Don Covay – See-Saw (1966)

FrontCover1Donald James Randolph (March 24, 1936 – January 31, 2015), better known by the stage name Don Covay, was an American R&B, rock and roll and soul singer and songwriter most active from the 1950s to the 1970s.

His most successful recordings include “Mercy, Mercy” (1964), “See-Saw” (1965), and “It’s Better to Have (and Don’t Need)” (1974). He also wrote “Pony Time”, a US number 1 hit for Chubby Checker, and “Chain of Fools”, a Grammy-winning song for Aretha Franklin. He received a Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1994.

Writing in the Washington Post after his death, Terence McArdle said, “Mr. Covay’s career traversed nearly the entire spectrum of rhythm-and-blues music, from doo-wop to funk.”

Covay was born in Orangeburg, South Carolina. His father, a Baptist preacher, died when Covay was eight.[3] He resettled in Washington, D.C., in the early 1950s and initially sang in the Cherry Keys,[note 1] his family’s gospel quartet. He crossed over to secular music as a member of the Rainbows and made his first recordings with that group in 1956.

Covay’s solo career began in 1957 as part of the Little Richard Revue, when he worked both as the star’s chauffeur and as an opening act. A single, “Bip Bop Bip”, on which Covay was billed as “Pretty Boy”, was released on Atlantic, produced by Little Richard and featuring his backing band, the Upsetters.

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Over the next few years, Covay drifted from label to label, eventually signing with Columbia Records in 1961, but success remained elusive. Later that year, however, he had his first chart success, when “Pony Time”, a song he co-wrote with fellow Rainbows member John Berry, reached No. 60 on the Billboard pop chart. It was issued by the small Arnold label and credited to his group, the Goodtimers. The song was later recorded by Chubby Checker and became a US No. 1 single.

In 1962 Covay had his first hit on Cameo-Parkway Records under his own name, “The Popeye Waddle”, a dance-oriented track. He also started writing songs for Roosevelt Music in the Brill Building in New York City, writing a hit for Solomon Burke, “I’m Hanging Up My Heart for You”. Gladys Knight & the Pips reached the US Top 20 with Covay’s song “Letter Full of Tears”, and Wilson Pickett recorded Covay’s “I’m Gonna Cry (Cry Baby)” as his first single on Atlantic.

His singing career continued to falter until 1964, when he had one of his biggest pop hits on the small, Atlantic-distributed Rosemart label with “Mercy, Mercy”, co-written with Goodtimers guitarist Ronnie Miller, which established his earthy bluesy style and featured a young Jimi Hendrix on guitar. The following year the song was recorded by the Rolling Stones for their album Out of Our Heads, on which Mick Jagger closely followed Covay’s singing style.

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Atlantic bought Covay’s contract and minor R&B hits followed, but it was a year before Covay returned to the pop chart, with “See-Saw”, co-written with guitarist Steve Cropper and recorded at Stax, along with “I Never Get Enough of Your Love”, “Sookie Sookie” (both also co-written by Covay and Cropper), and “Iron Out the Rough Spots” (by Cropper, Booker T. Jones, and David Porter). His relationship with Stax’s staff has been described as difficult, both with its musicians and with its management,

Cropper ascribes this to a clash between executive Jim Stewart’s more conservative persona and Covay’s unpredictable creative character. Cropper emphasized his appreciation of Covay: “I loved Don to death. We get along great but I don’t think Jim and them understood Don. He thinks in different areas and he was kind of driving people bananas”.[9] According to Carla Thomas, the musicians enjoyed working with artists sent by Atlantic, including Covay and Wilson Pickett, but resented having to give them studio time.[8] On “See-Saw”, Covay “achieved an even more powerfully soulful edge”, but he did not maintain momentum as a performer, and most of his later recordings for Atlantic failed to chart.

However, his songwriting continued to be successful, as he wrote songs for Etta James, Otis Redding, Little Richard (his 1965 hit, “I Don’t Know What You Got but It’s Got Me”, for Vee-Jay and a couple of soul dancers for Brunswick, released in 1967), and notably Aretha Franklin, who had a hit in 1968 with “Chain of Fools”, a song Covay had written some fifteen years earlier. Franklin won a Grammy for her performance. Over the years Covay’s compositions have been recorded by such varied artists as Gene Vincent, Wanda Jackson, Connie Francis, Steppenwolf, Bobby Womack, the Rolling Stones, Wilson Pickett, Small Faces, Grant Green, and Peter Wolf, among others.

