Taxi Cab Wisdom

I’ve owned this odd LP for several years now, but had dismissed it as novelty and filed it in the “Why’d They Bother/Incredibly Strange” section of my collection.

The album is titled, “Spontaneous, in-the-cab recordings of The New York Taxi Driver as recorded by Tony Schwartz.”

It features the rich wisdom of New York cabbies on topics such as, “Women,” “Art,” and “Life.”

The New York Taxi Driver
Perhaps my ignorance is due to my age, but I had completely missed the significance of the name on the cover of this disc.

Tony Schwartz was born in Manhattan and attended Peekskill High School, (just up the road from my last apartment.)  He grew up to become a media guru, a political consultant, and a master of field recording.

I learned from that the tobacco industry voluntarily stopped airing  their ads on radio and television after Schwartz produced the first-ever anti-smoking commercial.

He is also responsible for one of the most powerful commercials of all time, “the Daisy ad.”

In addition to his many achievements, Tony created a fascinating audio time-lapse experiment – recording voice samples of his niece, Nancy over the course of 12 years.  In the track, “Nancy Grows Up” you can hear her grow from an infant to a teen in 2 minutes and 4 seconds.

In 1999, People magazine printed a great article about Schwartz, which you can read here.

I just love it when an album’s background brings it a whole new meaning.

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