terça-feira, 31 de maio de 2011

Bert Kaempfert and His Orchestra - Tropical Sunrise (1996)

  1. Footprints In The Sand (Huellas En La Arena)
  2. Dreams (Sueños)
  3. Your Move (Tu Movimiento)
  4. Brazilian Love Song (Andorinha Preta)
  5. Tropical Sunrise
  6. Cachaca Mecanica
  7. Jump In The Line
  8. Shades Of Love (Sombras De Amor)
  9. Wave
  10. Canto De Ossanha
  11. Swing And Sway
  12. Island In The Sun
  13. Tahitian Sunset *
  14. Moon Over Baja *
  15. In The Everglades *
  16. Malaysian Melody *
Tropical Sunrise
* Bonus Tracks


After the great success of THAT LATIN FEELING in 1964, Bert Kaempfert produced a further album entitled TROPICAL SUNRISE which was also devoted exclusively to the rhythms of Latin America and released in 1977. Accompanied by exquisite harmonies and instrumental sounds, listeners were once again transported to exotic regions.

The original recording contained six numbers composed by Bert Kaempfert together with Herbert Rehbein. The title Footprints In The Sand even received an award in Argentina. In addition, such evergreens as Andorinha Preta (Brazilian Love Song) and Island In The Sun (sung by Harry Belafonte in the film of the same name in 1957 and famous in Germany as Wo Meine Sonne Scheint with Caterina Valente) were included in the compilation. Titles such as Wave, a hit by Antonio Carlos Jobim, composer of the Girl From Ipanema, and Canto De Ossanha by the legendary Brazilian guitarist Baden Powell catered for a "modern touch".

Of course such pieces call for all manner of South American percussion instruments such as the apito (whistle), bell tree, cabaza, claves (pair of hardwood sticks), conga (drum played with the hands), cowbells, cuica (friction drum), pandeiro (tambourine), reco-reco (scraper), timbales, triangle and even a donkey's jaw bone. In addition to Rolf Ahrens on the drums, Nippy Noya, Max Raths, Hans Bekker and Manfred Sperling were engaged as percussionists, with Herb Geller (flute), Ack van Rooyen (trumpet), Jiggs Whigham (trombone) and Jürgen Schröder (guitar) performing the solos.

Bert Kaempfert's love for distant countries is reflected in many of his melodies and arrangements. Four such compositions have been added here as a special bonus: Tahitian Sunset from 1966, Moon Over Baja and In The Everglades, both recorded in 1974, and - to carry us away to the Far East - Malaysian Melody, set down in 1968.

(from the original liner notes)


Peter Matz & His Orchestra - Thanks For The Memory

  1. Canadian Sunset
  2. Bei Mir Bist Du Shon
  3. Jersey Bounce
  4. Frenesi
  5. Undecided
  6. Heartaches
  7. Chattanooga Choo Choo
  8. Song Of India
  9. String Of Pearls
  10. The Music Goes 'Round And Around
  11. Bye Bye Blues
  12. Thanks For The Memory
Thanks For The Memory
You've heard these songs before...Jersey Bounce, String Of Pearls, Frenesi, Undecided...all the other happy memories that brightened the Big Band era.

Peter Matz has heard them before too. Like so many of us, he grew up with that Big Band sound ringing in his ears. BUT...Peter Matz hears things differently from the rest of us.

He hears songs in his own original and highly imaginative fashion. He hears them with that difference that he puts into his famous arrangements for Barbra Streisand, the unusual arrangements that played such an important part in helping to establish her as a star.

Peter Matz thinks in terms of today and tomorrow even while he is remembering yesterday. He hears the great hits of the Big Band era alive and vital with the musical feeling of today, renewing in contemporary big band terms the excitement they had the first time around.