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Covay organized the Soul Clan, a collective venture with Solomon Burke, Joe Tex, Ben E. King and Arthur Conley, in 1968, but it was relatively unsuccessful. In 1969, he joined former Shirelles guitarist Joe Richardson and blues and folk singer John P. Hammond to form the Jefferson Lemon Blues Band. The band’s single “Black Woman” made number 43 on the R&B chart in 1970[10] and they recorded two albums: The House of Blue Lights and Different Strokes for Different Folks, before splitting up.

Covay joined Mercury Records in 1972, as an A&R executive, while also starting to record his album Superdude. The album yielded two of his most successful songs, “I Was Checkin’ Out, She Was Checkin’ In” and “Somebody’s Been Enjoying My Home”. He followed up with two more successful singles, “It’s Better to Have (and Don’t Need)” in 1973, his only hit as a performer in the UK, followed by “Rumble in the Jungle” in 1974, inspired by the boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. In the late 1970s, he recorded for Philadelphia International Records but then withdrew from recording for several years, reappearing as a backing singer on the Rolling Stones’ 1986 album Dirty Work.

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Covay had a stroke in 1992. The following year, Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones, Iggy Pop, Todd Rundgren and others performed on a Covay tribute album, Back to the Streets: Celebrating the Music of Don Covay. He was presented with a Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1994.

He released the album Adlib in 2000 on the Cannonball label, his first album in 23 years. Collaborating musicians included Paul Rodgers, Wilson Pickett, Lee Konitz, Otis Clay, Kim Simmonds, Ann Peebles, Syl Johnson, Paul Shaffer, Huey Lewis and Dan Penn. The cover art was by Ronnie Wood.

In an interview published in the UK music weekly Record Mirror in 1967, Covay said, “Singing is my first love, but I like to express my thoughts in the songs I write as well as in the way I sing them. I am always looking for experiences we all know and try to relate them through both my writing and my singing. This is why I think ‘Mercy, Mercy’ became so popular. It was down-to-earth, and everyone immediately recognized the meaning of the song from first-hand experience.”

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Covay’s wife, Yvonne Darby, died in 1981. Their son, Donald Covay Jr. (1954–2010), predeceased his father.

Donald Covay died after a stroke on January 31, 2015, at the age of 78 at a hospital in Franklin Square New York.

He is survived by his four children (Wendy Covay, Wanda Richardson, Ursula Covay Parkes, Antonio Covay), three brothers (Eddie Randolph, Thomas Randolph, Leroy Randolph), and five grandchildren. (wikipedia)

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And here´s his debut album:

Covay was a prolific songwriter who penned an impressive string of hits for the likes of Aretha Franklin, Burke and Wilson Pickett. He was also one of the most overlooked soul singers of his generation. His first single “Bip Bop Bip” is a frantic 50s shouter wild enough to make Little Richard (who he once chauffeured for) sound like Fabian. After releasing a few more sides that were a bit derivative but great nonetheless, Covay finally hit his stride in 64 with the genre blurring cut “Mercy, Mercy.” A solid R&B groove was intact, but the prominent raw guitars (rumored to have been played by a young Hendrix) and crashing drums gave it a strong rocknroll edge, anticipating the garage boom that was just on the horizon. His pleading vocals convey a sense of desperation that even surpasses Pickett´s stellar rendition of the song.

Single

This single along with some equally crude tracks from the same era were collected on the 1966 LP See Saw. “Everything Gonna Be Everything” is an all-out stomper that not being backed by the Pretties. Also included are some more straight-ahead soul songs he cut at Stax, featuring the tight, horn dominated sound and Steve Cropper licks that made the label famous. On the title cut and “Iron Out the Rough Spots” we find Covay neck and neck with best talent on the formidable Stax roster.

See Saw is the epitome of a great mid-60s Southern soul album, perfectly balanced with the right amount of dance tunes and ballads.(therisingstorm.net)

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Personnel:
Don Covay (vocals, guitr)
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Booker T & The MG´s:
Steve Cropper (guitar)
Donald Dunn (bass)
Al Jackson, Jr. (drums)
Booker T. Jones (keyboards)
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unknown brass section

Don Covay07Tracklist:
01. See-Saw (Covay/Cropper) 3.03
02. The Boomerang (Covay/Ott/Randolph) 2.06
03. Everything Gonna Be Everything (Covay/Miller) 2.35
04. Fat Man (Covay/Randolph) 2.38
05. Precious You (Covay) 2.45
06. Iron Out The Rough Spots (Jones/Porter/Cropper) 2.59
07. Please Do Something (Covay/Miller) 2.53
08. I Never Get Enough Of Your Love (Covay/Cropper) 2.48
09. The Usual Place (Covay/Randolph) 2.10
10. A Woman’s Love (Covay) 2.40
11. Sookie, Sookie (Covay/Cropper) 2.46
12. Mercy, Mercy (Covay/Ott) 2.27

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Tony Sheridan & The Elvis Presley Band – Worlds Apart (1978)

FrontCover1Anthony Esmond Sheridan McGinnity (21 May 1940 – 16 February 2013), known professionally as Tony Sheridan, was an English rock and roll singer-songwriter and guitarist who spent much of his adult life in Germany. He was best known as an early collaborator of the Beatles (though the record was labelled as being with “The Beat Brothers”), one of two non-Beatles (the other being Billy Preston) to receive label performance credit on a record with the group, and the only non-Beatle to appear as lead singer on a Beatles recording which charted as a single.

Sheridan was born in Norwich, Norfolk, where he grew up at 2 Hansell Road in Thorpe St Andrew and attended the City of Norwich School.

His parents, Alphonsus McGinnity and Audrey J M Mann were married in Norwich in 1939. In his early life, Sheridan was influenced by their interest in classical music, and by age seven, he had learned to play the violin. He eventually came to play guitar, and in 1956, formed his first band. He showed enough talent that he soon found himself playing in London’s “Two I’s” club for some six months straight. In 1958, aged 18, he began appearing on Oh Boy!, made by the ITV contractor ABC, playing electric guitar on such early rock classics as “Blue Suede Shoes”, “Glad All Over”, “Mighty Mighty Man” and “Oh, Boy!”. He was soon employed backing a number of singers, reportedly including Gene Vincent and Conway Twitty while they were in England.

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In 1958 Johnny Foster sought to recruit Sheridan as a guitar player in Cliff Richard’s backing band (soon renamed the Shadows), but after failing to find him at the 2i’s Coffee Bar opted for another guitarist who was there, Hank Marvin. Early in 1960, he performed in a tour of the UK, along with Vincent and Eddie Cochran. On 16 April, Vincent and Cochran rebuffed his request to ride along with them to the next venue. He therefore escaped the road accident which would leave Cochran dead and Vincent badly injured.

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Sheridan played guitar for Cherry Wainer on her recording of “Happy Organ”. Despite these successes, his penchant for being late, showing up without his guitar, etc., soon got him a reputation for having gone a bit “haywire”, and cost him much of his professional standing in England. Providentially, an offer for a gig came from Bruno Koschmider’s “Kaiserkeller” club in Hamburg, Germany for an English group to play there. Sheridan and others (including Colin “Melander” Crawley) joined an ad hoc group promptly dubbed “The Jets” and were put on the ship headed for Hamburg. As fate would have it, legal woes (i.e. lack of proper papers) caused “The Jets” to not last long, but Sheridan (and now-friend Crawley) were soon back onstage in Hamburg.

While performing in Hamburg between 1960 and 1963, Sheridan employed various backup bands, most of which were really “pickup bands”, or simply an amalgam of various musicians, rather than a group proper (though almost always including now bassist Colin “Melander” Crawley and usually top-pianist Roy Young). However, in 1961, the young Beatles (with their line-up at the time of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best) who had met and admired Sheridan during their first visit to Hamburg in 1960, and who worked with him on their second visit, became even closer. The Beatles sometimes backed Sheridan, who, in turn, often joined the Beatles during their own sets backing them on guitar. They even visited Sheridan’s home and had jamming sessions in the back garden.

