Harry Belafonte

Folk Songs from the World

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Although these 14 tracks do in fact come from all over the world, they mostly focus on the American South and the Caribbean--"Havah Naghilah" being an obvious exception, of course. Belafonte's inimitable vocal style, developed as a calypso singer during that music's golden age, gives an island lilt even to tunes like "John Henry" and "Cotton Fields."

Folk purists--or calypso purists, for that matter--might blanch at these interpretations, which are sweetened to within an inch of their lives, like all of Belafonte's pop-oriented RCA material, but there's no arguing with the power of that voice.

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