Burl Ives

Chim Chim Cheree & Other Children's Choices

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Disney Records began digging into their extensive vault of children's records in 1998, reissuing classic or underappreciated albums from the '50s and '60s as the Disney's Archive Collection. Burl Ives' 1964 album Chim Chim Cheree & Other Children's Choices was chosen as the first installment in the Archive series, and it may well be the best of the bunch. Ives' warm, joyous voice is perfectly suited for children's songs, since he sounds like everyone's favorite grandfather. And, apart from the three selections from Disney's recent film Mary Poppins, these are classic folk and pop songs that you can imagine a grandfather singing to his grandchildren. Most of these selections are familiar ("Swingin' on a Star," "Polly Wolly Doodle," "Mairzy Doats"), but Ives also demonstrates his vast folk knowledge by choosing the English folk song "Ilkey Moor Bar'Tat" as the closer and performing it a cappella with the children's choir. Certain elements of the album sound rather dated, whether it's the spoken asides on "Mairzy Doats" or the elaborate production, but Chim Chim Cheree retains its charm, not only for aging boomers and Gen-Xers, but also for young children, since this music is simply delightful.

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