In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
One of the most innovative jazz/pop vocal groups of all time, the pioneering Hi-Lo's influenced countless pop, R&B, and doo wop groups from the '50s right up to the present.
They formed in December 1953 when Gene Puerling of Milwaukee and friend Bob Strasen met Clark Burroughs and Bob Morse. The latter two were vocalists with the Encores, the vocal group for the Billy May Band. When Billy's band stopped traveling, the Hi-Lo's were born. Reportedly named because of their extreme vocal and physical ranges (Strasen and Morse were tall, Gene and Clark were short), the Hi-Lo's practiced at Clark and Gene's Los Angeles apartment, refining their revolutionary voicings. The group were themselves influenced by such artists as The Four Freshmen, The Modernaires, and Mel Torme's Mel-Tones.
With Clark on lead, Bob and Bob on tenors, and Gene on bass, the Hi-Lo's fractured the traditional definition of vocal group structure with a tonal blend rarely equaled by any quartet.
Displaying 1-9 of 9 items.
Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries
Review: The Hi-lo's were formed in April of l953 by bass singer and arranger Gene Puerling. Their tight, close, ringing harmonies are applied to an eclectic variety of music, barbershop, folk, bossa nova etc. etc. All the songs are accompanied by a three piece combo of piano, bass, and drums except for the extremely beautiful 'Down By The Sally Gardens.' Aside from the title track other well known tunes are 'Lazy Afternoon,' 'Georgia On My Mind,' 'Fascinatin' Rhythm' and 'You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby.' On less well known tunes they rock, they jazz it up, they visit Hawaii. They are formidable!
Songlist: Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries, My Sugar Is So Refined, April Snow, The Lady in Red, Lulu's Back in Town, Lazy Afternoon, I Could Write A Book, Georgia On My Mind, (Ol') Rockin' Chair, Small Fry, (Back Home Again In) Indiana, You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby, Down By The Sally Gardens, My Little Grass Shack
Clap Yo' Hands
Review: Comprising two of their records from the 1950's-1954's 'I Presume' and 1958's 'In Stereo'-'Clap Yo' Hands' captures the close harmony sound of the Hi-Lo's, who defined the vocal jazz of their era. The playground for the talents of the brilliant arranger Gene Puerling, who went on to form the Singers Unlimited, the Hi-Lo's toured with theJudy Garland show and sang with legends such as Frank Sinatra and Rosemary Clooney. These tracks are orchestrated (by Frank Comstock, who backed the group on many early recordings) and include wonderful standards such as 'Summertime,' 'Long Ago and Far Away,' 'Surrey With The Fringe On Top' and 'Nice Work If You Can Get It.' This is a jubilant recording that is alive with the joy of music. We have it on good authority that 'Clap Yo' Hands' includes some of the group's favorite songs.
Songlist: Clap Yo' Hands, Long Ave and Far Away, You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby, Shadow Waltz, Chinatown, My Chinatown, Too Young for the Blues, Summertime, You Took Advantage of Me, Birth of the Blues, Surrey With the Fringe on Top, Put Your Dreams Away, Button Up Your Overcoat, Speak Low, Jeepers Creepers, I Thought About You, Nice Work if You Can Get It, Stars Fell on Alabama, Rockin' Chair
Review: Here, in their full glory, are the first two releases the group recorded on Reprise. This is classic stuff as these vocal masters explore two different musical genres with their usual sophistication and expertise. They use the most difficult form of voice pattern. Unlike many vocal groups, which keeps to intervals of thirds fifths and ninths, The Hi-Lo's apply intricate harmonies, moving tones, and suspended chord intervals using about every altered degree of the solmization scale in their arrangements. There are many gems including the practically a cappella 'Black Is The Color of My True Love's Hair' featuring a rare solo exquisitely sung by Clark Burroughs and most of the vocal arrangements are by the man himself, Gene Puerling. The majority of these tracks have not been previously released on CD making this a great addition to all of their fans collection. Includes original LP art work and liner notes.
