Our new Brenda Wootton CD should be out within a week! We are accepting orders now for ‘Brenda Sings Ballads’ – a wonderful selection of easy-listening tracks that Brenda – and her mum! – loved to sing, with songs from the shows, from old movies, and from popular recording artists from the 1930s to the 1960s. A different Brenda than you may be used to – no folk songs here, and rarely, nothing from her beloved Cornwall. Just relaxed nostalgic tunes and romantic ballads to take the chill off the cold winter evenings…
Most of these songs have been saved from old audio cassettes of concerts or demo tapes recorded 40-50 years ago on domestic equipment, and not in studio conditions, hence we did not have the luxury of multi-tracked studio recordings to adjust the balances between voice and instrument – so I am particularly grateful to Mic McCreadie of Whole-in-One Productions for his skill and tenacity in bringing these old tapes up to a sufficient quality to make for a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience.
Brenda Sings Ballads CD
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Brenda Sings Ballads…
- Sunny Side of the Street: 1930s; composed by Jimmy McHugh, lyrics by Dorothy Fields. From the Broadway musical, ‘International Revue’. Brenda sings it here on a personal demo tape made for Germany.
- The Shadow of Your Smile: 1965; by Johnny Mandel, lyrics by Paul Francis Webster. From the film ‘The Sandpiper’. Brenda recorded this for her final album, Seagull.
- The Folks Who Live on the Hill: 1937; by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. From the film ‘High, Wide, and Handsome’. Recorded at the Paris Hippodrome with harpist David Snell.
- Hold Me: 1933; by Oppenheimer, Schuster & Little. Recorded by Dean Martin and P J Proby amongst others. Another from Brenda’s demo tape.
- Nearness of You: 1938; by Hoagy Carmichael, lyrics by Ned Washington. Debuted in a 1940 recording by Glenn Miller & Orchestra. Recorded at the Paris Hippodrome with harpist David Snell.
- Send in the Clowns: From Stephen Sondheim’s 1973 musical ‘A Little Night Music’. This version was taken from a demo tape made by Brenda.
- Makin’ Whoopee: 1928; music by Walter Donaldson, lyrics by Gus Kahn. From the musical ‘Whoopee!’. Another from Brenda’s demo tape.
- The Room Nobody Lives In: 1970; by John Sebastian. Recorded for Brenda’s Lyonesse LP.
- Once in a While: 1937; music by Michael Edwards, lyrics by Bud Green. Recorded at a concert in Sevres, France in 1987.
- Dindi: 1959; (sounds like Jin-jee in English) a bossa nova by Antônio Carlos Jobim, English lyrics by Ray Gilbert, sung by Astrud Gilberto. Taken direct from a tape made by Sentinel Music at Newlyn. Also appeared as Djinn Djinn on Brenda’s ‘No Song To Sing’ LP with Robert Bartlett.
- Here, There and Everywhere: 1966; a Lennon–McCartney song from the Beatles LP, Revolver. This is another taken from one of Brenda’s demo tapes.
- Singalong Medley: recorded with audience participation at Pipers Folk Club in the 1970s or 80s by Dennis Clixby.
- Singing in the Rain: 1929; music by Nacio Herb Brown, lyrics by Arthur Freed and, published in 1929. From the film of the same name.
- Red, Red Robin: 1926; words and music by Harry Woods.
- Tiptoe through the Tulips: 1929; music by Joe Burke; lyrics by Al Dubin.
- Easter Parade: 1933; from the 1948 film of the same name, by Irving Berlin.
- For Me & My Girl: 1937; music by George W. Meyer, lyrics by Edgar Leslie and E. Ray Goetz. From the 1939 film musical ‘The Lambeth Walk’.
- 13. September Song: 1938; music by Kurt Weill, lyrics by Maxwell Anderson. From the film ‘Knickerbocker Holiday’. Brenda combined it here, as she usually did, very successfully, with Autumn Leaves (1945), by Joseph Kosma, English lyrics by Johnny Mercer. From a demo tape made by Brenda.
- 14. Mon Dieu: 1960; (‘My God’ in French) sung by Édith Piaf. Music by Charles Dumont, lyrics by Michel Vaucaire. Brenda pairs this with another song by Piaf, La Belle Histoire d’Amour, also by Piaf and Dumont. This recording was made at a huge concert in the Paris Hippodrome with harpist David Snell. Just listen to the rapturous reception of that French audience…
I loved Brenda singing the old ballads. Many weren’t published – this is an attempt to right that wrong. Grateful thanks to Mic McCreadie of Whole-In-One Productions for his dedication and skill in audio manipulation in bringing these vintage recordings to an acceptable audibility. As these tracks are taken from a number of old recordings, it is not always clear who the musicians were. Contributors could include Al Fenn, Dave Penhale, Chris Newman, Pete Berryman, Mike Silver, Viv Rodd, Steve Gordon, Ashley Staton, Ray Roberts, Dave Freeman and others. Apologies for any unnamed. (The front cover photo is a close up of the fabric of one of Brenda’s stage dresses. Back cover photo by John Knight.)
© Sue Ellery-Hill 2019