by Peter Cates
My Best to You; My Last Goodbye
Mercury C-30053X45, seven-inch 45 vinyl disc, recorded March 13, 1958.
The very gifted singer/bandleader, Eddy Howard, died of a cerebral hemorrhage in his sleep during the night of May 23, 1963, at the very young age of 48. I have written about him before in these pages and will simply state that his 78s, 45s and LPs of ballads and easy tempo love songs still give me great pleasure, upon re-hearing. The wistful My Last Goodbye and the effusive My Best to You, a re-recording of a 1946 hit, are wonderful examples of what could be described as romantic, late ‘40s to ‘50s pop with touches of real blues.
The Four Seasons
Corelli: Concerto Grosso No. 8, in G Minor, “Christmas Concerto”; Pergolesi: Flute Concerto No. 2 in D Major- Karl Munchinger conducting the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra and Werner Krotzinger, violin, for Vivaldi; Jean-Pierre Rampal, flute, for Pergolesi; London Treasury Weekend Classics, 417-873-4, recorded 1971, 1961, 1964.
Karl Munchinger (1915-1990) founded the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra just after World War II and led it for just over 40 years, retiring in 1988. I have enjoyed every record of his that I have heard, if not own. These three works are given spirited performances that will give much pleasure to both newcomers to classical music and to seasoned collectors! This recording of Vivaldi’s Seasons is the second of three for London that the Maestro did, each one with a different fiddler. I own the early fifties mono lp, along with the above, which I like better by a tiny margin because of more rhythmic bite.
Largo Al Factotum
Igor Gorin, baritone, with orchestra conducted by Howard Barlow; Ol’ Moses Put Pharoah in His Place- Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians; V Disc, no. 563, 12-inch vinyl 78 record, probably recorded during World War II.
Igor Gorin (1904-1982) was a popular opera and concert singer on radio during the mid ‘30s throughout the ‘40s and recorded 78s for Victor, starting in 1936. His singing on side 1 of the above record of Rossini’s most famous opera aria is quite good, with a fine accompaniment by an orchestra under the conducting of Howard Barlow, Music Director of the CBS Radio Orchestra from 1927 to 1943.
Side two has the Pennsylvanians under their founder and leader, Fred Waring (1900-1984), giving a most festive rendition of the spiritual Ol’ Moses…, itself of average quality. However, I do own a sizable number of the group’s records for Victor, Decca, Capitol and Reprise; at one point in the forties and fifties, it was the most popular choir in the U.S. and former President Dwight Eisenhower watched its TV show every Sunday night, without missing one episode.
The V Disc label provided records for broadcast over armed forces radio stations and several of them are in my collection.