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Monday, April 23, 2018

Voices In Brass - The Four Freshmen

Voices In Brass
The Four Freshmen
With Trombone Choir Conducted by Pete Rugolo
A Magnificent Blend of Voices and Brass
Produced by Voyle Gilmore
Capitol Records ST 1295

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

From the back cover: The talented Dick Reynolds arranged all of the vocal parts for the quartet of Bob Flanigan, who handles the upper register; Don Barbour, the second voice; Ross Barbour, the third voice; and Ken Albers, who sings bass.

Stereo Note

Pete Rugolo's ingenious arrangements were specially devised to take full advantage of the stereophonic possibilities offered in "Voices and Brass." He brilliantly exploits the tremendous range of instrumental effects made available by the use of a battery of trombones, mixed and matched in a limitless variety of tone-colors and harmonic patterns. The Trombones are voiced in an assortment of combinations, both open and muted, and their right-left placement is cleverly varied to create some striking directional effects behind the Four Freshmen.

Stella By Starlight
Route 66!
I Had The Craziest Dream
I'm Glad There Is You
It Had To Be You
Lonely For My Love
Pennies From Heaven
Never Again
Autumn Leaves

Swingin' Singin' - Randy Van Horne

'S Wonderful
Swingin' Singin'
Randy Van Horne and His Swinging Chorus
RCA Victor LPM 1321

From the back cover: Randy Van Horne, the leader of this swinging singing group, was born in 1924 in El Paso, Texas. His career as an arranger actually began in 1949 when he fronted "The Encores," a vocal quintet, which worked night clubs throughout the country, appeared on numerous TV shows and later traveled and recorded with Billy May. His dreams of a larger vocal group were realized when he formed an experimental choir comprised of volunteer singers, secretaries, musicians, writers, announcers and professional vocalists. Sixteen of the best singers from this group were rehearsed and made a demonstration record of "S' Wonderful, RCA Victor heard the record and as a result signed the group.

In regard to his arrangements of the selections in this album Randy van Horne says: "When I hear a song, I view it from two standpoints; that of a singer, and that of a musician. In an attempt to combine the two, I took musicians who sang, and wrote for them as though they were the brass and saxes of a big band." The results is some undoubtedly fine listening.

In addition to the excellent arrangements, this album makes for outstanding enjoyment because of the obvious delight and spirit with which the group sings. To use Randy's own words again: "If I had to have a premise, I'd say this" 'If it's fun to sing, it's fun to listen to!" We were happy doing this, and we sincerely hope it makes you happy listening to it." – Edwin Miller

In The Good Old Summertime
Sweet Sue, Just You
Sleepy Time Gal
Old Mill Stream
'S Wonderful
Squeeze Me
By The River Sainte Marie
Cheatin' On Me
Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea
My Blue Heaven

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Goin' Out Of My Head - Little Anthony And The Imperials

It's Just A Matter Of Time
Goin' Out Of My Head
Little Anthony And The Imperials
Arranged and Produced by Teddy Randazzo
DCP Internations (Don Costa Records) DCS 6808
Distributed by United Artists Records

From the back cover: The group includes Little Anthony (last name Gourdine), who chants lead; Sam Stain, first tenor; Ernie Wright, second tenor and Clarence Collins, baritone-bass. The boys grew up together in Brooklyn, Anthony and Clarence attended Boys High School. Sam and Ernie went to Alexander Hamilton High School. All four liked to sing, and by the time they had entered high school, they were singing professionally.

Little Anthony was a member of the DuPonts, Ernie and Clarence were with The Chesters, and Sam sang with The Chips. Even though they belongs to different ensembles, they often managed to sing as a foursome at various youth centers and on variety programs in Brooklyn.

Soon after graduating from high school, Little Anthony left The DuPonts to join The Chesters. Sam also joined the group a short time later. In 1958 they were spotted by Richard Barrett, an artists and repertoire man who had discovered Frankie Lyman & The Teenagers, The Chantels and The lesley Brothers, among others. Their association with Barrett was responsible for a change in the name of their group to Little Anthony & The Imperials. It also led to an End Records contract and a smash recording, "Tears On My Pillow". This hit was followed by several others.

As a result of their record successes, the group made appearances in major cities in the United States. They also toured Canada and Mexico. After their End Records contract had expired, multi-talented Teddy Randazzo, who had long admired the group, brought Little Anthony & The Imperials to the attention of Don Costa and DCP Records.

Their first recording for DCP, "On The Outside (Lookin' In)", was an immediate hit. This was followed by "Goin' Out Of My Head", which soon placed among the top ten on the various best-selling lists.

Little Anthony's birthday is January 8. When time permits, he likes to ride and play baseball. Sam is also a sports enthusiast with billiards and swimming as his favorites. He is also an avid movie-goer. Sam's birthday is December 9. Ernie's birthday is August 24. Top sports with him are baseball, riding and billiards. His birthday is March 17.

Goin' Out Of My Head
What A Difference A Day Made
It's Just A Matter Of Time
Never Again
Hurt So Bad
Where Are You
Take Me Back
Who's Sorry Now?
I Miss You So
Get Out Of My Life

Rock N' Roll Million Sellers - Connie Francis

It's Only Make Believe
Rock N' Roll Million Sellers
Connie Francis
MGM Records SE3794

From Billboard - December 28, 1959: M-G-M Records has made special arrangement with a dozen "Top 10" TV dance parties in the South and Northeast to promote and publicize four current M-G-M record albums. Arrangements call for the airing of tunes from "Connie Francis Sings Rock and Roll Million Sellers"; "Joni James Sings Sweet," by Joni James; "Saturday Night with Conway Twitty"; and Tommy Edwards' "For Young Lovers."

The selections will be played on the air while album covers are shown on the screen. Albums will also be awarded as prizes to dancers in the studio audience. The six-week campaign starts January 9 and dealers in appropriate cities are being notified to tie in with the promotion. Participating cities are Tulsa, Oklahoma., Memphis, Augusta, Ga., Chattanooga, Portland, Me., Roanoke, Va., Durham, N.C., Wilmington, N.C., Hattiesburg, and Columbus, Miss., Jackson, Tenn., and Syracuse, N.Y.

Heartbreak Hotel
Tweedle Dee
I Almost Lost My Mind
I Hear You Knockin'
Just A Dream
Don't Be Cruel
Lipstick On Your Collar
Ain't That A Shame
I'm Walkin'
It's Only Make Believe