The Phono Project

Exploring the history of the groove

“The Mask is off” by richard hayes

I know what you’re thinking, Mask Off? Please no more talk about the pandemic. But don’t worry, this mask refers to one that man has been struggling with since the beginning of time, love.

Mask off was recorded by Richard Hayes, and backed by Jimmy Carol’s Orchestra. At this time in Richard Hayes recording career he had only started to get some radio play. Along with Mask Off, Hayes had a few other recordings to make it in the top charts including Forgetting You and Junco partner.

Hayes was considered a crooner, meaning that with more sensitive microphones, the technology was there to be able to pick up softer and more dynamic voices. After a stinging opening swell from the Jimmy Carol Orchestra Hayes comes in and shows off his dynamic voice, extending lines with a consistent vibrato. The rest of the song is jumpy and whimsical, with great back up vocals and waves of brass instruments that fill the space in the song. This is a great tune (yes I call it tune it came in in 1952) for anyone wanting a classic struggle with love.

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