Songlist: Carnaval, The Gift, Let's Go To Brasil, A New Dream, Gold Brazillian Sun, One Note Samba, The Duck ( O Pato ), Cry Your Sadness, Desafinado, Once Again, Love and The Rose, No More Brasil, Sixteen Tons, Turkey In The Straw, Careless Love, Cotton Fields, Black Is The Color of My True Loves Hair, Ezekiel Daw de Wheel, Yellow Rose of Texas, Michael, Gotta Travel On, Cockles and Mussels, On Top Of Old Smokey
Fools Rush In
Review: Here's the recording that started the career of quite possibly the best vocal jazz arranger ever and certainly one of our favorites. In April 1953 24-year-old Gene Puerling and his friend Bob Strasen met Clark Burroughs and Bob Morse within a week of moving to Los Angeles and together formed the Hi-Lo's. Taking their name from the incredible vocal range they covered between them it was also true that, while Puerling and Burroughs were five feet seven and five feet five respectively, Morse and Strasen topped six feet. Recorded for Starlite Records and released in 1954 'Listen to The Hi-Lo's' received rich praise from the critics and led to a series of titles on Starlight which included collaborations with Frank Comstock. Gene Puerling's genius in arranging complex yet pleasing vocal arrangements is apparent from the very first track on this historic recording which is here released for the first time on CD. This import has the original liner notes and the earliest photographs we have seen of the group and shows how young they were when they first found success. This is a collector's title that will gather no dust on your shelf, as you will be listening to it time and time again. Fabulous!
Songlist: June In January, Little White Lies, I Don't Want To Cry Anymore, She's Funny That Way, Whatever Lola Wants, Island of Desire, You Brought A New Kind of Love To Me, Fools Rush In, Have You Met Ms. Jones?, Where Are You?, You Can't Hardly Get Them No More
Review: A new release from the Hi-Lo's is always a welcome occurrence but especially so on this disc which features two of their finest recordings; the 1959 'Love Nest' and the 1960 'All Over the Place'. Accompanied by their long time collaborators The Frank Comstock Orchestra and with vocal arrangements from the incomparable Gene Puerling, this is some of the finest vocal jazz you could have the pleasure of hearing. This recording features many Hi-Lo's gems that have not been available on previously released compilations with such classics as 'Fairyland', 'Isle of Capri', 'April in Fairbanks' and 'Island of the West Indies' among others. The Hi-Lo's were at the height of their fame when they recorded these albums and were recent winners of reader's poll in both Downbeat and Playboy and were performing regularly around the country. These sophisticated, bright and swinging arrangements overjoyed both critics and public alike and we feel confident you, as vocal harmony fans, will be equally bowled over.
Songlist: The Love Nest, Dancing on the Ceiling, Yesterdays, Impossible, But Beautiful, In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning, The Love Nest, This Heart of Mine, Music For Lovers, My Romance, The Lamp is Low, Wait Till You See Her, Fairyland, All Over the Place, Bali Ha'i, How Are Things in Glocca Morra?, My Little Grass Shack in Kealakeua, Hawaii, Sand in My Shoes, Autumn in New York, April in Fairbanks, Italian Street Song, Massachusetts, Isle of Capri, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, Dixie, Island in the West Indies
Review: We admit we're unabashed Hi-Lo's devotees, and the love fest continues with this latest re-issue, comprising 1957's 'Now Hear This' and 1960's 'Broadway Playbill.' What's exceptional about this collection - aside from the performances themselves, of course - is that 18 of the 25 tracks aren't presently available anywhere else. For example, the Hi-lo's arrangements of 'My Favorite Things' and 'Climb Ev'ry Mountain,' from the 'Sound Of Music' had been only a memory until now! Yes, they're accompanied (with orchestrations by Frank Comstock and Warren Barker), but the vocals are so prominent that there's no doubt who's in charge here. The many moods of Gene Puerling's often-imitated style run the gamut from sheer joy ('Sunnyside Up') to the purest expression of longing ('There's No You'). The Hi-Lo's capture the essence of emotion that is music.
