The Anita Kerr Singers


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Although involvement as an integral contributor to the San Sebastian Strings kept Anita Kerr's relationship with Warner Bros. going for another few years, 1968's Sounds concluded her brief yet prolific solo stint with the label. In many ways -- retrospect being one of them -- Kerr's final effort may well be her best during the two years (1966-1968) she spent on the Warner roster. Likewise, it harks back to her early style of finding material that hadn't necessarily been hits. In fact, the only real prerequisite was the song's adaptability to Kerr's unique musical touch -- as an instrumental by the Anita Kerr Orchestra or a reconfigured vocal arrangement via the Anita Kerr Singers. It is the latter ensemble that is assembled here, featuring the talents of Kerr (soprano/soloist), who is joined by Gene Merlino (tenor), B.J. Baker (alto), and Bob Tebow (bass). Rather than scour for rock & roll residue, Kerr trusts her instincts, coming up with a dozen of the most modern easy listening sides of the era. The opener, "Happiness" (aka "Happiness Is") returns the combo to the refined pop pomp infused into the Anita Kerr Singers' Slightly Baroque project from 1966. The minor chord changes and occasional dark vocal inflections are enough to best the Association's better-known version. The hauntingly beautiful melody to "Wine in the Wind" provides Kerr a perfect outlet for her ethereal lingering lead. The same can be said of the lovely and pensive "Long Live Our Love" -- which had come miles from the Shangri-Las' 1966 Top 40 hit.

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