Leroy Anderson (1908-1975) was a composer of pops orchestral music, mainly composing mainly short, happy pieces.
In 1950, Leroy wrote a piece called “The Typewriter”, which featured a solo on a mechanical typewriter. The Typewriter received its first performance when Leroy Anderson conducted the one minute and forty-five second song for a Decca Records recording session in 1953. Shortly after, a full band arrangement was published by Fred Werle.
Since then, The Typewriter has been recorded and performed many times, and has featured many live ‘soloists’, including rock group Aerosmith’s lead singer Steve Tyler, who played the song in a special 1999 Boston Pops concert.
Below is a 2008 performance of that piece by the Strauss Festival Orchestra, featuring percussionist Martin Breinschmid on the typewriter:
The song has also been used as a theme for many radio programs and also some television shows. The 1963 film “Who’s Minding the Store?” features Jerry Lewis pantomiming playing the typewriter part in mid-air. The scene is an absolute masterpiece – check it out:
Great stuff – very creative and unique, especially for 1950. Of course nowadays there are entire orchestras made up of typewriters.
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