Sunday, April 1, 2007

Those Were the Days - Coral Records

Those Were the Days

Inside Covers Below

1968 Coral Records CRL 757505 Stereo / CRL 57505 Mono

Side 1
1. Dear World
2. Wichita Lineman
3. Those Were the Days
4. Cycles
5. California Summer
6. On the South Side of Chicago

Side 2
1. Les Bicyclettes de Belsize
2. Puddin'
3. Folsom Prison Blues
4. My Special Angel
5. American Boys

Liner Notes:

Those Were the Days
Produced by Charles Bud Dant

Here is today, the Pete Fountain way. Here are hits and standards stamped with the same lovely listening mark that made Pete's recent albums, "Licorice Stick," "A Taste Of Honey," and "I've Got You Under My Skin" such turntable favorites the country over.

Here is more of the fabulous Pete Fountain clarinet, a sound so smooth and flowing that it glides beautifully over even the gentlest melody, whatever the background.
Pete is one of that magic handful of instrumentalists who have become stars in an era when singers reign supreme. He's done it, simply, because he has spent a young lifetime immersed in popular music, and because he has great skill and taste. And isn't that, after all, what separates the artists from the performers?

"Those Were The Days" is the title of a catchy tune Mary Hopkin sang with the blessings of The Beatles. It became a hit as big as they come. But it also is a reminder to Pete and us of the time he's put in perfecting his style so that he can now play every little nuance he hears in his mind, and every long and lovely melodic line that occurs to him.

That's why this album has some remarkably fine material on it. Not just hit songs. But hit songs with substance. With melodies that Pete can play on. Melodies he can embellish a little the way he does so well. Melodies he can make his clarinet sing. Melodies he can create new melodies on. Melodies, in short, on which he can exercise his musical genius. For that is the magic of Pete Fountain. The things he does to a song, whether the background is merely a rhythm section comping four-to-the-bar or a lush curtain of strings.

And the songs always sound the better for it. Listen to Les Bicyclettes De Belsize or Folsom Prison Blues or the Broadway song, Dear World. They offer more than popularity on the top pop charts. They offer melodies that can cut an artist free. Peter Dewey Fountain Jr. has come a long, long way since his days as a teen-age clarinet wonder in the Dixieland scene of his home town.

He's matured and developed and become a popular musical artist, with his canvas the entire pop music scene and his brush the liquid-sounding clarinet he plays so beautifully. Someday in the far future, someone is going to be playing this album and enjoying it very much. Chances are he'll cock his head and say with a smile, "Those really were the days." And, you know, that'll be more than a song title or a reminder; he'll be right. These are the days.

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