Bing Crosby A Southern Memoir
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- Released: January 25, 2011
- Originally Released: 2011
- Label: Bing Crosby Ent
- 1.On The Alamo
- 2.Alabamy Bound
- 3.Where the Morning Glories Grow
- 4.Stars Fell On Alabama
- 5.Carolina in the Morning
- 7.Way Down Yonder in New Orleans
- 8.Georgia on My Mind
- 9.Cryin' For the Carolines
- 10.She Is the Sunshine of Virginia
- 11.Sleepy Time Down South
- 12.Sailing Down The Chesapeake Bay
- 13.Bing's South Texas Quail Hunting Medley: Galway Bay, Mack the Knife, The Surrey with The Fringe On Top, The Pleasure of Your Company
- 14.On the Alamo (alternate version)
- 15.Alabamy Bound (alternate version)
- 16.Stars Fell On Alabama (alternate version)
- 17.Swanee (alternate version)
- 18.Georgia on My Mind (original Lp edit)
- 19.Sleepy Time Down South (alternate version)
Personnel: Dominic Mumolo, Don Raffell, John Rotella (saxophone); Joe Valenti (trumpet); Richard Taylor "Dick" Nash (trombone); Paul Smith (piano); Frank Capp (drums).
Audio Remixer: Robert S. Bader.
Liner Note Author: Arne Fogel.
Recording information: T.T.G. Studios, Los Angeles, CA (01/16/1975); T.T.G. Studios, Los Angeles, CA (01/21/1975).
Arranger: Paul Smith .
Bing Crosby's U.K.-only 1975 LP A Southern Memoir gets its first-ever stateside release 35 years after the fact with this CD reissue, courtesy of Bing Crosby Enterprises via Collectors' Choice Music, which adds seven previously unreleased bonus tracks, most of which are alternate takes of the album's songs. The disc was a pet project of Crosby's (he is even credited as producer), the concept being a collection of songs from the first decades of the 20th century with references to the American South -- "Alabamy Bound," "Carolina in the Morning," etc. Crosby employed pianist/arranger/conductor Paul Smith to come up with a varied group of charts, some of which are typical of the traditional pop style in which the singer usually was heard, some (e.g., the 1917 copyright "Where the Morning Glories Grow") similar to the way they might have been done back when they were written, and some "up-to-date" (as Crosby put it in the original liner notes). It is those last versions that must have given Crosby fans pause in 1975 and sound particularly dated in 2010. Partway through "Alabamy Bound" and throughout "Georgia on My Mind," Smith has used a funk/disco approach … la the mid-'70s. Particularly on "Georgia on My Mind," it suggests that the singer should be Isaac Hayes instead of Bing Crosby, and it has the so-bad-it's-funny quality of The Ethel Merman Disco Album. Apparently, the arrangement was so off-putting to the British branch of Decca Records, which licensed the album for its initial release, that it was edited down for the LP. The full version is restored here, with the edited version relegated to "bonus track" status. Thankfully, this style is limited to a couple of songs on the disc. Otherwise, A Southern Memoir is a pleasant late-career effort for the 71-year-old Crosby, part of his final renaissance as a singer. (The most notable bonus track is a privately recorded set of parodies, "Bing's South Texas Quail Hunting Medley," which provides a sense of Crosby's wit and affection for his friends, with its personal references to his hunting buddies.) ~ William Ruhlmann
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