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Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Leon Bibb Sings Folk Songs


Dink's Blues

Leon Bibb Sings Folk Songs
With Chorus and Orchestra 
Milt Okun, Conductor
Fred Hellerman, Guitar
Vanguard Recording Society VRS-9041

From the back cover: Almost every aspect of Leon Bibb's singing is hard to characterize. The voice is technically a lyric baritone, but it moves easily and naturally into the tenor register. He sings many folk songs but he is not a folk singer in the sense of one who grew up with countryside music "in his bones." Born in Louisville, Kentucky, he loved to sing as a child. Joining his two brothers, his sister, and a friend  John Junes, he sang gospel songs, spirituals and folk ballads. He also sang in the high school chorus. Then came college, followed by army service, and upon discharge he studied voice in New York. The New York musical stage discovered him as he took on roles in musicals including Last in the Stars and Living the Life. If folk songs fill a central place in his varied repertory, it is because they have the honest feeling for real life that he wants from any song he takes up. They "ring true."

From Billboard - November 24, 1958: Leon Bibb is a sensitive and talented interpreter of the folk song, a fact which he proves here with a delightfully varied group of items ranging from tunes boring on the spiritual to negro work songs, to blues and again to songs of Appalachian mountain derivation. A switch from many folk soloists, Bibb sings not only with his own guitar, but with tastefully arranged ork and choral support. Stereo effect her is not particularly noticeable, but no matter, it's the good performance here that counts.

Sinner Man
East Virginia 
Turtle Dove
Rocks And Gravel
Poor Lolette
Look Over Yonder
Red Rosy Bush
Take This Hammer
Dink's Blues

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