beyond the roots of lounge

exotica at the roots of lounge



For the ultimate escape, suburbanites became modern primitives. On their new hi-fi sets, they grooved: to Pacific Theatre Polynesia, percussive Brazilian jazz and Cuban dance music from the Western Hemisphere, unfamiliar modes and scales from Indochina and the Middle East. Led by "sophisticated" former G.I.'s who had traveled the world before they put on the gray flannel suit, Americans were fascinated with anything exotic.


beach couple The coolest vacation spot since Vegas?

Our territorial island paradise, soon to become the 50th state: Hawaii!

What floor, please?

Whether you heard it first on your parents' console stereo, in an elevator, while one monkey brained another on TV, or in a faux-hepcat movie or TV soundtrack, you could hardly avoid the strange brew of highly-orchestrated instrumental pop, latin jazz, unusual percussion and kitschy showbiz smarm that flourished in the late '50's and early '60's.

The winged warrior...

chickenman Even if you wanted to, even if you tried really hard. For Exotica had arrived, and like Chickenman, Exotica was everywhere!

from NPS Historic Photo Collection