Heidelberg Quintet

Floating Down The River: Complete Releases 1912-1914

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Floating Down the River is a disc devoted to the entire recorded output of the Heidelberg Quintet. This group was formed in 1912 by Thomas Edison as a direct response to requests from his customers for a vocal group using a high countertenor. Edison achieved this end by merely adding Will Oakland to the lineup of the established group the American Quartet. The Heidelberg Quintet took its name from a fictional vocal group devised for an Edison-recorded skit that was never issued. In two years, the group made 25 recordings for both Edison and Victor, and this disc includes them all, with the addition of a 1910 Victor recording in which Oakland recorded with the American Quartet as a backing group. The songs included range from sentimental ballads to barbershop standards to peppy ragtime numbers. The Heidelberg Quintet is decidedly an acquired taste. Oakland's high, girlish singing may be too much for many poor souls to take. In addition to this, the recordings are of uneven quality, as if you are going to assemble the entire output of any artist who produced a sizable number of recordings in a period such as 1912-1914, you can count that you are not going to find every record in pristine condition. Listeners who are nuts about barbershop quartet music, however, are liable to go head over heels upon hearing this disc, as it preserves a style of male harmony singing all too rarely heard. The guys in the Heidelberg Quintet were real pros, and sing like it -- you'll hardly find their caliber in very many vocal groups working today.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Heidelberg Quintet 02:36 Amazon
2 Heidelberg Quintet 04:16 Amazon
3 Heidelberg Quintet 03:17 Amazon
4 Heidelberg Quintet 03:09 Amazon
5 Heidelberg Quintet 02:49 Amazon
6 Heidelberg Quintet 03:09 Amazon
7 Heidelberg Quintet 03:07 Amazon
8 Heidelberg Quintet 02:34 Amazon
9 Heidelberg Quintet 02:48 Amazon
10 Heidelberg Quintet 02:53 Amazon
11 Heidelberg Quintet 03:41 Amazon
12 Heidelberg Quintet 03:16 Amazon
13 Heidelberg Quintet 03:41 Amazon
14 Heidelberg Quintet 03:18 Amazon
15 Heidelberg Quintet 02:26 Amazon
16 Heidelberg Quintet 03:04 Amazon
17 Heidelberg Quintet 02:46 Amazon
18 Heidelberg Quintet 03:00 Amazon
19 Heidelberg Quintet 02:47 Amazon
20 Heidelberg Quintet 03:09 Amazon
21 Heidelberg Quintet feat: Will Oakland 03:12 Amazon
22 Heidelberg Quintet 02:38 Amazon
23 Heidelberg Quintet 03:09 Amazon
24 Heidelberg Quintet 02:44 Amazon
25 Heidelberg Quintet 02:55 Amazon
26 Heidelberg Quintet 02:13 Amazon
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