(From the original liner notes)

quarta-feira, 25 de maio de 2011

Paul Mauriat - Quartet For Kobe (1995)

  1. Quartet For Kobe
  2. Love Is Blue
  3. El Bimbo
  4. Say Yes
  5. Sunshine Tomorrow
Quartet for Kobe
Personnel:
Paul Mauriat, piano
Franck Pourcel, violin
Raymond Lefèvre, flute
Francis Lai, accordion



Bert Kaempfert and His Orchestra - Swing (1996)

  1. At The Woodchopper's Ball
  2. Little Brown Jug
  3. One O'Clock Jump
  4. Lullaby Of Birdland
  5. Two O'Clock Jump
  6. Airmail Special
  7. Apple Honey
  8. Intermission Riff
  9. Jumpin' At The Woodside
  10. Marie
  11. It's Only A Paper Moon
  12. In The Mood
  13. Easy Glider *
  14. Jumpin' Blue *
  15. Walkin' And Shoutin' *
  16. Soul Time *
Swing
* Bonus Tracks

Like many of his generation, Bert Kaempfert had a foible for swing. In October 1977 he fulfilled a long-cherished wish and recorded a complete album with 12 titles taken from the repertoire of the most famous swing bands. He breathed new life into these old favourites without detracting from their typical and highly unique original sound. Renowned soloists, all of whom were regular members of his orchestra as from the 1970s, performed the solos in this production:

Ack van Rooyen (trumpet and cornet), Herb Geller (flute and alto saxophone), Ferdinand Powel (tenor saxophone), James Towsey (baritone saxophone) and Jiggs Whigham (trombone).

Although Bert Kaempfert preserves the original tempo in his arrangement of Woody Herman's Woodchopper's Ball (original recording: 12 April 1939), his personal stroke of the pen is discernible in every other respect. Herman's clarinet solo is played here by Ack van Rooyen. Trombone, baritone sax and further trumpet solos follow before the well-known riffs are heard to conclude the piece.

If ever a research poll were carried out to determine the most popular post-war number, Glenn Miller's recording of In The Mood (original recording: 1 August 1939) would surely come out on top. Realising that nothing could possibly improve this classic work, Kaempfert arranged the piece in a traditional manner.

Over the years, Bert Kaempfert did not only chose the one or the other swing title for inclusion in his LP recordings but also wrote swing numbers himself which justifiably take their place among the classics. Four of these compositions are included in the present re-release as bonus tracks: Easy Glider and Jumpin' Blue, both recorded in 1974, Walkin' and Shoutin' from 1975, and Soul Time from 1968.

Glenn Miller's version of the American children's song Little Brown Jug (original recording: 10 April 1939) was a great hit. In his arrangement, Kaempfert allots the main theme to Herb Geller's flute thus lending the work a charmingly carefree character.

Count Basie's One O'Clock Jump (original recording: 7 July 1937) sold millions; hard on its heels followed Harry Jame's Two O'Clock Jump (original recording: 6 March 1939). The two works enjoy a similar structure. Conversation passes back and forth between the tenor sax, muted trumpet and trombone, while the continual build-up of the final choruses enhances the quality of this number.

Lullaby Of Birdland was originally conceived as a quintet (original recording: 17 July 1952 by the George Shearing Quintet). In Kaempfert's masterly arrangement for big band, nothing of the original atmosphere is lost: he merely replaces Shearing's typical combination of piano, vibraphone and guitar with that of flutes and vibraphone, thus imparting an even lighter touch to the piece.

With the composition of the swing standard Air Mail Special (original recording: 13 March 1941 by the Benny Goodman Sextet), whose fame was partly due to the scat singing of Ella Fitzgerald, one is already aware of the bebop era yet to come - and this of course makes itself felt in Kaempfert's arrangement.

Woody Herman, the "wild man" of the big band era, made his most remarkable recording, Apple Honey (original recording: 19 February 1945), at the zenith of his creative period. In his arrangement, Bert Kaempfert dispenses with the aggressiveness of the original recording and incorporates several relaxed and loosely connected solo passages.

It was Stan Kenton who effected the break with the tradition of swing and ushered in the era of orchestral jazz. Those who never really felt comfortable with Kenton's recording of Intermission Riff (original recording: July 1946) will very probably enjoy Bert Kaempfert's milder version.

Jumpin' At The Woodside is a further number by Count Basie (original recording: 22 August 1938) which has always been a great favourite with the public thanks to its hypnotic riffs. Kaempfert takes the pace more slowly in his arrangement, while the solo flute, muted trumpet and trombone provide for plenty of variety.

Like numerous other numbers by Tommy Dorsey, Marie also landed in the charts in the early 1940s (original recording: 17 October 1940). Kaempfert takes the tempo somewhat more slowly and gives prominence to the trombone - clearly a tribute to the great trombonist Dorsey and his velvety sound.

In It's Only A Paper Moon (original recording: December 1943 by the Nat "King" Cole Trio), Bert Kaempfert does not base his arrangement on any one particular version but concerns himself more with the title itself which was a tremendous hit in post-war years.

(from the original liner notes)


domingo, 22 de maio de 2011

The Magnificent Strings Of Percy Faith - Broadway Bouquet (1965)


  1. Hello, Dolly! (From "Hello, Dolly!")
  2. Once Upon A Time (From "All American")
  3. Somewhere (From "West Side Story")
  4. Sunrise, Sunset / Fiddler On The Roof (From "Fiddler On The Roof")
  5. Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me) (From "The Roar Of The Greasepaint")
  6. A Quiet Thing (From "Flora, The Red Menace")
  7. Make Someone Happy (From "Do Re Mi")
  8. What Kind Of Fool Am I? (From "Stop The World - I Want To Get Off")
  9. Long Ago (From "Half A Sixpence")
  10. The Sweetest Sounds (From "No Strings")
  11. As Long As He Needs Me (From "Oliver!")
  12. Theme From "Golden Boy" (From "Golden Boy")
Broadway Bouquet
    Percy Faith was one of the most popular easy listening recording artists of the '50s and '60s. Not only did he have a number of hit albums and singles under his own name, but Faith was responsible for arranging hits by Tony Bennett, Doris Day, Johnny Mathis, and Burl Ives, among others, as the musical director for Columbia Records in the '50s.

    Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Faith was a child piano prodigy, giving his first recital at Massey Hall at the age of 15 and playing various movie theaters, providing the soundtrack to silent films. His career as a concert pianist was cut short when he injured his hands in a fire when he was 18. Faith moved into arranging, beginning with local, hotel orchestras but quickly moving to radio. It was here where he developed his lush pop-instrumental style. For most of the '30s, he worked on Canadian Broadcast Company. At the end of the decade his radio show, Music by Faith, was also being aired within the United States.

    Upset with CBC slashing the budget of his program, Faith moved to Chicago in 1940. Shortly afterward, he relocated to New York; by 1945, he had become an official U.S. citizen. Working for NBC in New York, he arranged and conducted for a number of shows and singers, including Coca-Cola's radio show and Buddy Clark. During the late '40s, he recorded for both Decca and RCA Victor.

    Faith joined Columbia Records as musical director and a recording artist in 1950. While he arranged traditional pop songs, as well as show tunes, folk songs, and traditional pop songs for the label's vocalists, Faith became a pioneer of easy listening "mood music" with his own albums. In addition to popularizing the light, orchestrated pop, he was the first to record albums solely consisting of songs from Broadway shows; he also was one of the first mainstream composers/arrangers to experiment with Latin rhythms.

    Faith had his first number one single, "Delicado," in 1952. In the mid-'50s, he began composing film scores, beginning with the Oscar-nominated collaboration with George Stoll, Love Me or Leave Me. But he scored his biggest hit of the 1960s with a piece of music written by another film composer. His late-1959 recording of Max Steiner's "The Theme From 'A Summer Place'" became a number one hit in 1960 and earned Faith his first Grammy. As rock & roll took over popular music in the early '60s and his work became more schlocky in format (easy listening arrangements of Beatles and pop/rock songs, etc.), the musical quotient remained high, thanks in large part to Faith's arranging skills and penchant for picking good material. Faith slowly withdrew from a professional career in the late '60s, but continued recording until just before his death in 1976. 

