Somethin' Smith & the Redheads

Come to Broadway

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Somethin' Smith & the Redheads travel musically from their U.C.L.A. base to New York on this LP, at least as of side two. On the first side, they indulge in their patented style of nostalgia, including two of their hit singles, a revival of Ted Weems' 1947 hit "Heartaches" and one of Ted Lewis' 1932 hit "In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town," often providing their own introductions. Smith's banjo is the central instrument, but the arrangements incorporate plenty of other instruments, all in the service of the trio's harmonies and Smith's good-natured lead vocals. Side two is a suite, beginning with "Lullaby of Broadway" and including other Big Apple standards, with musical interludes detailing the group's journey from "The Bowery" to "Forty-Second Street" and on to Coney Island, before they plead "Show Me the Way to Go Home." The lighthearted Smith & the Redheads' approach always retains its novelty appeal, but the effervescence is carefully arrived at. The group's routines are precise, and the arrangements take many unusual turns. You've got to work hard to have this much fun.