Thursday, October 29, 2009

Yamaha CS40m, CS20m, CS15 and CS5, Contemporary Keyboard 1979

Yamaha CS40m, CS20m, CS15 and CS5 synthesizer advertisement from page 21 of Contemporary Keyboard Magazine December 1979.

This ad was the beginning of Yamaha's 'How serious are you about...' campaign that ran in CK until late 1981 or so. The series of ads first ran in the December 1979 issue on consecutive odd pages (pg 21, 23, 25) to have maximum effect during the holiday season, and then the ads appeared sporadically in later issues of CK. The series included:
  • "How serious are you about a synthesizer" to promote their CS-series synthesizers
  • "How serious are you about an electric piano" to promote their CP-series electric pianos
  • "How serious are you about a mixer" to promote their EM-series mixers.
December '79 was a great month for Contemporary Keyboard readers for another reason too.

Sure, the near-100 page issue included ads like this one for Yamaha, as well as ads for Roland's Vocoder Plus, Crumar's Performer, Octave's Cat and Kitten, and smaller ads for Polyfusion and Serge. The Spec Sheet section also had a wack of goodies including info on Korg's MS-50 and SQ-10.

But the main reason you probably picked this issue up in the store (or right out of the mail box) and started reading it immediately was because on the cover was Wendy Carlos sitting in front of her gorgeous Modular Moog.

Wendy, formerly known as Walter, released the album 'Switched-On Bach' in 1968. But requests for an earlier interview with CK were turned down while she was going through the physical and emotional journey of becoming Wendy. And then, in the May1979 issue of Playboy magazine she revealed her story and she began doing interviews again. And this CK interview doesn't disappoint.

Inside the 14-plus pages devoted to her, Wendy discusses her Moog and it's modules, how she met Bob Moog and her long-lasting friendship with him, her views on synthesis, music and notation style, and how she got started in the biz. And reading it now gets me excited for totally different reasons - for example, her mention of Apple Computers or Chowning FM Algorhythms IN THE SAME PARAGRAPH.

Seriously - excellent stuff.

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