These sides are from 1940 or 1941--not sure which. Most, if not all, were arranged by Ferde Grofe.
Here's the essay I wrote when I first featured (four of) these sides in 2005:
The Hammond Novachord was not a big success. It wasn't even a small success, even if the thing weighed 1/4 of a ton. But, according to many sources, it was the first synthesizer ever made, and it helped inspire Robert Moog to create the sounds he created. The Novachord was introduced at the 1939 World's Fair by Collins H. Driggs, American composer Ferde Grofe (Grand Canyon Suite, Metropolis, Death Valley Suite, the pop song Daybreak), and two other "Novachord Orchestra" members. Speaking of American composers, Elliot Carter stopped by the Ford Building while the NO was demonstrating Hammond's new synthesizer, and he was delighted:
"At the Ford building, I found... Ferde Grofe and three others at three Hammond Novachords and a Hammond organ, playing plushy arrangements of Old Folks at Home, and so on, with arpeggios, and sea-sick swellings and diminishings. They show just what the Novachord can do, how inhuman its breathless flutes and gutless violins can be."
Carter was down on "electrified music" in general, so it was inevitable he'd love and cherish the Novachord, which sounded like a video-game soundtrack stuck in "Pause." But I love the sound, even if, in addition to what I just described, it evoked a giant, mutant bee dying inside of a paper cone. It reminds me of the "piano" patch on my Korg Poly-800, for what that's worth (about $200 on eBay, I found out).
Six sides by Collins H. Driggs (who was not, as I misreported at one point, Buddy Cole).
Click here to hear: Vintage Novachord Sounds
SONG OF THE ISLANDS
PARADE OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS
IN A CHINESE TEMPLE GARDEN
WHEN DAY IS DONE