The Longines Symphonette

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The Longines Symphonette was a pre-recorded classical music program broadcast nightly on many Mutual Broadcasting System stations from 1943 to 1949. It then moved to CBS where it was heard Sundays at 2pm from 1949 to 1957. The initial conductor was Macklin Marrow, followed for most of the run by Michel Piastro, one-time concert master of the New York Philharmonic.

Frank Knight was the program's announcer. The introductory theme was the final movement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony. The series was sponsored by the Longines watch company.

A spin-off program was The Longines Choraliers which aired on CBS from March 13, 1949 to April 22, 1955.


The Longines Symphonette Society was a record label which specialized in releasing classic radio programs and multiple-record box sets.[1]

The Longines company sold its record business to Warner Music Group. Re-issues of the Longines recordings since the 1990s have been credited to the "Symphonette Society" and no longer have any reference to the watch company.

A Longines Chorus and Orchestra recording, "Waiting for the Robert E. Lee", can be heard on an NBC Radio Monitor broadcast from 1959.


Longines is the trade name of electronic devices, including transistor radios,[2][3] televisions[4] and electronic calculators produced by Texas Instruments.[5][6]

Cultural legacy[edit]

The Longines Symphonette (and their constant recording activity, never resting) [7][dubious ], was referenced in They Might Be Giants' song "Birdhouse in Your Soul" on their album Flood.

It was also referenced in Mystery Science Theatre 3000's episode "Fire Maidens of Outer Space", season 4 episode 16, as well as "Rocket Attack U.S.A.", season 2 episode 5.

The combination of music and electronics was referenced in The Tender Trap (film) when a musician said he shouldn't be late to the rehearsal because everyone has watches.

The Longines Symphonette was referenced in "Fun With Shorts: The Procrastinator", narrated by Josh Way. "That Longines Symphonette garbage is rotting your brain!" (There is no season or episode number for this.)


  1. ^ Angela Morley (2004) THE LONGINES SYMPHONETTE RECORDINGS Some Recollections by Angela Morley. Robert Farnon Society ( Retrieved on 2015-12-11.
  2. ^ Longines "Symphonette". Retrieved on 2013-04-26.
  3. ^ Longines "Symphonette" 1561. Retrieved on 2013-04-26.
  4. ^ 1967 Longines 3" Symphonette (USA). None. Retrieved on 2013-04-26.
  5. ^ Texas Instruments Calculators (1972–79) – How rare are they?. Retrieved on 2013-04-26.
  6. ^ Larry Gilbert (January 22, 2003) Longines Symphonette Electronic Calculator Version 1. Datamath (2001-12-05). Retrieved on 2013-04-26.
  7. ^ Birdhouse In Your Soul Songfacts

Listen to[edit]