Saturday, May 22, 2010
Outstanding, very old-fashioned versions of Sunday School songs by an uncredited (but gifted) group of musicians on the Peter Rabbit label. When I first spotted this cover in the Goodwill, I figured it was one of those Modern Sound label cheapies--that's what it looks like. I was wrong.
I was wrong, too, when I figured (halfway through the rip) that the LP couldn't be saved. Too many crosscuts and a short series of jumps in the opening track on side 2 (Tell Me the Story of Jesus) had me ready to axe the project. Not to worry--eliminating the right track got rid of most of the clicks, and the side 2 jump was fixed by my usual method, i.e. by gently planing the crosscut to level the area, thus allowing the needle to play through without jumping. And then splicing out the clicks.
Sound complicated? Sure, but most of the restoration work, as ever, was really MAGIX's, without which most of the crackle and and all of the clicks would still be there. I cringe thinking about it.
The performances are great, especially for such an uncredited, low-budget effort, and the hymn selection is inspired (no pun intended), save for maybe the last one--Away in the Manger? Nevertheless, possibly the best kiddie LP of the Christian variety this blogger has ever heard.
Oh, Be Careful, by the way, uses a melody much better known as the tune for If You're Happy and You Know It.
To the music: Prayers and Hymns a Child Should Know
THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC
JESUS LOVES ME
THE LORD'S PRAYER
OH, BE CAREFUL
STAND UP FOR JESUS
ROCK OF AGES
NOW THE DAY IS OVER
TELL ME THE STORY OF JESUS
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD
THE OLD RUGGED CROSS
CAN A LITTLE CHILD LIKE ME
JESUS, TENDER SHEPHERD
AWAY IN THE MANGER
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Ferde is back at MY(P)WHAE! We'll be hearing portions of his Return of Jesse James score, which I've edited together to form a kind of suite--to my surprise, it holds together nicely, in spite of the fact I was limited to using music not blocked by dialogue or (too many) sound effects. Far from ending up with too few snippets, I had to trim some spots to keep things from dragging, since much of the music was written for scenes of people sneaking around, or waiting for someone to show up, or standing around, and so on. This is not to say that this short, expertly edited movie lacks action--quite the reverse. For a no-budget Western, it's very well put together... so I was pretty surprised when I discovered that its director, Arthur Hilton, was also responsible for Cat Women of the Moon (1953)! Can't win 'em all, I guess.
I was less surprised to find out that, as an editor, Hilton won an academy award nomination for The Killers (1946) and worked on TV series like Mission: Impossible and The Rifleman. The man had talent.
Grofe's score is very good and contains some nice surprises, chief among them the fanfare that, fourteen years later, opened his World's Fair Suite (1964). That fanfare can be heard in the brass in the opening title music, though it's easier to i.d. in these various action snippets. In addition, a portion of Grofe's Tabloid Suite (1932) is used (very effectively) in a telegraph office scene.
Did that whet your Grofe appetite? Then download the suite at once. These bits and pieces of the score make for a highly entertaining and amazingly smooth 9:09 whole:
The Return of Jesse James (1950)--"Suite" from the Ferde Grofe score (directly from soundtrack)