ISSUE DATE: Feb. 23, 1953
Times have changed for the brick building at 207 East 30th Street, Manhattan, that was once the Adams Memorial Presbyterian Church. The stained-glass windows are bricked up, the pews are gone, and in place of the organ there is a glass-fronted control room which bristles with switches, plugs and dials. Instead of such rousing hymns as Onward! Christian Soldiers and Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus, the old building resounded this week to the throb of a popular-music combo. And near the spot where a vested minister once stood at sermon time, a perky blonde in her stocking feet poised herself before a microphone and sang a little number about a fellow who wouldn’t take his hand off her knee.
The words & music might have been a mild shock to turn-of-the-century parishioners, but they were everyday business—and mighty good business—to Columbia Records, which leased old Adams Presbyterian five years ago for a recording studio. And for Rosemary Clooney, the long-legged blonde at the microphone, it was nothing more or less than her millions of fans have come to expect. Clooney and Columbia are partners in a booming U.S. business which can best be described as the manufacture and sale of the American ballad.
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