Various Artists

Poetry and Prose of Abraham Lincoln

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This late-'40s album was conceived as a celebration of Abraham Lincoln, and seems to have been timed for the 140th anniversary of the 16th president's birth. The lineup of talent remains impressive 60 years later, what with Orson Welles reading the Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural Address, Walter Huston (who died in 1949, and who had portrayed Lincoln onscreen) reading works by Edward Markham and Walt Whitman about the president, and Carl Sandburg reading his own work about Lincoln's life. Rosemary Benét, the widow of Steven Vincent Benét, is less well remembered today, but her poem Nancy Hanks adds a distaff note to the proceedings that is welcome. All but Benét's work was subsequently reissued, along with the Burl Ives/Earl Robinson/Raymond Edward Johnson collaboration The Lonesome Train, on the 12" LP A Lincoln Treasury.