicians who either play or record for you?"

Leroy Anderson: "Well, the men who play for me only play at recordings; that is, I do not have a regularly organized orchestra. For the recordings I have a specially organized group and the men are selected according to the style of music that I'm playing. For example, if I'm doing something very light and with a rhythmic number, we don't get men from the New York Philharmonic. I mean the string players are all right, but not let's say the brass section. A good violinist is just a good violinist, it makes no difference. Same thing would also apply to the French horns. For example, in the latest recording here that I have made, I have the French horn section from the New York Philharmonic, with the exception of one. One came from the Metropolitan Opera orchestra." (from a 1962 interview)

Question: "Did you ever form your own orchestra, or did you assemble musicians for your recording sessions?"

Anderson: "No, they are specially organized for the recording session. The strings are mostly from the New York Philharmonic. At one time I had Toscannini's horn section. We always scheduled our recordings when they weren't busy. The Philharmonic either had closed their season, and musicians were generally available. Also in June, when many musicians came back to New York which was headquarters, and at tome time we had a recording session with eight concertmasters of various orchestras throughout the United States. Recording isn't really fair, because you could never get an orchestra like that together in a concert hall. It's only the record industry that can make a miracle like that."

Many of the recordings with Leroy Anderson conducting are currently available from MCA/Universal Records. For more information see the Video and Music section of  this web site.