Anthology: The Original King of Pop
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This collection of 27 songs takes the listener on an expansive trip, following Burr’s career from one of his earliest recordings, made in 1903, to one of his last commercial releases, cut in 1928. It demonstrates the variety of material Henry recorded, shows his ease with sacred, Scottish, and sentimental material, and it even highlights his fun side, joking around with Ada Jones in 1914 and with Billy Murray in 1925. Also included are two standout performances with the legendary Peerless Quartet, one from 1908 and another from 1917, along with a beautiful rendering on Burr’s own label of “The Missouri Waltz” by the Sterling Trio, and representative duets with Henry’s best known partners, Frank Stanley and Albert Campbell. For 25 years, Henry Burr proved himself "The Original King of Pop."
About the Artist
Probably no one, not even Billy Murray, participated in as many recordings in the acoustic era as Henry Burr. He was born in Canada as Harry McClaskey, and he originally wanted to be a concert singer and to perform sacred hymns, such as he did in one of his first recording sessions, waxing "The Holy City." His voice had a very serious sound to it, which you can hear on songs like the traditional Scottish song, "Loch Lomond," "Silver Threads Among the Gold," and the pathetic "Mighty Lak' a Rose." But Harry warmed to the horn and soothed the hearts of audiences for over 25 years with his impeccable delivery of the most beautiful ballads the world has heard. You can hear his newly mature voice on "I've Got the Time, I've Got the Place, But It's Hard to Find the Girl" and the big hit, "I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now," and a few years later on the perennial favorite, "When You and I Were Young, Maggie."
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As I mentioned earlier, this collection presents not only Burr's work as a solo artist, but also features duets with popular artists of the day like Albert Campbell, Frank Stanley and Ada Jones as well as a sample of his work with the legendary Peerless Quartet. There are tunes you will surely recognize like "In The Shade of The Old Apple Tree", "Shine On Harvest Moon", "Peg O' My Heart" and "I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now" to name but a few. Mitch Miller would revive many of these tunes in the 1950's but this is the real deal folks. Among the other tunes you are sure to enjoy are Irving Berlin's "Always" from 1926 as well as "My Buddy" and "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles". I must report that I was absolutely captivated by this stuff.
Archeophone Records, based in St. Joseph, Mo., is a small company dedicated to bringing back to life music that many of us assumed was lost forever. The company takes a great deal of care to produce the best sound quality possible. They have done a remarkable job here. And the 24 page booklet is chock full of information about not only the artist, but also about each of the songs presented. "Anthology" would be a wonderful addition to the music collection of any city or town, high school or college library. What a great way to expose young people to our rich musical heritage! And needless to say it would be a worthwhile addition to your collection as well. Hats off to the folks at Archeophone records for yet another job well done. Very highly recommended!