Bonnie Pruden, born in New York City on 1914, was a pioneer in the field of physical fitness. She developed programs, ran fitness centers, wrote books, recorded albums, marketed fitness equipment, and even designed clothing for fitness. She was also an expert climber. In 1976, she developed a system to use pressure points to allieve pain called myotherapy, which she devoted her later years to. She moved out to Tuscon in 1992 to open a physical fitness /myotherapy institute and despite suffering a broken pelvis, multiple heart attacks, cancer, replacement hip surgery,stents,d by-pass surgery, Pruden kept on chugging until her death in 2011. She was six weeks away from her 98th birthday and apparently she was still exercising at her hospice bed just days before her passing.
Of Prudden’s accomplishments, one such feather in her cap was her creation of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness. In what was known as The Report that Shocked the President, Prudden submitted to President Eisenhower data that showed the comparative fitness levels of US children to their European counterpart. This was pretty big deal when I was going to school. As a pupil, I was really good at 2/3’s of the systems requirements I could run in the top 10%. I could also reach the top 10% pull ups. However, push-ups and sit-ups were always my downfall. Could never complete the required amount in time and thus could never win a Council medal.
This album, released in 1960, consists of 14 exercise routines along with a photo step guide, set to music. The music is all original, written, arranged and conducted by Otto Cesana. From what i could find on Cesana, he was perhaps an Italian-American conductor from the San Francisco area who despite being classically trained, showed a pension for jazz and produced work more suited for easy listening/ lounge/ hifi audiences. I am assuming he is dead now.
That being said, the music is quote good on this album. Real good. If you can tune out the exercise steps, it makes for a good listen. It probably makes for a decent work out as well. The back cover notes in all caps, “YOU WILL BE STILL THE NEXT DAY” so be fore-warned.
For samples, I went with the Pelvic Tilt exercise “Black Out”. I also decided to go with Walk #1 and Walk #2, “Ridin’ Wild” and “Rush Hour”. I felt “Rush Hour”, in particular was quite similar in the middle to”Twisted Nerve” which came out 8 years later on a Bernard Herrmann soundtrack of the film of the same name. It was also used quite famously in Kill Bill Vol 1.