Various Artists

The Phonographic Yearbook: 1916 - The Country Found Them Ready

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The Phonographic Yearbook: 1916 - The Country Found Them Ready Review

by Alex Henderson

The CDs that Archeophone has included in its Phonographic Yearbook series are more than compilations -- they are experiences. From digitally remastered vintage recordings to comprehensive liner notes (which discuss historic events as well as music) to old black-and-white photos, Archeophone's Phonographic Yearbook releases do everything possible to immerse the listener in a bygone era. In the case of this 77-minute CD, that era is the World War I era. Not everything on The Phonographic Yearbook: 1916 - The Country Found Them Ready was actually recorded in 1916; some of the songs were recorded in 1914 or 1915, but 1916 was when they had their greatest impact -- and Archeophone spotlights some of the biggest stars of that time with hits by Henry Burr ("M-O-T-H-E-R," "Good-Bye, Good Luck, God Bless You"), Al Jolson ("I Sent My Wife to the Thousand Isles," "Yaaka Hoola Hickey Doola"), Billy Murray ("Pretty Baby," "Hello, Hawaii, How Are You?," "I Love a Piano"), and the American Quartet ("Along the Rocky Road to Dublin"). This release has its share of cutesy novelty items (Joseph Cawthorn's "I Can Dance with Everybody But My Wife" certainly fits that description), but many of the songs are romantic in an ultra-sentimental way (for example, the Albert Campbell/Henry Burr duet "Is There Still Room for Me 'Neath the Old Apple Tree?" and John McCormack on "Somewhere a Voice Is Calling" and "The Sunshine of Your Smile"). And while vocal pop of the pre-crooner variety dominates this compilation, there are a few instrumentals as well (including Prince's Band's arrangement of "The Star Spangled Banner"). Anyone with even a casual appreciation of pop music from the World War I era cannot go wrong with 1916 - The Country Found Them Ready.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Frederick J. Wheeler 02:43 Amazon
2 John McCormack 02:46 Amazon
3 Henry Burr 02:53 Amazon
4 Billy Murray 02:42 Amazon
5 Collins & Harlan 02:55 Amazon
6 J. F. Harrison / James Reed 03:22 Amazon
7 Prince's Band 02:51 Amazon
8 Harry Macdonough / Orpheus String Quartet 03:06 Amazon
9 Al Jolson 02:44 Amazon
10 Anna Chandler 03:09 Amazon
11 American Quartet 02:28 Amazon
12 Henry Burr / Albert Campbell 02:43 Amazon
13 Charles Harrison 03:08 Amazon
14 Marguerite Farrell 03:14 Amazon
15 Prince's Band / G. Hepburn Wilson 04:09 Amazon
16 Joseph Cawthorn 04:24 Amazon
17 Bill Murray / Billy Murray 02:39 Amazon
18 Harry Macdonough 03:28 Amazon
19
John McCormack 02:57 Amazon
20
Peerless Quartet 03:08 Amazon
21
03:05 Amazon
22 Al Jolson 02:54 Amazon
23 Henry Burr / Albert Campbell 03:15 Amazon
24 Billy Murray 02:46 Amazon
25 Henry Burr 03:26 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick