The Lettermen have been doing what they do for more than years now. Original member Tony Butala leads the current trio who continue to record and maintain an ambitious concert schedule. This 1992 compilation "The Lettermen: Capitol Collectors Series" is by far the best available anthology of this legendary vocal group. You will find just about all of their Capitol hits here including "The Way You Look Tonight", "When I Fall In Love", the great medley from 1967 "Goin' Out of My Head/Can't Take My Eyes Off You" as well as one of the surprise hits of the summer of 1969 "Hurt So Bad". But the great listening does not stop with the big hits. I found just about every track on this disc to be quite enjoyable. Most surprising perhaps is "Oh My Love" a somewhat obscure Beatles tune and "Everything Is Good About You" originally recorded by the Supremes. You are also sure to enjoy the Lettermen's version of the Four Coins classic "Shangri-La" and of course their other great medley from 1970 "Traces/Memories". While The Lettermen achieved considerable success on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart they were also a force to be reckoned with on the Billboard Pop Albums chart. In fact, The Lettermen saw 32 consecutive album releases make the Top 100. Quite a feat! The Lettermen were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001. "The Lettermen: Capitol Collectors Series comes with a very attractive booklet that includes a neat collage featuring many of their album covers and 45 rpm picture sleeves. Having said that, the lack of any meaningful liner notes was a big drawback for me. But all in all if you are a big fan of group harmony and/or 1960's pop you really can't go wrong with this one. Recommended.
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Paul Tognetti (drifter51)
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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The Lettermen are an American pop music vocal group. The Lettermen's trademark is close-harmony pop songs with light arrangements. They were popular mainly with adult audiences during the 1960s. The group was formed in late 1950s by Mike Barnett, Dick Stewart and Tony Butala. They auditioned for Jackie Barnett, chief comedy writer for the Jimmy Durante TV show. They landed the part to impersonate The Rhythm Boys, the vocal group that traveled with Paul Whiteman and his orchestra in the late 1920s, and gave Bing Crsoby his initial fame. The "Newcomers of 1928" review opened on 28 February 1958 at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas, Nevada. This review also starred Paul Whiteman, Buster Keaton, Rudy Vallée, Harry Richmond and Fifi D´Orsay. They played to sell-out audiences and were held over for many weeks. This review also played a six week review at the Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, with Butala being the only consistent Letterman. Barnett and Russell were replaced by Gary Clarke and Jerry Paul. When the review ended, Butala landed a job as singer/bass player in a lounge group, "Bill Norvas and the Upstarts", with Gary Clarke. After a few months, Clarke left the group and was replaced by Jim Pike. Pike and Butala decided to leave the Upstarts and resume the Lettermen although they had not yet decided to use the Lettermen name. Pike envisioned a group where each member was an excellent soloist as well as a competent group singer. Pike recommended the third Letterman should ...