    (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Cub Kod from allmusic.com)


    Bert Kaempfert and His Orchestra - Orange Colored Sky (1996)

    1. Cracklin' Rosie
    2. My Love
    3. Don't Go
    4. Tea And Trumpets
    5. Friends
    6. While The Children Sleep
    7. (I'll Be With You) In Apple Blossom Time
    8. Snowbird
    9. That Old Sweet Roll (Hi-De-Ho)
    10. Bye Bye Blackbird
    11. Orange Colored Sky
    12. Wake Up And Live
    13. What's Up With You *
    14. Living Easy *
    15. Kiss Her Once With Feeling *
    16. Grey Eyes Make Me Blue *
    Orange Colored Sky
    * Bonus Tracks

    ORANGE COLORED SKY, surely one of Bert Kaempfert's loveliest albums, is at last available on compact disc. Recorded in November 1970, the album was the first of his productions to use multitrack recording technique (eight sound tracks) and it has everything that the name of Bert Kaempfert conjures up: his typical rhythm with its pithy bass, smooth-as-silk arrangements for strings and chorus, stereo-like entries of the winds from the right and left, and plenty of trumpet solos.

    The six new compositions by the team of Bert Kaempfert and Herbert Rehbein range from pleasantly easy-going numbers such as Tea And Trumpets and Friends via the more gentle While The Children Sleep to the shuffle of Wake Up And Live. Also heard on this disc are new and old hits by other composers covering a time-span of 50 years.

    Bye Bye Blackbird and In Apple Blossom Time are typical "Tin Pan Alley" songs from the '20s: the latter was one of the most popular hits of its day and a great success for the Andrew Sisters later.

    The title-number Orange Colored Sky, composed by the accordeon-playing band-leader Milton DeLugg, became famous in the 1950s in vocal versions by Nat "King" Cole and Betty Hutton; Cracklin' Rosie was Neil Diamond's very first Number 1 hit in the 1970s; and the rock group Blood, Sweat & Tears landed in the Top 20 with Hi-De-Ho.

    Snowbird, perhaps the most effervescent arrangement in this compilation, is a Country and Western number which brought the Canadian singer Anne Murray a gold record in 1970; Bert Kaempfert's recording was immensely popular too and became a real radio hit, being played over and over again both in Germany and abroad.

    Three of Kaempfert's loveliest compositions, Living Easy, Kiss Her Once With Feeling and Grey Eyes Make Me Blue, from the LP BERT KAEMPFERT NOW! (1971) are included as bonus tracks on this CD. Only recently a very special discovery was made: What's Up With You, recorded in 1973 and never released - definitely a small sensation for all Kaempfert friends and the world of music!

    (from the original liner notes)


    sábado, 21 de maio de 2011

    Bert Kaempfert and His Orchestra - Strangers In The Night (1996)

    1. Strangers In The Night
    2. I Can't Give You Anything But Love
    3. But Not Today
    4. Time On My Hands
    5. Milica (Sweet Maria)
    6. Mexican Shuffle
    7. Show Me The Way To Go Home
    8. Two Can Live On Love Alone
    9. Every Sunday Morning
    10. Boo-Hoo
    11. Tijuana Taxi
    12. Forgime Me
    13. I Stay With You *
    14. Somewhere In The Sky *
    15. Pussy Footin' *
    16. Hold Back The Dawn *
    * Bonus Tracks


    terça-feira, 17 de maio de 2011

    Bert Kaempfert and His Orchestra - Blue Midnight (1996)

