torsdag 21 april 2016


Some of my first musical memories came from stays at my maternal grandparents' farm in the late fifties. There were no other kids around so I was left to explore that world on my own. My favorite pastime soon became an old grammophone and a stack of wax shoved away in one of the rooms. The selection was somewhat limited - mostly opera, classic and crooners - but also oddities, more pleasing to my young inquiring mind, like a male quire chanting Irving Berlin's "Over There" or this Ronnie Ronalde doing "Dream Of Olwen" and "In A Monastery Garden". For many years I thought he was Italian due to name, looks and operatic song style, but hidden behind that persona was an all British music hall artist, born Ronald Charles Waldron (1923-2015). After struggling about a decade as singer, yodeller, whistler and bird imitator, solo or in combos, he got a big breakthrough in the late forties with his own radio show, million selling records and sold out concerts all over the world - for exemple filling Radio City Music Hall in New York ten weeks in a row. Outrivaled by the youth movement's pop, rock and blues in the sixties he withdraw from the limelight, but continued to perform and did his last big public gig 2013 at age 90. Of course the young child listening to a scratchy 78 back then didn't know any of that, he just got cought by the whisteling, bird song and emotional atmosphere of the recordings. Later years I've been longing to find any of the vinyl compilations containing transferrings from his 78:s to be able to reacquaint and reminice, but no luck so far. The one shown here has re-makes and newer recordings, made in Pye studios 1963. Not the exact same Ronnie Ronalde as I wanna remember, but so odd in so many ways and so well done with such great audio it floors me anyway. A collection of orchestrated schlager covers where he really goes all in - mixing art whisteling, yodelling and powerful falsetto with an old school song style - all absolutely clean and on the spot. Listening to it today is a little like visiting an old fashioned cirkus - even if amazed by the acrobats and strange animals you enjoy it as much for the ambiance. Favorite tracks - "Mockingbird Hill", "Silver Threads Among The Gold" and "Happy Trails". Some of the cuts can be found on the 2001 CD "The Ronnie Ronalde Collection" (HMV 5340042), but to my knowledge this was the only vinyl issue. It came with label as shown here, thick vinyl and laminated flip/back cover. (MÖRS*) (PÖY*)

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