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A pioneer of American popular music finally gets his due.

  • Dec 13, 2008
Rating:
+5
Who was Henry Burr and why would anyone spend good money to listen to recordings that were made 75 to 100 years ago? According to the liner notes provided with the just released CD simply titled "Anthology", Henry Burr is perhaps the most prolific recording artist of all-time. Burr himself "participated in over 5000 recordings, issued and reissued on somewhere between 8000 and 12000 discs and cylanders, on well over 100 labels--whether as a solo artist, in duets, trios or quartets." Indeed, during the first quarter of the 20th century, when the recording industry was in its infancy, Henry Burr was the undisputed "king" of popular music. Yet for the past 50 years or so his recordings have been "scarce as hens teeth". Now, more than 100 years after Henry's first recording made the charts, Archeophone Records presents an incredible collection featuring 27 of Henry Burrs best and most popular recordings. In the making for several years now, this disc was well worth the wait.
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!

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December 13, 2008
Definatly seems like something i would like to check out, thanks for the information.
 
December 13, 2008
Thanks for introducing this musical junkie to some good new info. Never heard of Burr, but is well worth "knowing"
 
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Paul Tognetti ()
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I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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Wiki

Now, for the first time ever on CD, Archeophone presents the songs of Henry Burr, the most popular and most prolific ballad-singing tenor of the acoustic era of recording. Here are his biggest hits: "Come Down, Ma Evenin' Star," "In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree," "Love Me and the World Is Mine," "M-O-T-H-E-R," "A Baby's Prayer at Twilight," and so many more. We've got a great cross-section of material from throughout Burr's career and highlighted the duets, trios, and quartets that he sang in.

The Most Prolific Tenor
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."

The Dean of Ballad Singers
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."

The Best of Team Players
Henry Burr ...

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Tags

Music, Albums, American Popular Song, Tin Pan Alley Pop

Details

Artist: Henry Burr
Label: Archeophone
Genre: American popular Song
Release Date: March 17, 2005

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