Tosy and Cosh is a blogger that I used to enjoy reading, before he went on sabbatical back in 2009. I just discovered that he is back writing. Somehow, though, I missed his brief return from March to May 2011, during which time he did this piece That Big Box of Vinyl. It was really depressing, because it was subtitled “music you remember your parents listening to.” It included songs such as Colour My World by Chicago, which was his mother and father’s wedding song; it was also the song of my high school prom. Talk about feeling old.
I’ve previously shared some of the singles in my father’s collection. So here are some albums.
Harry Belafonte, as noted, was a huge influence on my father’s time as a singer of folk songs. From this Belafonte discography, I discovered the albums Dad owned. The album links have 30-second clips of each song.
The most important album for him had to have been My Lord What A Morning, from 1960. He performed most of the songs, especially Buked And Scorned. In fact, it was SO important that, just this year, I bought copies of it for the older of my sisters and for me. From Streets I Have Walked (1963), he got the arrangement of This Wicked Race. Dad also owned An Evening With Belafonte/Makeba (1965) and In My Quiet Room (1966).
I noted, a long while back, the importance of Pete Seeger’s “We Shall Overcome” album “recorded live at his historic Carnegie Hall Concert, June 8, 1963″. I found a four-song EP, featuring If You Miss Me at the Back of the Bus; Little Boxes; I Ain’t Scared of Your Jail; and We Shall Overcome. I also discovered a too-trimmed version of Tshotsholosa (Road Song). I own a version by Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and just this summer, I heard a performance by Peace Train, a South African pair of women, one white, one black, singing this tune.
Finally, Joan Baez, and specifically, the oddly-named Best of Joan Baez, from the early 1960s, was huge. Here’s So Soon in the Morning, with Bill Wood, which my father, sister and I used to perform together.
0 thoughts on “That Big Box of Vinyl”
I always thought Harry Belafonte’s 1959 “Live At Carnegie Hall” was his most important album. I believe this was the first headliner at Carnegie by a black person. Mr. Belafonte opened that concert with the song “Darling Cora” about a black man who had struck down his white boss for calling him “boy” and is telling his wife that he has to leave in a hurry. It’s a great performance by itself. The tepid applause at the end of the song is revealing. But then he moves on with his topics and the album absolutely shines and the audience loves him.
I know this album very well. I didn’t have to look up any of the facts!