Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Benjamin Sears, Bradford Connor|
Keep On Smiling: Songs By Irving Berlin, 1915 - 1918
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Classical, Broadway & Vocalists
Great for home and classroom
F. Behrens | Keene, NH USA | 03/21/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No other composer so closely kept his fingers on the pulse of American thinking and gave the country so much of what it thought it wanted. "Yiddle on Your Fiddle" tells us more of the second-generation immigrants' desire to become Americanized than all the history and sociology books can ever do. So it is a double pleasure to announce the appearance of "Come on and Hear!: Early Songs by Irving Berlin, 1909-1915" and "Keep on Smiling: Songs by Irving Berlin, 1915-1918," two fantastic CDs or tapes on Oaktown label and released through a friendly little Connecticut company calling itself Original Cast Records. Between the two sets, you have 41 tracks of the Berlin output from "Everybody's Doing It Now" to "We're on Our Way to France." The soloist is Benjamin Sears, who with pianist Bradford Conner has something of a reputation around the Boston area. Now some of this material is duplicated by the more widely known Joan Morrison on two RCA Victor releases, possibly out of print by now; and like those discs could use another voice now and then. (Conner does join in where a duet is called for, but my point remains.) Sears is a capable if not an outstanding baritone, who does justice to these historic expressions of Americana. So not only do I recommend both of these sets for their enjoyment value, but I wish to continue to point out to Social Studies teachers how valuable sets like this would be to classes who have no concept of how people really felt (as opposed to what they merely said and did) "way back when." And I might even stick out my neck so far as to offer to come to any school (in reasonable distance of where I live) to give a sample lesson on how these sets can be used."