    1. Treat For Trumpet
    2. Good Night, Sweet Dreams
    3. L.O.V.E.
    4. Blue Midnight
    5. Love Comes But Once
    6. Cotton Candy
    7. Free As A Bird
    8. Lonely Nightingale
    9. Almost There
    10. Java
    11. Red Roses For A blue Lady
    12. Three O'Clock In The Morning
    13. Take Seven *
    14. Gemma *
    15. The Bass Walks *
    16. Love After Midnight *
    Blue Midnight
    * Bonus Tracks

    Relax and enjoy the album BLUE MIDNIGHT and the four gems which have been added to this CD as a bonus: Take Seven, recorded in 1966 (which in its present version was only released on the LP HOLD ME), and Gemma, The Bass Walks and Love After Midnight (from the German film "90 Minuten nach Mitternacht") - three often wished-for numbers from the LP LET'S GO BOWLING recorded in 1964.

    Bert Kaempfert's circle of fans is sure to increase considerably with this CD, for who can fail to be spellbound by his timeless sound which imparts a real feeling of the Good Life!

    (from the original liner notes)

    sexta-feira, 6 de maio de 2011

    Gazeta Fm Apresenta As Magníficas Instrumentais - Vários Artistas

    1. Theme From "New York, New York" - 101 Strings Orchestra
    2. La Notte Dell'Aquila - Nini Rosso
    3. This Guy's In Love With You - Hugo Winterhalter
    4. Stormy - Ray Anthony
    5. Theme From "A Summer Place" - Billy Vaughn
    6. It's Impossible - Eddie Calvert
    7. Blue Dolphin - Steven Schlaks
    8. Moça - Fausto Papetti
    9. Goin' Out Of My Head - Harry James
    10. Black Orpheu - The Clebanoff Strings & Orchestra
    11. Live For Life - Liberace
    12. I Can't Stop Loving You - Roy Etzel
    13. Young World - Lawrence Welk
    14. Close To You (They Long To Be) - The Renaissance

    quinta-feira, 5 de maio de 2011

    Klaus Wunderlich - Hammond Fireworks - Vol. 1

    1. Die Mühle Im Schwarzwald
    2. Hello Dolly
    3. Summertime
    4. Donauweller
    5. The Girl From Ipanema
    6. The Breeze And I
    7. Red Roses For A Blue Lady
    8. Illusion
    9. Japanischer Lanternentanz
    10. Ballszenen
    11. Echo In The Night
    12. Die Millionen Des Harlekin
    13. Elisabeth Serenade
    14. Five Sons
    15. This Guy's In Love With You
    16. Bene Bene
    17. Der Schleier Fiel
    18. Boom Bang A Bang
    19. Moon River
    20. Sweet Souvenirs Of Stefan
    21. Wunderland Bei Nacht
    22. Twilight Time
    23. Swing Relations
    24. Adios
    Hammond Fireworks
    Klaus Wunderlich was born to a policeman in the Saxony town of Chemnitz in 1930. As a teenager he worked for the local opera rehearsing singers but soon chose popular music over classical. By 1951 he was ready to tour West Germany, which led to a standing gig at the Tiny Cabaret Simple in Mannheim. Here he was playing winsomely in a beer hall, and the owner and patrons liked him enough to buy an expensive organ. Then Telefunken found and signed him.

    Wunderlich experimented with the Hammond, as all the great pop organists have done, to discover and add to its range of extraordinary sounds. It was not long before he was using organ and early synthesizer to reproduce strings, horns, and so forth. To overcome the early synthesizer's one-note-at-a-time limitation, he became an expert at multi-tracking, effects, and other production wizardry.

    The magic was not all technical, however. Wunderlich, like a benign Black Forest gnome, played music that pandered to popular taste but also pushed the boundaries for keyboardists. He wrote some great tunes and arranged many others in a zany way not seen since Lenny Dee, whose career was peaking as Wunderlich picked up the baton. Wunderlich shared Ethel Smith's affinity for Latin and Brasilian rhythms, Lenny Dee's zany pop sense, and Jean-Jacques Perrey's lighthearted invention and technical facility.

