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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Ridin' High With the Sabres

Ridin' High With the Sabres
RCA Victor LPM-1376

Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share the cover art and jacket notes.

From the back cover: Ridin' High is a particularly apt title for this album, since the boys have been doing just that since they won first prize in a world-wide U.S. Army Air Force talent contest a few years ago. Although they have been swinging together for more than eight years, they are all still comparative youngsters. Native Californian Dick Henson, who sings top tenor and plays bass, is the oldest at twenty-five. Ohioan Jerry Wright, lead tenor and piano-man, is twenty-three; and Colorado-born but California-bred Fritz Weybright, drummer and low-baritone, is only twenty-two.

The Sabres were fellow students when they first met at Chaffey College, Ontario, California, in 1948. After perfecting their rich blend and unusual style, via appearances at campus functions, the trio heeded the invitation of Uncle Same in the early Fifties, and joined the Air Force.

Talent-wise Special Service officers decided to keep the act together, and the boys spent two years entertaining G.I.'s stationed in the Far East. During that tour the Sabres simultaneously discovered how great soldier-audiences are, and developed unexpected new abilities of their own as performers. Eager to maintain their status as a three-mn U.S.O. unit, The Sabres augmented their old vocal and instrumental numbers with experimental bits of comedy and impersonations of top record stars and singing groups.

Since many patrons in Tokyo niteries – where they also appeared – didn't dig their jokes, they worked out elaborate mute gags, thereby uncovering an engaging gift for pantomime as well. Consequently, when they were discharged in 1955, all three young men had acquired more poise, polish and high-voltage showmanship than most entertainers do in ten years.

Their new-found sales-savvy and general audience know-how paid off immediately, with bookings at plush Hollywood night spots and the swank Sahara Hotel, in Las Vegas, where the Sabre's good looks, easy songmanship and novel arrangements made them one of the most talked-about new acts to hit the West Coast in years.

An RCA Victor executive signed them to a recording contract a few months ago, and this package is the initial album-result of that pact.

From Billboard - March 16, 1957: RCA Victor's new vocal group, winners of a U. S. Army Air Force talent contest a few years ago, sing with verve, showmanship and a smooth blend. These are fresh, high-spirited performances on a group of swingy standards – "Sweet Georgia Brown," "Moon Over Miami," "Who's Sorry Now," etc. Sales prospects are necessarily conservative in view of group's newness, but package serves to introduce them to jocks, and if the spinners give them a send-off, the album might show surprising returns.

Life Can Be Beautiful
Moonlight In Vermont
Sweet Georgia Brown
Moon Over Miami
Who's Sorry Now
The Thrill Is Gone
Love Nest
My Shawl
My Strongest Weakness
What Makes The Sunset

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