Songlist: Sunnyside Up, Laura, A Shine on Your Shoes, The Heather on the Hill, There's No You, Camptown Races, Two Ladies in De Shade of De Banana Tree, Little Girl Blue, Brown-Skin Gal in the Calico Gown, My Time is Your Time, A Quiet Girl, My Melancholy Baby, Overture, Everything's Coming Up Roses, Small World, Together Wherever We Go, You'll Never Get Away From Me, Little Lamb, Mr. Goldstone, I Love You, My Favorite Things, The Sound of Music, Climb Ev'ry Mountain, Gentleman Jimmy, When Did I Fall In Love, Politics and Poker
Review: Though the Hi-Lo's never had any significant impact on the charts, their influence was profound indeed, and later pop harmony groups such as the Beach Boys are much in their debt. Founded by Gene Puerling, who as their arranger must be given credit for the sound they pioneered, the Hi-Lo's versions of standards such as 'Fascinatin' Rhythm,' 'Tenderly' and 'Stormy Weather' are definitely immortal. Contemporary listeners are fortunate indeed that these early recordings are now being re-released in CD format. All twenty-three of these accompanied songs were compiled from their years at Columbia (1956-61), and the track list includes 'My Sugar Is So Refined,' 'Swing Low Sweet Chariot' and 'Deep Purple,' (the latter was also recorded by the Ravens). 'Sugar' opens with a classical flute melody and then explodes into a brassy blast of ear candy; 'Sweet Chariot' has the swing feel of a Western musical hoedown.
Songlist: Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries, Deep Purple , My Sugar Is So Refined, Grahms Lullaby, The Desert Song, Stormy Weather , I Married An Angel, Tenderly, Down The Old Ox Road, Love Walked-In, Basin Street Blues, Fascinatin' Rhythm, Small Fry, Love Locked Out, Lady In Red, Some Minor Changes, Then I'll Be Tired Of You, Moon Faced, Starry-Eyed, Of Thee I Sing, Goody Goody, Indiana (Back Home Again In Indiana), Dancing On The Ceiling
Review: I really don't have to go into who the Hi-Lo's were, or how their sound defined jazz and pop singing from the 1950s on, do I? Good! This CD starts with an lp, originally released on Columbia Records in 1962, 'This Time It's Love,' of 12 (accompanied by an Orchestra conducted by Clare Fischer) love songs, and then goes on to add 14 bonus tracks, including 3 previously unreleased tracks--a generous helping of classic Hi-Lo's. The title tune, 'More Than You Know,' 'The Second Time Around,' 'Besame Mucho,' 'Only Forever,' 'There's a Small Hotel'--these songs by the Hi-Lo's are listed in the dictionary under 'romantic.' Why? Because we can understand every word, and, dammit, we believe every word they're singing! The previously unreleased tracks are 'The Ever-Changing Plains,' 'Nobody's Heart' and 'Camelot.' One song, the lovely 'Star Carol' is a cappella. Tremendous value, great music!
Songlist: My Foolish Heart, More Than You Know, The Second Time Around, Besame Mucho, Only Forever, Let Me Love You, Catch A Falling Star, There's A Small Hotel, The Very Thought of You, Tangerine, On the Alamo, Paradise, Autumn Rain, The Ever Changing Plains, A Face in the Crowd, A Very Special Love, Pamela Throws A Party?, When I Remember, Whistlin' Down the Lane, The Star Carol, Nobody's Heart, A Lot of Livin' To Do, Cindy's Prayer, Camelot, The Trolley Song, Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue
Review: A spate of Hi-Lo's albums have been recently released on CD, but this may be the most auspicious re-emergence yet: the Hi-lo's first two records, paired up for over an hour's worth of great listening. Though some of the cuts can be found on other recordings, the a cappella 'Molly Malone' and 'Through The Years' aren't available anywhere else, and the remarkable harmonizations that were Gene Puerling's unique artistry are gloriously displayed in a riot of tonal color. Also, 'Georgia On My Mind,' and 'They Don't Believe Me,' from their first 1953 recording session for Trend, are included; the latter was on the previously available 'Nice Work If You Can Get It' CD, which has since been discontinued. Anyway, suffice it to say, that among the vocal harmony groups of the 1950's, the Hi-lo's were much imitated, but never duplicated, and their appeal is timeless. Mostly accompanied, with orchestrations by frequent music director Frank Comstock.
Songlist: Summertime, The Birth Of The Blues, Skylark, Through The Years, Shadow Waltz, I'm Beginning To See The Light, Chinatown, My Chinatown, The Surrey With The Fringe On Top, In The Blue Of The Evening, Molly Malone, You're The Tops, Long Ago And Far Away, Rockin' Chair, Stars Fell On Alabama, Nice Work If You Can Get It, I Thought About You, This Is The Night, Too Young For The Blues, Jeepers Creepers, Put Your Dreams Away, Button Up Your Overcoat, Speak Low, Shoeless Joe From Hannibal Mo, They Didn't Believe Me, Georgia On My Mind