I’m still working my way through the vinyl I grabbed from the bag sale at Gabriel’s Used Bookstore. Most of it is listen once, then dispose or destroy, although I have a mild curiosity about who the owner of these singles was.
According to Wikipedia, the Mariners were:
a pop and gospel vocal group of the mid 20th century, particularly noted for their work with Arthur Godfrey.
The Mariners were a four-piece all-male racially integrated group (two white and two African American members). They formed during World War II, in 1942, at Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn; the four members (Tom Lockard, Jim Lewis, Nat Dickerson and Martin Karl) were serving in the United States Coast Guard there. They toured Pacific military bases in 1945.
Arthur Godfrey hired them, and they were regulars on his radio show and later his television shows for several years. The presence of the integrated Mariners brought complaints from Southern politicians and Southern CBS affiliates, which Godfrey publicly and scathingly rebuffed.Godfrey summarily fired The Mariners in 1955 (a fairly common modus for Godfrey during these years).
The Mariners then guested on other shows such as the Ed Sullivan Show and continued to record (on the Cadence Records label founded by Godfrey’s musical director Archie Bleyer) and appear on New York radio, but with diminishing popularity.
My image of the past is stark, so the idea of a racially integrated music group in the 1950s surprises me more than it should. Cool find.
This one kills me, though — I can’t stand Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians. I didn’t know that I hated them until I heard three seconds of this song — then I Googled Waring, who was “America’s Singing Master” and “The Man Who Taught America How to Sing,” a promoter, financial backer and eponym of the Waring Blendor, the first modern electric blender on the market” and my distaste was sealed.
Perry Como feels okay after listening to Waring:
Bing Crosby worked with Waring on the single release of The Whiffenpoof Song. There is a ton of Bing in this collection.
Dylan fans might be interested in 1950s folk music precursors The Weavers, according to Wikipedia.
That second song was, according to Wikipedia, “originally written in 1941, in Hebrew by Issachar Miron (a.k.a. Stefan Michrovsky), a Polish emigrant who lived in what was then the British Mandate of Palestine (now Israel), and Jehiel Hagges (Yechiel Chagiz)…. The Jenkins/Weavers version, released by Decca Records under catalog number 27077, was one side of a two-sided hit, reaching #2 on the Billboard magazine charts in 1950 while the flip side, “Goodnight Irene,” reached #1.”
Well, the ’50s were more interesting than I thought.
If you are interested in these records, I am keeping just the ones on translucent vinyl, in hopes of a craft project that I can’t yet imagine. The rest are up for grabs if you offer a cup of coffee and conversation about why you find them interesting — or who this collector of records might have been. Were these the finds of a rebellious teen in the ’50s, or today’s equivalent of a Belieber?
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