    A long series of albums for Telefunken included some Moog albums and demos for the Wersi super-organ, which was something like a Hammond stuffed with Moog capabilities. The Hammond Pops and other Wunderlich albums are notorious, mainly because the music and jackets are rife with cheese and cheesecake. There is a lot of "mush" to sift through, to be sure, but fine gems twinkle there too, as if out of a fairy tale by the brothers Grimm. 

    (by Tony Wilds from allmusic.com)

    quarta-feira, 4 de maio de 2011

    Liberace - Sixteen Great Performances (16 Grandes Sucessos)

    1. Two For The Road
    2. A Man Without Love (Quando M'Innamoro)
    3. The Look Of Love
    4. Spanish Eyes
    5. Easy To Love
    6. Love Is A Many Splendored Thing
    7. People
    8. Love Is Blue
    9. Somewhere My Love
    10. Yesterday
    11. All The Things You Are
    12. A Taste Of Honey
    13. Live For Life
    14. Sunrise, Sunset
    15. It Was A Very Good Year
    16. I'm In The Mood For Love
    Great Performances
    Você está em Las Vegas no elegante Salão Versailles do Hotel Riviera, ansiosamente esperando que apareça um dos homens de espetáculos mais conhecidos de todo o mundo. As cortinas se abrem. Entra deslizando um enorme bolo enfeitado. Com uma acegante explosão de lantejoulas vermelhas e fumaça o bolo se parte para revelar o único e singularíssimo...LIBERACE!

    Um divertimento para os entertainers, Liberace adora planejar shows. Ele acredita em estilo e boa apresentação e já regulou o passo com as espetaculares extravagâncias do rock de hoje. Em suas palavras "Eu me considero um entertainer. Quando me apresento, não toco apenas. Gosto de fazer o público se divertir". E divertimento certamente é o que LIBERACE trouxe a incontáveis milhões de pessoas. Muito antes que fans femininas suspirassem por Elvis Presley já havia as que murmuravam deliciadas com o sorriso famoso de Liberace.

    Mas suas apresentações espetaculares, seus ternos de $10.000 dólares com aplicações de diamantes, abotoaduras em forma de piano e sua atraente personalidade não completam uma definição do que é ser Liberace. Na realidade ele é um pianista fenomenal, que toca tudo, desde Chopin até Gershwin, Bacharach e Mancini, com um estilo e graça próprios dos mestres consagrados.

    Walter Valentino Liberace fez seu concerto de estréia no Wisconsin em 1930. Ele tinha 11 anos. Encorajado por seu pai, que tocava piston, e por sua mãe que adorava música, Liberace cresceu para tornar-se o primeiro concertista de piano que lotaria o Madison Square Garden em Manhattan. Com um repertório exclusivo e original paradoxalmente combinando clássicos com pop, Liberace trouxe nova expressão e vida à música clássica na América e por todo o mundo. Desde Liszt a "The Birth Of The Blues", da "Polonaise" de Chopin à esfusiante "Beer Barrel Polka", sua música cobre todo o espectro de estilos e gostos.

    Aqui, com "16 Grandes Sucessos", encontramos Liberace numa veia romântica: o mestre da interpretação musical usa seu talento criativo excepcional para dar-nos algumas das mais conhecidas melodias românticas. O sucesso de de Bacharach/David - "The Look Of Love", de Lennon & McCartney - "Yesterday", de Cole Porter - "Easy To Love" e de Bert Kaempfert - "Spanish Eyes". Estão também incluídos temas de filmes famosos como "Two For The Road" de Henry Mancini e o ultra-popular tema de Dr. Jivago "Somewhere My Love".

