Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Poor Wayfaring Stranger
Genres: Folk, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
A Clarification - It Depends on What You're Looking For
Larry B. (email@example.com) | 10/28/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A 73-min CD with many wonderful songs, nearly all of which have at least some slight surface noise, and a few (#s 18, 20, 21, 26 & 35) have quite poor sound. Pearl deals primarily with restoration of older classical music, but also maintains a catalog of important popular music on their Flapper label; they do not have access to masters, so all tracks are transferred from the best extant 78s they can find. By philosophy/policy, they use minimal (if any) artificial electronic sound cleanup such as Cedar or NoNoise.Over his career Ives recorded in different genres, starting with solo folk songs, then adding backup accompaniment and chorus, and branching into pop, Nashville, children's and Christmas. Most of these tracks are from Ives' very early solo folk work for Columbia and Decca, plus a session for Moses Asch: #3 is from a 1940 CBS broadcast; 4-15 are 1941 Columbias issued on their Okeh label; 16-21 are from his 1944 Asch session; 23-35 are Decca solos from 1944-5; but #s 1, 2, 22 & 36 are 1945 Deccas that mark the beginning of his arranged/backup work - this sequence of non-solo tracks on the CD seems a little odd.Sony and MCA own the masters of these Columbias and Deccas, but apparently the only available re-releases are of #s 4 & 6, on Sony "A Twinkle In Your Eye". (Several titles were re-recorded in different styles, especially #s 1, 3, & 36 - the preferable Asch takes of #s 1 & 3 are omitted here.) These Asch masters were of marginal quality to start with, and are now all lost except #s 16 & 19, owned by the Smithsonian, and issued (both with slightly different titles) on Folkways AA003, "Asch Recordings 1939-1945 Vol 2" (see Folkways 40021 for additional Asch Ives). Asch's 78 pressings, used for this Flapper CD, were even iffier than his masters. Although Ives called himself "The Wayfaring Stranger", and Columbia issued an album so titled, the only actual take of that song I know of was for Asch.Flapper credits all tracks as "trad.", but in fact both "Black is the Color" and "Venezuela" were written by John Jacob Niles; the correct spelling for #21 should be "Henry Martyn"."
A wonderful album of vintage Burl Ives from the 1940s
Larry B. (firstname.lastname@example.org) | New York | 10/24/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I believe this album is an outstanding re-release of a wonderful Burl Ives album issued during the war years circa 1946. (It also seems that a number of songs were added to those of the original recording since they are not recognized by me as being on the original.)The songs are sung with a pure and gentle sweetness of his early days. His voice is in the higher pitch of a young man and he sings in an authentic and beautiful folk tradition that many believe he compromised (or partially lost) when he adopted more of a contemporary swing style after moving to the Hollywood scene. (Ala Rudolph the Red Nose Raindeer.) A comparison between then and now interpretations of such stand-bys as Blue Tail Fly and The Cowboy's Lament demonstrates his change in voice and singing style. Moreover, his selection of songs in recent decades, compared with those in this album, demonstrates the influence contemporary commercial forces had over his career.This album truly is a classic and should be a must listen for anyone who enjoys true and authentic folk music untainted by modern inflences. This recording contains marvelous folk songs no longer popular and reveals the original Burl Ives as a contemporary of Woody Guthrie and Ledbetter."
I Dearly Love Burl Ives, But.......
Hilary Deighan | 05/14/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I have loved Burl Ives' music for as long as I can remember, and this album has some of the very best folk songs imaginable, but the sound is very bad on some cuts and many are just very short little ditties. Some of the backup singers don't do much for me either. I find it very hard to believe that with today's technology the sound could not have been dramatically improved. Some tracks sound as if they were taken directly off a well used 78 rpm (may have been actually!). I bought the album primarily for the namesake song, 'Poor Wayfaring Stranger', but the sound on this is one of the worst and the song incomplete, barely 1:15. I should have stuck with Joan Baez or Emmylou Harris for a good version. If you really like Burl Ives go ahead and buy it, but be prepared for substandard sound. Your children may love it as well. This CD was just too expensive for such marginal quality."