Every time I dig through thrift store stacks and am confronted with a surplus of Mantovani, Ferrante & Teicher and other assorted "beautiful music" LPs, I'm amazed at their ubiquity. Those artists must have sold tens of millions of records, judging by the sheer volume that are still floating around. I try to get my head around why they were originally purchased and if anyone ever thought of it as 'good" music (as opposed to simply "beautiful" or "relaxing" music). Did people purchase this stuff and say "Man, Lawrence Welk's new record is fantastic. What arrangements!", or was it simply something to have on in the background while dad downed some cocktails after another day in the office? And is there anyone who actually listens to this kind of record today in an un-ironic fashion? I'm genuinely curious, as I've almost certainly spent huge chunks of my life flipping past these records and wondering about how something that was once so huge is now so completely forsaken.