Poet/singer Rod McKuen's legendary 1969 birthday concert At Carnegie Hall features McKuen live at the storied venue performing his mix of spoken word and original songs. An icon of the '60s and '70s, McKuen carved out an idiosyncratic niche in the performance world as a kind of troubadour for the everyman. Much like his French contemporary Jacques Brel, whose songs McKuen translated and often performed, McKuen's work elevated the art of the pop song to encompass a more literate, theatrical style. Backed by a full orchestra, McKuen mixes the poignant, childlike wisdom of cartoonist Charles Schulz with the neighborly crooner style of Andy Williams. Though he was by no means a technically proficient vocalist, with his gravelly, soft-spoken style and direct, honest demeanor, McKuen seemed to immediately connect with his audience. All of this is evident on At Carnegie Hall.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Collar