No Song is Safe From Us

No Song Is Safe From Us - The NYFOS Blog
 |  Charles McKay

No better way for getting in the mood for the holidays! This recording takes me back to my earliest memories. It was made in 1946 but it was still very much played in the McKay household at Christmas time in the mid to late 50’s and through the 60’s. As much as I love the Andrew sisters and their incredible harmony, it’s the instrumental segment that really gets me. Lombardo and his orchestra had such a unique sound, one that completely filled my childhood for years and one that I will never forget.




 |  Charles McKay

When I knew I was going to offer a week of holiday music, it was a no brainer that one day would be devoted to Robert Shaw. While at Carnegie Hall, I ran the Professional Training Workshops that included Shaw’s Choral workshops. From 1992 to 1998, for one week each January, I had the honor and privilege of being right there with him, watching and listening as he prepared one of the great choral masterpieces.




 |  Charles McKay

I’m offering a full recording today, Gloria, Gloria. It was recorded June 1987 in the Gorard College Chapel, Philadelphia and features soprano Benita Valente, The Philadelphia Singers and Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia with Michael Korn conducting. I bought this when it was released later that same year, as a cassette…yes, a cassette.




 |  Charles McKay

It is Price at her prime and her best and in the hands of Karajan with the Vienna Philharmonic it is a magical collaboration rarely heard. The recording captures that gorgeous shimmering lush sound that she was famous for and here, performing these beautiful carols and hymns, it is simply one of the loveliest Christmas recordings (or recordings period) ever produced.




 |  Charles McKay

My spotlight today focuses on one of these tv celebrities, Florence Henderson, aka Carol Brady (The Brady Bunch), who died several weeks ago at the age of 82. Born in February 1934, she came to NYC in 1951 and made her Broadway debut in 1952 in Wish You Were Here (music by Harold J. Rome, book by Arthur Kober & Joshua Logan, lyrics by Rome). Later that same year, she would leave the show to begin a national tour of Oklahoma, specifically chosen by Rodgers and Hammerstein to play Laurie. In 1954, she returned to Broadway in the long-running musical, Fanny (888 performances) in which she originated the title role.




 |  Charles McKay

My first introduction to opera was through The Ed Sullivan Show in the late 50’s and through the 60’s. On Sunday nights I could hear Roberta Peters or Robert Merrill or Renata Tebaldi and many more. I didn’t really “get it” but I did enjoy it. It wasn’t until college, at UNC-CH, where as a music (voice) major I began my real introduction to opera and to all other areas of the classical vocal repertoire.




 |  Charles McKay

Another wonderful voice performing some terrific songs in another genre—Patsy Cline [1932–1963], one of the great singers of the 20th century. Born in Winchester, Virginia, on September 8, 1932, she got her big break in 1957 thanks to the Arthur Godfrey Talent program. Six years later(March 29163) at the age of 30 and just months after her last recording session, she died tragically in a plane crash while returning home from a concert in Kansas City, KS.




 |  Charles McKay

Eileen Farrell. I seriously hope you are not saying, “Who’s that?” She was an America soprano whose career spanned five decades, 1940’s–1980’s, and her repertoire was much like the NYFOS motto, she could sing just about anything, and do it beautifully. Her voice was truly remarkable, a force of nature. To get a sampling of her range, watch the 1955 film Interrupted Melody, which starred Eleanor Parker as the Australian soprano Marjorie Lawrence. Farrell supplied the singing voice.