by Peter Cates
How I Started Collecting Records, Part 5.
I began receiving Golden Records as early as my fourth year, more often than not in the six-inch yellow record format. Many of the selections were from the Great American Kiddie Songbook – such captivators as Pony Boy, Pony Boy; Skip to My Lou; Get On Board Little Children; I‘m Getting Nothin’ for Christmas. There were tie-ins from TV shows – Maverick, Wyatt Earp, Leave It to Beaver. Finally Bing Crosby told stories and occasionally sang, always illustrated with hat, pipe in mouth and Golden book in hand.
My first encounter with Mitch Miller’s name occurred via these little discs. I would be caught up, at the age of 8, in the rousing Sing Along LPs when my Aunt Margaret played her copy of the Folk Songs album – I fell in love with the sounds of his male chorus and guitar/banjo rhythm section lifting my spirits with Listen to the Mockingbird, Aunt Rhody and Goodnight Irene, and, within three years, would own all of the Sing Alongs. Part 6 next week.
Atlantic Rhythm and Blues 1947-1974
Atlantic, A1 81620,
14 LPs, released 1985.
Before I encountered this admittedly very bulky set, I don’t believe I had ever seen a better one in all of my years of listening and collecting. It has assembled almost 70 singers and instrumentalists- Wilson Pickett, the Coasters, Aretha, Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters, Ben E. King, Otis Redding, La Vern Baker, Roberta Flack, Tiny Grimes, Brook Benton as well as lesser knowns, Eddie Floyd, Joe Morris, Don Covay, Tommy Ridgley, Chris Kenner, Doris Troy- oh well, the list goes on and on. And each is represented by one or more tracks, every one of them at the very least ranging from quite good to beyond superb.
The annotations, photos, art work and biographical details are wonderfully spread out on seven sets of 2 lps each and stored in a slipcase covered with the red and black Atlantic label trademark. I found my vinyl copy reasonably priced at a local outlet. But it could prove elusive and pricey, whether in used outlets or on the Internet. But interested listeners will find this true treasury of so much great music well worth the search!
Symphony No. 2
Ernst Schrader conducting the Berlin Philharmonic; Avon, AVS 13015, 12-inch LP, originated from late ‘40s German radio broadcast tape and Urania LP.
There is nothing else to be known about conductor Ernst Schrader other than he is, or more likely, considering the time frame of this recording, was a real person – a legit label has stamped his name on one or two releases nobody has stepped forward to stamp him as a pseudonym. And the Berlin Philharmonic is most definitely for real.
Although the mono radio sound of this record is adequate, the performance is spontaneous, and expressive, reserving all out drama until the last of the four movements.
Dvorak actually composed nine Symphonies but his first four were unnumbered until the 1960’s, when they became 1 through 4, the old 3 became 5, 1 then 6, 2 7, 4 8 and the New World 5 then 9. The re-numbered 7th was greeted enthusiastically at its London world premiere on April 22, 1885, with the composer conducting while his publisher paid him $1500, a huge sum in those days.
I own a batch of very good recordings and, elsewhere, have not heard a single dud. The ones on my shelves- Anguelov, Mata, Valek, Bernstein, two Giulinis, Kubelik, Leitner, Colin Davis, Sejna, Talich, Ancerl, Kertesz, Dorati, Monteux, Neumann, possibly a few others, in addition to the above Schrader.