You, of course remember and loved “The First Movement of The Brandenburg concerto number three in G major” Dintja?
You should, it’s been a huge hit TWICE, although initially it was a regional hit breaking out of Germany. But, it caught fire and soon became an international favorite!
The original smash was written and performed by composer and “Keyboard player” Johann Sebastian Bach! But you’re probably more familiar with the popular cover version that hit The Billboard charts, some 200 years after Bach’s debut in the early 1700’s
In 1969, “Switched On Bach” by Walter Carlos stormed on the scene, shot into The Billboard Top 10 and began setting new records and standards. “Switched” was the first classical / instrumental album to be completely performed on a new device called “The Moog Synthesizer” The device was invented by a computer programmer named Robert Moog. His close friend at the time was Walter Carlos, a musician / songwriter working on his Masters degree in Music and Physics at Columbia University in Rhode Island. Although Moog’s basic device could produce basic “Monophonic sounds, it was Carlos who assisted Moog and introduced ideas and features which allowed The Moog Synthesizer to be more flexible and POLYPHONIC ( playing more than one note at a time ) Soon Walter, frustrated with no attention to his own music, came to the idea of an entire album of Bach compositions performed exclusively on The Moog Synthesizer!
After spending over One Thousand hours in the studio, Walter recorded and released his masterpiece in 1968 on The Columbia Masterworks Label. Music and Walters life would change forever…The public and the entertainment industry couldn’t get enough of “Switched On Bach. Dominating the Billboard Album Charts! But, get this in 1969 “Bach” shot to the number one position on the Billboard Classical Music Charts and held that lofty position for four years, till late 1973 selling well over One Million records!…
BUT NOW, “The rest of the story, while Walter was counting his money, juggling opportunities and interviews, Walter was struggling with gender confusion! Since Walter was a young boy he believed he was a girl living in a boy’s body! And now with a little money and power it was time to take action.
Walter began the process in earnest in 1967 by beginning hormone injections and therapy, by 1969 and the huge success of “Switched On Bach, the gender re-assignment process was taking its full effect, he lost facial hair, his voice and body changed!
Walter Carlos is rapidly becoming Wendy Carlos, but Walter wasn’t prepared to “come out” about his secret alter ego. To maintain a successful music career, an artist has to do a lot of personal appearances including T.V. So WENDY had to develop elaborate wigs, costumes facial attachments etc. to maintain her “Walter” persona……In 1970 Wendy
made an appearance on The Dick Cavett show wearing a man’s wig, fake mustache and sideburns. This was Wendy’s standard outfit, along with sun glasses and a hat for T.V. And important meetings with Film and Music biz executives.
Walter finalized his transition in 1972 when he successfully completed sexual reassignment surgery
however he continued making music as Walter Carlos including writing the scores for many films like “A Clockwork Orange”, “Tron”, The Shining” and “Marooned”
It wasn’t until May 1978 that Walter Carlos announced he was “Wendy Carlos” The first Trans Gender in the music business!
Did YOU own a copy of “Switched On Bach?