Recording information: Chesterfield Radio Show (06/23/1944-06/14/1953); Philco Radio Show (06/23/1944-06/14/1953); Royal Festival Hall, London, England (06/23/1944-06/14/1953).
Arranger: Burl Ives.
This collection gathers over 100 Burl Ives recordings on four discs, featuring multiple versions of his signature tune, "Wayfaring Stranger," which was a smoothing out of an 1830s religious folk tune, and several turns on his 1947 hit with the Andrews Sisters, "Blue Tail Fly," including studio, live, and radio takes. Nothing here is startling or controversial, as Ives continually strove to present folk music in the simplest light without ruffling feathers, much as Bradley Kincaid had done in the era before him. If there is a problem here, it is in the abundance of tracks, since after a dozen or so songs (and repeated versions of "Blue Tail Fly"), it all begins to feel like an endless Burl Ives loop. General listeners might be better off with a single-disc set. ~ Steve Leggett