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This one’s for all the Veronica Geng fans out there . . .

I recently read Joseph Lanza’s excellent book from 1994, “Elevator Music: A Surreal History of Musak, Easy-Listening, and Other Moodsong.” I’ll have more to say about this book in a future post, but for now I just had to share this bit I noticed on page 53:

Lyndon Baines Johnson owned Muzak franchises in Austin during his early senatorial days.

Wow. Just wow. If Veronica Geng had only known this when writing her hilarious story. You know the one. Just think how Johnson could’ve riled up Shaw by piping Muzak into his bedroom. In true LBJ-as-recounted-by-Geng style, the senator would’ve put the volume control in some hard-to-reach place behind the sofa so that the elderly playwright would’ve had to contort himself to turn it down, making him feel even more foolish.


  1. Adede says:

    I wonder if Caro covers the topic.

  2. MARK PALKO says:

    My favorite Shaw as houseguest anecdote: Returning from a visit with Hearst, he was asked to describe San Simeon. Shaw replied it’s what God would have built if he’d had the money.

  3. paul alper says:

    This website has some history info regarding muzak:

    “As World War II required more and more industrial production, company researchers made a surprising discovery: Muzak could apparently make workers happier and more productive. Muzak patented a system called Stimulus Progression that offered 15-minute blocks of instrumental background music that provided listeners with a subconscious sense of forward movement. When workers listened to these blocks, they got more work done.”

  4. Dzhaugh says:

    I picture helicopters flying over Texan plains blaring out recordings the 101 Strings Orchestra.

  5. Anoneuoid says:

    The burden of proof is reversed from as it should be.

    Why is it ok to ignore 100 years of science saying vitamin deficiencies are bad because covid?

    If someone tells me in 2021 they need to run a bunch of statistical tests before we know whether low oil levels are ok for my car, then I will think they are a crackpot unless they can explain why exactly this situation is different. It is the exact same thing.

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