Vocal Groups!

mort bakaprevski
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mort bakaprevski
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Joined: January 1st, 2006, 8:59 pm

September 21st, 2008, 2:36 am #1

Vocal Groups!

Love ‘em!! Loved the ones from the 30’s: The Rhythm Boys, The Mills Bros. The Comedian Harmonists, The Sing Band … the ones from the 40’s: The Merry Macs, X (anywhere from 3 to 6) Hits & a Miss, Andrews Sisters, Mel-Tones… the ones from the 50’s: The Four Freshmen, The Hi-Lo’s, Lambert Hendricks & Ross… plus many of the r&b (or doo-wop, if you prefer) groups of the same era (The Penguins are conspicuous by their absence).

My preference probably goes to those groups who sing in a more homophonic manner (everyone sings the words at the same time). Although I’ve got a lot of affection for the doo-wop groups, they were pretty much oriented to a lead singer doing the lyrics with oooo’s & ahhh’s from the others in the background.

There has been a great resurgence in vocal groups during the last twenty years… especially at the college level. Many people are aware of Take Six, the excellent gospel group that utilizes Gene Puerling type harmonies. However, a lot of people (including myself) think the best current vocal group (by far) is The Real Group, a quintet from Sweden. Here they are doing a great rendition of “It Don’t Mean a Thing.” Unfortunately, the soprano soloist has retired from the group, but I am told her replacement is equally impressive:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jGhBvlxvFo
"Nov Shmoz Ka Pop."
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Greypilgrim
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Greypilgrim
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Joined: February 4th, 2007, 9:48 am

September 21st, 2008, 3:26 pm #2

Good sound...Thanks for sharing!
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Chandu
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Chandu
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Joined: October 19th, 2007, 7:59 pm

September 21st, 2008, 9:58 pm #3

Nice! I didn't know anybody still cared.
Not plane, nor bird, nor even frog. It's just little ol' me...
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mort bakaprevski
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mort bakaprevski
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Joined: January 1st, 2006, 8:59 pm

September 26th, 2008, 1:48 am #4

Here's a bit of silliness from Universal circa 1940 featuring the Six Hits & a Miss. This group was very influential on future groups in terms of the chords they used (check out the one at 1:33--1:35) and their general musical approach.

Interestingly, the featured vocalist (Martha Tilton) was the original "Miss" back when it was 3 Hits & a Miss (you can see them in the 1937 film TOPPER). Mouseketeer Dodd also makes an appearance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwla4mQt9ws
"Nov Shmoz Ka Pop."
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mort bakaprevski
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mort bakaprevski
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Joined: January 1st, 2006, 8:59 pm

September 29th, 2008, 5:45 pm #5

Hokay, let's start at the beginning (at least the beginning for me). When I was a kid, my best friend's mother had a bunch of old 78 records made in the late 20's & early 30's. We loved 'em... especially Paul Whiteman's vocal group, The Rhythm Boys which was made up of Bing Crosby, Harry Barris ("Mississippi Mud") & Al Rinker (Mildred Bailey's brother). Here they are in a terribly faded 2-strip technicolor bit from the film KING OF JAZZ. When they stop singing, stay tuned for The Sisters G. Absolutely unique "singing"... and "dancing" (good legs, though)!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ccPi0B4 ... re=related

And here's an example of the aforementioned best friend's mother singing harmony on the purported first recording of a Cole Porter song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGaHalL7AXY

"Nov Shmoz Ka Pop."
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Greypilgrim
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Greypilgrim
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Joined: February 4th, 2007, 9:48 am

September 29th, 2008, 6:32 pm #6

Is that her with the fan???

WOWZER!!! :lol:

Very good!!
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JazzGuyy
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JazzGuyy
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Joined: June 1st, 2006, 11:26 am

September 29th, 2008, 7:20 pm #7

The chorus in Yiddish on "Happy Feet" was the ultimate!
TANSTAAFL!
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mort bakaprevski
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mort bakaprevski
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Joined: January 1st, 2006, 8:59 pm

September 30th, 2008, 2:31 am #8

greypilgrim wrote: Is that her with the fan???
How should I know??? She's wearing a mask!!!
"Nov Shmoz Ka Pop."
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mort bakaprevski
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mort bakaprevski
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Joined: January 1st, 2006, 8:59 pm

October 5th, 2008, 5:13 pm #9

Moving right along... here's one of the most successful vocal groups of all time: The Mills Bros. They managed to be popular through three decades: 30's, 40's & 50's. This version is my favorite. John Mills, the guitarist & bass, unfortunately, died of pnumonia in 1937. Although their greatest popularity was ahead of them, I don't think they were ever as creative without him.

Harry, the one standing next to John was Dean Martin's favorite singer and certainly one of mine as well!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTyKPP2-B5k

Now for the distaff side. Contemporaries of the Mills Bros. were the Boswell Sisters. From the standpoint of ensemble singing (balance, blend, attacks & releases, etc.), the Andrews Sisters were superior. But as good as Patty was (& she was plenty good), she wasn't Connee Boswell. Connee had soul that few others had.

Here they are in a Fleischer Sing-a-long. Special bonus is Eddie Lang on guitar:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYRVvfBghZs

Enjoy!!!!
"Nov Shmoz Ka Pop."
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panzer the great & terrible
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panzer the great & terrible
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Joined: September 4th, 2005, 4:52 am

October 6th, 2008, 3:12 am #10

Thanks for the wonderful thread Mort! You're the greatest for sharing all this cool stuff. I hadn't heard of The Real Group, but they swing like demons. Imagine -- swingin' Swedes!
Life is just a bowl of cherries, it's too mysterious, don't take it serious...
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