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Post new topic Nashville's attraction to the Anita Kerr Singers ?
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Author Topic:  Nashville's attraction to the Anita Kerr Singers ?
Gary Hoetker


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 29 Jan 2019 12:51 pm    
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It was almost a fetish.They all had great, ethereal voices but they were not Country, IMO.
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Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post  Posted 29 Jan 2019 1:24 pm    
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Same with the Jordanaires...

Anita Kerr sure had quite a career, though, even after leaving Nashville in 1965.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anita_Kerr
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Tony Glassman


From:
The Great Northwest
Post  Posted 29 Jan 2019 1:41 pm    
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Not a big fan of either. They were emblematic of the many factors that sucked the soul out of country music.
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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post  Posted 30 Jan 2019 6:33 am    
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I agree that they greatly detracted from many recordings on which they were added by Nashville producers. That said, albeit in a very white bread manner, Anita was an excellent arranger and the singers sang with great intonation and precision. The best example of this professionalism is on this record at about 33:40.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onCRDhWMHwo

This is the same territory that the Singers Unlimited mined but they took more harmonic chances than Kerr. The entire easy listening genre is not my cup of tea but I recognize that much of it was played by consummate pro musicians who were happy to get the gig and to feed their families. And once in a while, those ooh ooh background vocals actually added something - as on Santo and Johnny's recording of Off Shore, where the wordless vocals add a haunting quality to an already haunting song. Tony Mottola is another easy listening musician whose ability to project technically and emotionally through the guitar truly transcended the easy listening genre LPs he often recorded. And sonically speaking , those Command recordings had brilliant stereo sound that still sound impressive almost 60 years later.
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Charlie McDonald


From:
out of the blue
Post  Posted 30 Jan 2019 7:04 am    
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'Bachelor in Paradise' came to mind right away. Modern country wasn't very far behind the movies.
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 30 Jan 2019 10:33 am    
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Andy Volk wrote:
I agree that they greatly detracted from many recordings on which they were added by Nashville producers. That said, albeit in a very white bread manner, Anita was an excellent arranger and the singers sang with great intonation and precision. The best example of this professionalism is on this record at about 33:40.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onCRDhWMHwo

This is the same territory that the Singers Unlimited mined but they took more harmonic chances than Kerr. The entire easy listening genre is not my cup of tea but I recognize that much of it was played by consummate pro musicians who were happy to get the gig and to feed their families. And once in a while, those ooh ooh background vocals actually added something - as on Santo and Johnny's recording of Off Shore, where the wordless vocals add a haunting quality to an already haunting song. Tony Mottola is another easy listening musician whose ability to project technically and emotionally through the guitar truly transcended the easy listening genre LPs he often recorded. And sonically speaking , those Command recordings had brilliant stereo sound that still sound impressive almost 60 years later.

Well said, Andy. Patsy Cline with the Jordanaires also comes to mind, and it is hard to imagine some of her big classic hits without those oohs and aah’s - filling a role that a pedal steel might also play.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 30 Jan 2019 11:05 am    
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I'm not one to criticize the Jordanaires, they add a lot to some of the old country recordings. Very Happy
Erv
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Charlie McDonald


From:
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Post  Posted 30 Jan 2019 12:21 pm    
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I understand one of the Jordanaires is jointly responsible for Nashville notation system, and the other fellow, his name is lost to me too.
That's a substantial contribution. And they didn't do 'Bachelor in Paradise,' but perhaps they should have. Not.
Certainly, some Patsy Cline records wouldn't have been the same without the Jordanaires. Not to mention Elvis.
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 30 Jan 2019 3:16 pm    
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My thoughts...

The people probably mostly responsible for the "Countrypolitan" transformation were Chet Atkins, Bill Porter, and Owen Bradley. Their goal was to give an uptown sound to country music, which had become a niche market, largely due to the growth of rock and pop vocals. (Instrumental music tanked in the '60s, never to return really successfully.) Whether it was a good idea or not depends on your point of view. Sales expanded tremendously, but the end product lost it's identity. This was, of course, intentional, as "crossover artists" (those who could then be identified as being both pop and country) now enjoyed bigger popularity. It didn't last, though, because the original audience soon lost interest, and there were few venues and radio outlets left for the classic country artists.

I don't blame the vocal backing groups that were used with countrypolitan recordings, as they were just a tool of the producers.
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post  Posted 1 Feb 2019 8:58 am    
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It took me a long time to get used to hearing the Anita Kerr Singers on Jerry Byrd's "Hawaiian Beach Party" album. At first I thought the vocals ruined the record, but after hundreds of rotations I got used to hearing the singers trading the melody with Jerry. Now I can't image those songs without the singers! As others have said, that style of vocal backing was a phase that lasted for a few short years. When I hear it, I'm reminded of a bygone era.
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Bob Carlucci


From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post  Posted 1 Feb 2019 7:46 pm    
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meh... Never did anything for me.. Country pop/pablum/White bread/ no soul shmalz...

I liked lawrence welk a lot, really.. He had the best musicians on the planet in his orchestra, and he let them air it out often.. however, when his band and singers covered " country" songs as they did all too often , I would wretch.. THATS what songs backed vocally by the Anita Kerr Singers and the Jordanaires reminded me of so often.. Saccharine....

Some of it was good, no doubt, but as mentioned, it seemed to suck the soul out of some otherwise good material... bob
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Barry Blackwood


Post  Posted 2 Feb 2019 11:33 am    
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Sounds as though some of you fellas might have preferred the "I Need A Coors Singers..."

I can't find fault with them - they were consummate professionals all, with a unique and very identifiable sound. The blame should have been placed on the producers, IMO.. Razz
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Bobby Nelson


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 4 Feb 2019 10:24 am    
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The worst example of this I can think of is the Jimmy Day Golden Steel Guitar Hits album. The one I have is compiled with Steel And Strings, in which the backing vocals are a better fit. But, take Bud's Bounce for example - MAN! is that bad! I love the album anyway but those vocals are just a nightmare.

That being said, I did like a good portion of the Nashville sound, with it's strings and backing vocals. It's a different thing than the old Hillbilly country (as Rose Maddux referred to it), but both were pretty good I thought. And, it did save C&W for a time anyway.
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