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When a colleague of German Polydor producer/A & R man Bert Kaempfert saw the pairing on stage, he suggested that Sheridan and the Beatles make some recordings together.[10] Kaempfert viewed Sheridan as the one with “star” potential, and though they signed the Beatles to play on Sheridan’s records their contract with them stipulated that the four Beatles (Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Best) were insured to play on a minimum of two songs. Of the seven songs recorded during Sheridan’s two-day-long sessions for Polydor in June 1961, at times the band behind Sheridan would be down to only two Beatles (Paul McCartney and Pete Best). And that conversely some say that only on their two solo songs do all four Beatles play (minus Sheridan), while Sheridan plays on all of his tracks. John Lennon’s rhythm guitar is heard only on the two Beatle solo tracks (though his voice is heard in background vocals as well as his handclaps on Sheridan’s tracks) (per “Beatles Deeper Undercover” by Kristopher Engelhardt, p. 302) These sessions produced Sheridan’s “My Bonnie” and “The Saints”, and the Beatles’ “Ain’t She Sweet” and “Cry for a Shadow” (formerly titled “Beatle Bop”), plus three other songs.

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Polydor’s beliefs in Sheridan’s coming stardom were so strong that they buried the two solo Beatle tracks until much later. Additionally John Lennon, Pete Best and Tony Sheridan all swore that there were several other Beatle tracks that were recorded during the two-day session, but they have not surfaced. In the Spring of 1962 in order to fulfill contractual obligations, the four surviving Beatles (plus Roy Young but without Sheridan) recorded an instrumental version of Sweet Georgia Brown; later, Sheridan cut his vocal overdub for the song while solo in the studio. (Reportedly “Swanee River” was also recorded by the Beatles and Roy Young, though Polydor released a version in 1962 on Sheridan’s album My Bonnie; however, Polydor states they’ve never found this last recording). A newspaper story of the day also mentioned that Sheridan had recorded “You Are My Sunshine” with the Beatles as well for single release (it was also on his album as well).

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In 1962, after a series of singles (the first of which, “My Bonnie”/”The Saints” made it to number 5 in the German chart), the record was released in America on Decca with a black label and also in a pink label for demo play. The record has the distinction of being one of the most expensive collectible 45 rpm with the black label in mint condition selling for $15,000 in 2007 and the pink label selling for $3000. Ringo Starr briefly played in Sheridan’s backing band during very early 1962, before returning to Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. Starr was reportedly unhappy with Sheridan performing songs he had not rehearsed with his band (other musicians made the same complaint, as well as about Sheridan’s penchant for fist-fights).

Also in 1962, Polydor released the album My Bonnie across Germany. The word “Beatles” was judged to sound too similar to the Hamburgisch dialect word “Pidels” (pronounced “peedles”), the plural of a slang term for penis, hence the album was credited to “Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers”.[13][14] After the Beatles had gained fame, the album was re-released in the United Kingdom, with the credit altered to “Tony Sheridan and the Beatles”. The Beatles’ Hamburg studio recordings, as well as some live recordings from the same period, have been reissued many times.

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In the mid-1960s, Sheridan’s musical style underwent a drastic transformation, away from his rock and roll roots and towards a more blues- and jazz-oriented sound. Though these recordings were praised by some, many fans of his earlier work felt wildly disappointed. This change was presaged by liner notes from his 1964 album Just a Little Bit of Tony Sheridan in which his musical preferences are listed as “jazz and classical” rather than rock. The liner notes also mention his wanting to visit the southern US “to hear at first hand the original negro music and experience the atmosphere that has been instrumental in creating negro jazz and the spiritual, for which he has a great liking.” Polydor continued releasing Tony Sheridan singles with German record producer Jimmy Bowien through 1967 (though they only ever released two albums by him).

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By 1967, Sheridan had become disillusioned with his Beatle-brought fame. As he was more concerned by the Vietnam War and the thought of further Communist aggression, as such Sheridan agreed to perform for the Allied troops. While in Vietnam however, the band that he had assembled was fired upon and one of the members was killed. For his work entertaining the Allies, Sheridan was made an honorary Captain of the United States Army. Due to the repeated shellings encountered there, Sheridan henceforth suffered a great sensitivity to the sounds of any kind of explosions, even fireworks.

