In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
The Norman Luboff Choir was among the most popular choral ensembles of their day, releasing a series of hit easy-listening LPs during the late 1950s and 1960s. Luboff was born May 14, 1917 in Chicago, where he began his career as a vocalist and arranger for area radio programs. In 1948 he relocated to Hollywood, singing on to compose movie music for Warner Bros. The first incarnation of the Norman Luboff Choir was formed during the mid-1950s, and in the years to follow they released a series of albums on Columbia that drew on music from a variety of genres and geographic locales, with titles including Calypso Holiday, Broadway!, Songs Of The Cowboy and Songs Of The Caribbean. The choir also backed a number of vocalists including Harry Belafonte and Doris Day, and although their recording career came to a halt during the late 1960s, they continued touring until Luboff's cancer-related death on September 22, 1987.-
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Review: Certainly one of our most unusual Christmas CD's on offer, these 1956/57 recordings are a blast of refreshment. The first 12 tracks, from "Calypso Holiday," are accompanied, sung in tribal languages as well as English, French and Spanish, and are guaranteed to cheer up anybody's holiday blues! Songs such as "Yellow Bird," "Pig Knuckles and Rice" and "Bamboo-Tamboo" are a wonderful break from the traditional carols, but lest you miss them, "Songs Of Christmas," features a series of medleys, all a cappella and arranged by Norman Luboff. The Norman Luboff Choir were quite popular in the '50's and '60's, too commercial to be considered classical, but nonetheless their renditions of the holiday chestnuts are first-rate.
My Old Kentucky Home
Review: Two great LPs on one CD, Norman Luboff's "Songs of the South" and "Songs of the Sea," both issued in 1956, bring us the NLC in their popular prime. All songs feature the patented Luboff satin-smooth arrangements and rich harmonies, and this one has lots of great a cappella on it! "My Old Kentucky Home," "Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen," "Deep River," Carry Me Back to Old Virginny," "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," "Dixie" and "Eternal Father" are all sans accompaniment, and the lovely "Shenandoah" and "Lowlands" are only minimally accompanied. These tunes clearly show that the NLC was one of the best a cappella bands of any era. A total of 29 nostalgic winners--just listen to "I Must Walk That Lonesome Valley," "Un Deux Trois," "The Ballad of the Boll Weevil," "Homeward Bound," "A Roving"--these songs were passed on from generation to generation because people loved them and sang them a lot, not because they got a lot of radio play. A tremendous value and recommended!
Review: Here are 19 songs, all from the movies, all arranged and conducted by Norman Luboff, A true musical eclectic, Luboff was driven to render every piece with a painstaking exactitude and an arrangement that immediately defined it as a Luboff performance. His choir toured annually from from 1963 until Luboff's death in 1987, and recorded more than 75 albums. This perfectionism is clear on every cut of every Luboff album, of which four, from 1961-65, are represented here. "All the Things You Are," "It Had to Be You," "As Time Goes By" (which Sam played again in "Casablanca," but actually was from the 1931 musical "Everybody's Welcome"), the title tunes from "My Foolish Heart," "Days of Wine and Roses," "High Noon," "On Green Dolphin Street," "An Affair to Remember," "Ruby" (from "Ruby Gentry") and "Laura," the lovely "Unchained Melody," "I'll Get By," "The Song from Moulin Rouge" ("Where is Your Heart"), and Irving Berlin's wonderful "Remember." Luboff is an American master, and his choir is one of the most powerful vocal groups of all time. Sure, all songs are gently accompanied, but the focus is on the smooth-as-maple syrup harmonies. These songs unabashedly tug at our heartstrings and push every romantic and sentimental button, and all we can say is, "highly recommended!"
Cockles and Mussels
Review: The Norman Luboff choir is one of the great choral folk/pop groups of all time, and "Songs" is one of those great 2-LPs on one CD compilations that give you so much great music for your money. First released in 1959, these 24 (all but one song accompanied) songs embrace the music of many countries, most of which are fresh to our ears today, but nonetheless smooth, rich and beautiful. The one a cappella tune, "Dear Fatherland, Farewell," is a nostalgic winner with bass harmonies to die for. Soloists William Reeve, Betty Mulliner and William Lee amaze us and break our hearts. Some of our favorites: "Lift a Glass to Friendship" from Poland, "Pepita" from Portugal, "Bamboo Flute" from China, "Cockles and Mussels" from Ireland, "The Lonely Birch Tree" from Russia, "Valencianita" from Venezuela - all are wonderful and touching. Highly recommended!