    Seja tocando Cole Porter ou os Beatles, sua incrível virtuosidade de interpretação e comunicatividade continua a agradar às audiências por toda a parte. Seus extraordinários talentos musicais, combinados com sua presença no palco, cheia de terno e confiante humorismo, fizeram com que ele ganhasse o título vitalício de Mr. Show-Man. Tendo trazido alegria aos amantes da música por mais de três décadas, Liberace hoje coloca-se entre os mais perfeitos executantes da época.

    Eis então aqui, com alguns dos maiores sucessos da música romântica de hoje e de ontem - o maior mestre do mundo dos "Golden 88's" - o próprio LIBERACE!

    (Extraído das notas originais do LP)


    Liberace (born Wladziu Valentino Liberace) was the most flamboyant, popular easy listening pianist of the '60s and '70s by a wide margin. His campy, theatrical appearance and performances often disguised his prodigious talent.

    Liberace was a child prodigy born to a musical family. His father, Salvatore, played French horn in John Philip Sousa's Concert Band, as well as the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Instead of following in his father's footsteps and playing horn, Wladziu Liberace decided to play piano instead. Liberace was exceptionally gifted at piano, earning strong words of praise from Ignace Paderewski, which helped him land a scholarship at the Wisconsin College of Music at the age of seven; he retained his scholarship for 17 years, the longest period of time in the history of the academy. When he was 11, he debuted as a concert soloist. When he was in his teens, he was performing with symphony orchestras.

    Instead of following the accepted path of classical recitals and university courses, Liberace chose to be a showman. At encores at his concerts, he began playing novelty songs like "Mairzy Doats." To ensure that he had widespread appeal as an entertainer, he took elocution lessons in order to mask his Polish accent.

    During World War II, Liberace performed in a variety of overseas entertainment units. When he came back to America, he began performing in clubs, playing and singing with dance bands. While he was on the club circuit, he began performing under the sole name of Liberace.

    In 1940, he moved to New York City, where he became a fixture on the club circuits. However, his stint in New York wasn't particularly successful, as the Musicians Union banned the pianist after he began playing counterpoints to certain records played over the club's sound system. Undaunted, Liberace moved to California. While he was playing at a local hotel, he was spotted by Decca Record executives who offered him a contract. Decca attempted to make Liberace into a big-band leader, but it was unsuccessful. In the late '40s, he signed with Columbia Records and, under the direction of producer Mitch Miller, recorded an over-the-top rendition of "September Song." Along with a live concert album, the single helped bring Liberace to a national audience.

    Liberace became a star in the '50s, both through his records and assorted television and film appearances. His appearance and repertoire were becoming increasingly campy, as he dressed himself in rhinestone, gold lame, furs, and sequins while playing everything from Gershwin and show tunes to lounge jazz and light classical pieces, with a candelabra placed on his piano. Liberace's star rose rapidly in the early '50s, as he had his own television show, appropriately titled The Liberace Show. His celebrity reached a peak in the mid-'50s. Not only did he star in the 1955 film Sincerely Yours, a movie about a deaf concert pianist, but he was mentioned in "Mr. Sandman" by the Chordettes and he published his own cookbook. In 1956, Liberace celebrated his 25 years in show business with an extravagant concert at the Hollywood Bowl. That same year, he made some headway in the U.K. market, playing three Royal Command Performances.

    Though it was a heady time for the pianist, 1956 was also the year that his star began to dim somewhat. Cassandra, a columnist for the English tabloid The Daily Mirror, inferred that Liberace was homosexual. He sued the paper and won, yet he still made an effort to tone down his appearance. However, the public didn't want a subdued Liberace, and he reverted to his kitschy showmanship in the early '60s.

    Liberace didn't have any more pop hits in the '60s,'70s, and '80s, yet he continued to sell out concerts around the world and sell a number of records, even though he never earned the favor of the critics. In 1982, a former chauffeur and bodyguard sued the pianist for palimony; the case was settled out of court. Liberace remained a celebrity and a popular performer until his death in 1987. 

    (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine from allmusic.com)


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