Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A Gay Caballero
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Some fun from old-time radio
F. Behrens | Keene, NH USA | 10/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Naxos has begun a most welcome new series called "Nostalgia Naxos," the first two of which entries I have heard and love! Both have great similarities and both exhibit the triumph of style over vocal ability.Although this is the webpage for Crumit, I have to mention the companion piece by way of comparison. (8.120503) gives us 18 examples of the English musical hall/film star who was idolized by millions, mostly in her own country. Recorded between 1932 to 1940, these selections are perfect examples of not only English Musical Hall fare but the inimitable way in which Fields "put over" such crowd-pleasers as "She Fought Like a Tiger for 'Er Honour," " I Took My Harp to a Party," "Will You Love Me When I'm Mutton," and the one heard in the film "The Dresser", "A Nice Cup of Tea." Her enthusiasm is infectious, her delivery delightful, and this Naxos offering a winner. (8.120502) features a personality much known and loved on old-time radio. His songs are the American equivalents of those Fields popularized--most written by Crumit himself ("A Gay Caballero," "I Married the Bootlegger's Daughter") or with partners ("Donald the Dub," "The Song of the Prune") some traditional ("Bohunkus"), some by other composers ("I'm a Specialist," "Plink! Plunk!"). Readers of this page can see the complete table of contents above.His style is more laid back than is Fields' and offers an interesting contrast. I think I have caught quite a few pre-echoes of Cole Porter, especially his "Tale of the Oyster." By the way, his extremely funny monologue "No News" comes from the same source as the popular French song "Tout va tres bien." In fact, that cut alone is worth the low price of this CD. But by all means, purchase this ... ."
This version of "Caballero" is the One to Buy!
K. Brown | Walnut, Ca USA | 08/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There is another Frank Crumit compilation with the same title floating around. If you want to get the prime Frank Crumit recordings, this is The Caballero you want to buy! The majority of the tunes here are his recordings from the 1920s through the early 30s, with the latest date being one tune from 1935.
What makes this CD superior over the other Crumit compilation is that these earlier recordings best capture his style and charm. There is that "78 Victrola Hiss" present in many of the songs, but that does not take away anything from the quality of the music. While the other collection has more polished versions of these songs recorded later in his career, they lack Frank Crumit's charm by being, well... too polished. The increased instrumentals to classics like "Abdul Abulbul Amir" detract from Frank Crumit himself, and his vocals come across a bit too forceful. Part of what makes Frank Crumit unique for me is the playful yet soothing presence in his voice, which shine on this particular compilation. Also taking a backseat in the opposing collection is Crumit's ukelele, a key piece of his repetoire.
If you have never heard "Abdul Abulbil Amir" before, it is a great satirical folk tune poking fun at the greatness of warlords written by an Irish composer named Percy French. Crumit recorded this version in 1928, and it went on to become a household tune, and one of the best selling records of that era.
The entire Frank Crumit repertoire has very few serious lyrics, and these songs are pure fun. His tunes are a great source of relief for an ornery mood, and also capture the essence of the era with timely tunes like "The Bootlegger's Daughter," "A Tale of the Ticker," and "There's No One With Endurance (Like the Man Who Sells Insurance)."
Frank Crumit's name may not stand out today like the Eddie Cantors & Fred Astaires of his era, and we're the ones missing out! Wildly popular in his day, Crumit and Julia Sanderson both retired from showbiz when they married in 1927, but were coaxed back into the limelight a few years later, this time to work as a couple hosting a series of radio shows. They flourished up until Crumit's sudden death of a heart attack in 1943. Julia Sanderson continued working for one more year, and then retired from show business for good.
If you have never heard Frank Crumit before, this is the CD to start with. It is the best collection of his recordings that I have encountered so far, and I highly recommend giving his legacy a listening to!"
A great collection of Depression-era novelty songs
Joe Sixpack -- Slipcue.com | ...in Middle America | 01/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This appears to be a truncated version of a collection originally out on the ProArte label... All the songs on this version are great, but it is a shame Naxos cut out the four other songs, particularly Crumit's version of "Frankie And Johnny," which is a real gem.
Still... this is highly recommended!"