Welcome, welcome… or should I say, “thank ya, thank ya,” because this week we’re traveling to the bygone days of Lawrence Welk with his 1960s compilation album, The Champagne Music of Lawrence Welk. This review is brought to us by today’s guest, the lovely Hazel Honeysuckle, a talented NYC-based burlesque performer who enlightens us with her unique perspective on music as an on-stage tool, as well as a brief history of burlesque and its resurgence as a popular performance art.
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Next week’s review:
The R.E.V.O. EP and selected covers by Walk off the Earth
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I scrounged up some supplementary info to fill some holes in that cagey book jacket!
“…The Champagne Music of Lawrence Welk [released 9/10/1993] is a reissue of a Vocalion budget album with the same title and cover photo. The Vocalion album collected a dozen of Welk’s Coral recordings from the early to mid-’50s, but was originally released circa 1960, perhaps to compete with another album titled Champagne Music of Lawrence Welk that appeared on the Dot label that year. Champagne Music of Lawrence Welk music CDs Two songs from the original Vocalion LP, “Meet Mr. Callaghan” and “Joey’s Theme,” are omitted in favor of “Oh Happy Day” and “12th Street Rag.” “Oh Happy Day” features the bass vocals of Larry Hooper on lead and was a Top Five hit for Welk in 1953, and the instrumental “12th Street Rag” dates from the same period. “The Man with the Banjo,” which again features Hooper, is an enjoyable performance that competed unsuccessfully against the Ames Brothers’ hit version, whereas Welk’s inferior vocal rendition of “Ebb Tide” justifiably failed to gain a foothold in the marketplace against Vic Damone’s sublime treatment, which reached the Top Ten. Welk’s rinky-dink organ arrangement of “Stompin’ at the Savoy” steps lightly instead of stomping, which isn’t a criticism — it’s Welk’s trademark sound. There is also a nostalgic assortment of pop oldies such as “Say It Isn’t So” and “There’s a Small Hotel,” sung by a variety of soloists and vocal groups that are not identified on the CD (and were not identified on the Vocalion LP, either). Welk’s recordings have been so haphazardly handled in the digital era that The Champagne Music of Lawrence Welk stands out for compiling some rare singles and one actual hit. ~ Greg Adams Personnel: Lawrence Welk (accordion).”
Champagne Music of Lawrence Welk Audio CD. (1996 – 2013 CD Universe; Portions copyright 1948 – 2013 Muze Inc.)
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