Military Recruitment

The Falconaires

Whoa, the military-industrial complex made and gave away thousands of records? Wasn't that a diversion of precious strategic oil reserves? Perhaps, but today, some military-recruitment records are coveted sources of "rare grooves" and devastating breakbeats. Sure, many others are hopelessly dated and square, but the inadvertantly hip ones are well worth the digging. "Recruitment" refers to their purpose of luring civilians, presumably those with musical ability, into joining up.

Recruitment records tell a story about the diversity of the U.S. service branches. Each of the Armed Forces has several subdivisions, and then there's NORAD, which lets Canadians share in the fun. The different groups and people within them made many different sounds. Many of the records tried obviously to appeal to the hip, even if just one funky tune was snuck on at the end. Also there are many records about military experience, particularly the war in Vietnam, but they are not military products.

Inter-service rivalries are commonplace, so why not for recordings? The Navy wins hands down for their group Port Authority, widely considered the best funk act. The Falconaires come in a close second, and NORAD gets high marks for charm and talent on records in unusual styles, such as their Christmas record. Mod brass is nearly always the chief featured sound, and a few records feature very capable singers. Finally, there are the less subtle recruitment tools (chiefly from the Army) that discuss or provide actual sounds of military life. Marine records rarely stray beyond the predictable patriotic.

Buying: Of all "promotional use only" records, these are among the least commercial (except for the price of signing up). They do turn up near military bases and sometimes elsewhere.

