Billy Murray Anthology (The Denver Nightingale)
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- by Various Artists ~ The Phonographic Yearbook 1913: Come and See the Big Parade ~ $16.78
- by Isham Jones ~ Shadows On the Swanee: 1932-1934 ~ $15.39
- Released: September 2, 2003
- Label: Archeophone Records
- 1.The Way to Kiss a Girl
- 3.Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis
- 5.Come Take a Trip in My Airship
- 6.Yankee Doodle Boy, The - (Take 6)
- 7.Under the Anheuser Bush - (Take 7)
- 8.Give My Regards to Broadway - (Take 2)
- 9.In My Merry Oldsmobile - (Take 1)
- 10.Everybody Works But Father
- 11.Grand Old Rag, The - (Take 3)
- 12.He Goes to Church on Sunday
- 14.Shine on Harvest Moon
- 16.By the Light of the Silvery Moon
- 17.Casey Jones
- 18.The Cubanola Glide
- 19.He'd Have to Get Under - Get Out and Get Under (To Fix Up His ...)
- 20.He's a Devil in His Own Home Town - (Take 1)
- 21.I Love a Piano - (Take 1)
- 22.Pretty Baby - (Take 2)
- 23.K-K-K-Katy (Stammering Song) - (Take 4, Stammering Song)
- 24.He Went in Like a Lion and Came Out Like a Lamb - (Take 2)
- 25.You've Got to See Mamma Ev'ry Night (Or You Can't See Mamma at All)
- 26.That Old Gang of Mine - (Take 1)
- 27.Charly My Boy - (Take 2)
- 28.I Faw Down Go Boom
- 29.Amos 'N Andy - (Take 2)
- 30.It's the Same Old Shillelagh
Recorded between 1903 & 1940.
Liner Note Authors: Frank W. Hoffman; Quentin Riggs; Richard Martin ; Meagan Hennessey.
Recording information: 1903-1940.
Billy Murray may have been the best-selling recording artist of the first quarter of the 20th century, but his name and work had fallen into obscurity before his death in 1954. He remained forgotten in the LP era and for the first decades of the CD era. But this disc belatedly brings him into the digital realm, and it does so with spectacular success. Murray had so many popular recordings that a single disc could not hope to encompass them, but given the time limitations the producers have done the best possible job, beginning with one of his first tracks ("The Way to Kiss a Girl," circa 1903), then filling the bulk of the disc with his undisputed biggest hits, including his versions of George M. Cohan standards like "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and "Give My Regards to Broadway," plus such evergreens as "Pretty Baby" and "K-K-K-Katy." Murray also scored numerous hits in a duo with Ada Jones, and one of those, "Shine on, Harvest Moon," serves as an example. There is taste of his many hits with vocal quartets, too. The album follows Murray's popular decline in the late 1920s and '30s and his attempted comeback in the early '40s with a few selected tracks, giving a full sense of his recording career. Murray's excellent articulation and comic timing made him a perfect singer for the acoustic era of recording, allowing him to be understood and appreciated despite the technical limitations. He led the way for such successors as Al Jolson and Eddie Cantor, and he set a standard for natural, conversational singing that informed popular music long after he himself passed from the scene. This long-overdue compilation presents the highlights of his extensive catalog; there is plenty more where it came from. ~ William Ruhlmann
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