Anthology: The Original King of Pop
Released: March 17, 2005
Peak: -- US, -- UK, -- CN, -- AU
Sales (in millions): --
Genre: early 20th century pop
Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.
Total Running Time: 78:44
4.481 out of 5.00 (average of 6 ratings)
Awards: (Click on award to learn more).
About the Album:
“It’s safe to say that had it not been for the official introduction of electrical recording in 1925, the Bing Crosby revolution would not have come about in pop singing; the limitations of the acoustical, pre-1925 recording process did not all allow for the highly nuanced vocal style that Crosby and his numerous admirers – from Frank Sinatra to the Ink Spots to Nat King Cole – thrived on in the studio. But the acoustical, pre-Crosby, pre-crooner era of pop singing definitely had its charms, and in the 20th century’s first quarter, Henry Burr reigned supreme as one of the leading pop vocalists.” AMG
This “a career-spanning retrospective…by Henry Burr – the most popular ballad singer of the first 30 years of the recording industry.” AR He was “a major influence on on Al Jolson, Rudy Vallée, and other pre-Crosby favorites.” AMG What the collection “lacks in subtlety and nuance it usually makes up for in terms of warmth and charisma – most of the time, anyway…[He] was not above recording cutesy novelty items; for example, What Do You Mean, You Didn’t Want to Do It? (a male/female duet with Ada Jones) definitely falls into the novelty category.” AMG
“This collection of 27 songs takes the listener on an expansive trip, following Burr’s career from one of his earliest recordings, made in 1903” AZ “when disc technology was still in its primitive stages, and ends in 1928, during the early electrical recording era, showing Burr in full vocal power.” AR “Probably no one, not even Billy Murray, participated in as many recordings in the acoustic era as Henry Burr.” AZ
“It demonstrates the variety of material Henry recorded, shows his ease with sacred, Scottish, and sentimental material, and it even highlights his fun side, joking around with Ada Jones in 1914 and with Billy Murray in 1925. Also included are two standout performances with the legendary Peerless Quartet, one from 1908 and another from 1917, along with a beautiful rendering on Burr’s own label of The Missouri Waltz by the Sterling Trio, and representative duets with Henry’s best known partners, Frank Stanley and Albert Campbell.” AZ “They’re all here on this outstanding collection.” AR “For 25 years, Henry Burr proved himself ‘The Original King of Pop.’” AZ
“He was born in Canada as Harry McClaskey, and he originally wanted to be a concert singer and to perform sacred hymns, such as he did in one of his first recording sessions, waxing The Holy City. His voice had a very serious sound to it, which you can hear on songs like…Silver Threads Among the Gold and the pathetic Mighty Lak’ a Rose. But Harry warmed to the horn and soothed the hearts of audiences for over 25 years with his impeccable delivery of the most beautiful ballads the world has heard. You can hear his newly mature voice on I’ve Got the Time, I’ve Got the Place, But It’s Hard to Find the Girl and the big hit, I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now.” AZ
“Equally definitive is 1905’s In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree, the ballad that made Burr a pop star (even though the term ‘pop star’ had yet to be invented in 1905.” AMG “Burr is in fine form when he turns his attention to” AMG “the traditional Scottish song, Loch Lomond.” AZ
“For those raised on smooth, nuanced crooners like Crosby, Sinatra, Cole, Mel Tormé, and Dean Martin, the quasi-operatic, over-enunciated approach of Burr, Billy Murray, Jolson, etc., can be an acquired taste.” AMG “But there is no denying Burr’s historic importance, and Archeophone deserves serious applause for assembling this collection in so thoughtful a fashion (from comprehensive, informative liner notes to excellent digital remastering…This CD is highly recommended to anyone with even a casual interest in North American pop's pre-Crosby era.” AMG
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First posted 1/29/2022.