Military Recruitment LPs

7United States Air Force Basic Training in Sound: Airman!!; Sounds of Documentary 803; 1959 (spoken w/sounds & "The Air Force Blue" by the USAF Band; rec. at Lackland AFB, TX)
7The United States Air Force Academy Falconaires; USAF 68; 1968 (mod jazz; led by Capt. Terry Hemeyer)
6The United States Air Force Academy Band & Falconaires: Music from the United States Air Force Academy; USAFA 69-11; 1969 (mod jazz; 2-LP)
6The United States Air Force Presents Serenade in Blue 7-LP box; USAF Series Thirteen, Programs 157-170; 1970 (mod/mod soul; compilation; Airmen of Note, Astros, Diplomats, Falconaires..)
7The United States Air Force Academy Falconaires: Thunderbirds Suite 15 10"; USAF; 1971 (mod jazz; musical score from the McDonnell Douglas film "Ambassadors in Blue")
8The United States Air Force Academy Falconaires; USAF 71255 (mod soul/mod funk; covers Dennis Coffey, Lalo Schifrin, Joe Tex..)
7The United States Air Force Academy Falconaires: Graffiti; USAF [no #]; 1974 (hip jazz, c/w jazz, funky rock, samba, etc.)
5The United States Air Force Presents Two Sides of Christmas; (pop; "It's Christmas:" USAF Academy Falconaires, Rosemary Clooney, Jack Halloran Choir; "Christmas at Opryland:" Archie Campbell, Dottie West, Charlie McCoy, Jordanaires)
5The United States Air Force Band of the Golden Gate: Commanders & Galaxy; USAF [no #] (mod jazz, partly vocal)
7The United States Air Force Band of the Mid-West: Jazz Ensemble "Diplomats"/Rock Ensemble "Thyme"; USAF SD-508; 1978 (space Moog/mod jazz/disco funk/funky rock/rock; originally the 5th Army Air Corps Band)
6The United States Air Force Strategic Air Command Band: The Young Professionals; USAF [no #] (mod jazz/funk/partly vocal; Side 1 "The Noteables"; Side 2 "Flair"; covers Stevie Wonder's "I Wish")
6The United States Air Force Reserve Band: No Doubt About It; Air Force Reserve [no #] (mod jazz/mod funk)
6The Band of the Air Force Reserve Jazz Ensemble: Comin' At Ya!; Air Force Reserve AF-RES-CAY (mod soul jazz; partly vocal)
6The Band of the Air Force Reserve Jazz Ensemble: Strikes Again; Air Force Reserve MS-10500 (funk/soul jazz.scat; partly vocal)
6The [USAF] Airmen of Note: Rock-Jazz; USAF; 1972 (funky rock/bongos; "The Official United States Air Force Dance Orchestra from Washington, D.C."; note by Henry Mancini)
6The [USAF] Airmen of Note: New Spirit; USAF; 1977 (covers Ohio Players, EWF, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock..)
6The [USAF] Airmen of Note: Today; USAF; 1978 (covers Miles Davis, David Gates, Benny Golson, Billy Taylor)
6The [USAF] Airmen of Note: Just in Time; USAF; 1978 (jazz vocal, featuring Technical Sergeant Bobbie McCleary; "The United States Air Force Jazz Ensemble")
7The USAF Airmen of Note: Better than Ever!; USAF 41778; 1983 (soul-jazz instrumental; partly vocal w/TSgt Bobbie McCleary)
6The USAF Airmen of Note: Bone Voyage; USAF; 1984 (jazz instrumental)
7The [USAF] Airmen of Note and Sarah Vaughn; AF 33175
7United States Army: Double-Time!! Army Basic Training in Sound; Sounds of Documentary 801 (spoken w/sounds)
6Eighth United States Army Band: Noting Peace; (recorded in Korea; "a musical salute to the United Nations Command"; covers "Shaft" theme)
7The First United States Army Jazz Experience: Be All You Can Be...(Bop!); 1985 (jazz/Latin jazz)
5The Jazz Ambassadors of the United States Army Field Band; 1981/1980-81 (live)
United States Army: A GI's Germany in Sound & Music!; Sounds of Documentary 900
United States Army: A GI's Germany in Sound & Music! Vol. 2; Sounds of Documentary 901
United States Army: Mox Nix, GI; Sounds of Documentary 950 ("the humor album about your tour in Germany")
6United States Army: Sounds of Army Basic; Gold Star GS-521; 1960 (spoken w/music)
7The United States Army: The Army Opportunities Album; [no #] (spoken w/music; "career messages presented by the U.S. Army Recruiting not use after June, 1974")
7The United States Army [sponsor]: Feminine Focus; Program #381-400; 1975 (spoken/instructional/commerce/military; 2-LP; 20 radio spots by "Nightbird" Alison Steele on New York City's WNEW-FM; some w/guests)
7The United States Army Band: The Army Blues; S-19722 (w/covers of "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Proud Mary," "Summertime"..)
7The United States Army [sponsor]: Feminine Focus; Program #381-400; 1975 (spoken/instructional/commerce/military; 2-LP; 20 radio spots by "Nightbird" Alison Steele on New York City's WNEW-FM; some w/guests)
United States Marines: The Making of a Marine!; Sounds of Documentary 804 (spoken w/sounds)
6United States Marines: The Training of a United States Marine--Parris Island; Documentary 805; 1972 (spoken w/sounds, inner leaves)
United States Navy: Boot Camp! U.S. Navy Recruit Training in Sound; Sounds of Documentary 802 (spoken w/sounds)
8[United States Navy] Commodores/Port Authority; U.S. Navy [no #] (funk/mod jazz/funky rock; 2 PA cuts also on PA LP 71001)
8[United States Navy] Port Authority; U.S. Navy 71001 (funk/jazz/funky rock; w/Mac Wright)
8[United States Navy] Port Authority Soul Band: Together; U.S. Navy [no #] (soul/funk; their 3rd LP; Rose Lewis sings)
6[United States Navy] Port Authority: Dance the Night Away; 1977? (disco/funk/Moog rock/Moog funk/space funk)
3[United States Navy] Port Authority: America; GNV-PA84 (rock/jazz/reggae)
6[United States Navy] Recruit Training Command: Sounds to Remember; TS74; 1974 (Great Lakes, Illinois; sound effects/documentary/narrative)
5NORAD "Cavalcade of Music; NORAD NCM 65-11; 1964 (jazz; live around the world & on TV shows; w/spoken intros)
4The NORAD Band Presents "A Mountain of Music"; Century NCM-68-6 (jazz; "The Beatnik" & others)
4The NORAD Commanders Orchestra: Singin' & Swingin'; NORAD Band Club NBF-B; 1964 (jazz; started by Lt. Col. Mark Azzolina, who sings Side 1)
8NORAD Tracks Santa/The NORAD Commanders; NORAD [no #] (Christmas/mod/spoken; famous tracking reports; Side 2's instrumentals are better)
8The NORAD Commanders: Ballads & Brass; NORAD [no #] (soul-jazz horns/mod funk; covers James Brown's "Hot Pants")

Military Recruitment 45s & EPs

5The United States Army Training Center: Basic Training Sounds to Remember EP; [no #] (compact-33; spoken w/sounds)
7The United States Army Training Center, Fort Jackson South Carolina: The Sounds of Basic Training EP; [no #] (compact-33 picture sleeve; spoken w/sounds)
4The NORAD Band: Music from NORAD EP; NORAD MFN-61

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