With his Polydor contract gone, Sheridan did what he could to survive. In the early 1970s, he managed to cut a single as a pop duo teamed with Carole Bell, and they toured Europe together with fair success. Following that phase he returned to playing in Germany (usually Hamburg) or London. The mid-1970s, saw him deejaying a West German radio programme of blues music, which was well received. Somehow he then managed to record an entire live album of early rock classics, a number of which had been part of his and the young Beatles early live act but of which had never been recorded.

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In 1978 a record producer in America heard Sheridan’s early Polydor recordings (with and without the young Beatles), and was impressed by Tony’s singing and playing. Immediately Sheridan was offered and accepted the offer to come and record a whole studio album in Los Angeles. Elvis Presley’s TCB Band, not working at the time, was hired to play on the album along with top bassist (and former Hamburg friend) Klaus Voormann. An album of rock classics plus a few country tunes resulted, but with no major label release, it was restricted to direct TV sales. Thus the possible prospect of a long American career in Las Vegas evaporated.

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In 1978, the Star Club was reopened, and Sheridan performed there along with Elvis Presley’s TCB Band.

In 1991, Joe Sunseri, Sheridan biographer and then-manager, completed Nobody’s Child: The Tony Sheridan Story. However, due to a falling-out, the biography remained unpublished. A biography of Sheridan, titled The Teacher (ISBN 0957528507), was eventually published in 2013 by Norfolk author Alan Mann, a childhood-friend of Sheridan. This book was essentially an email question and answer interview. While repeated probings by the author did bring out Sheridan’s one time of two weeks spent in an English jail, aside from that the author unfortunately takes Sheridan’s memory of things at total face value. On 13 August 2002, Sheridan released Vagabond, a collection largely of his own material, but also including a new cover version of “Skinny Minnie”, a song he had years earlier recorded for his first album. Tony played guitar and sang for the Argentinian rock musician Charly Garcia. The album was called Influencia and it was released in 2002.[17] In 2015, Colin “Melander” Crawley – Sheridan’s former bassist, published another biography, Tony Sheridan – The One The Beatles Called “The Teacher”(ISBN 9781515092612) . Of the two published biographies it definitely gives the most insight into Sheridan’s major career of the early ’60’s.

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Sheridan lived in Seestermühe, a village north of Hamburg, and in addition to music, in his later life he was interested in heraldry and designed coats of arms. Sheridan was extremely secretive about his personal life, although it’s known that he was married three times, lastly to Anna Sievers, and previously to Rosi Heitmann and to Hazel Byng. His friend and former bassist Crawley stated that in 1960 Sheridan confided that despite his mixed Irish-Catholic and Jewish background, he was at that point viewing himself as a Buddhist. Later Sheridan became a devotee of the guru Bhagwan Sri Rajneesh and lived in the 1980s at the guru’s Rajneeshpuram commune in Oregon, United States.
Death
Tony Sheridan died on 16 February 2013 in Hamburg, after undergoing heart surgery. (wikipedia)

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In 1978, Tony Sheridan travelled to America and recorded the album World’s Apart with Elvis Presley‘s TCB Band. The album was produced by Klaus Voorman, an old friend from the Hamburg days, and released in Europe.

It has a “Country Side” and a “Rockin´ Side” … and I guess Tony Sheridan was more a Rock N Roll singer then a country boy ..

A nice memory to this musician, who brought The Beatles on stage … long, long ago …

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Personnel:
James Burton (guitar)
Emory Gordy, Jr. (keyboards)
Glen D. Hardin (piano)
Tony Sheridan (vocals, guitar)
Ron Tutt (drums)
Klaus Voormann (bass)

US front + backcover:
USFront+BackCover
Tracklist:

The Country Side (19:06)
01. Country Rock ‘N’ Roll (Jameson) 3.04
02. Lookin’ Back (Sheridan)
03. She Even Woke Me Up (To Say Goodbye) (Newbury/Gilmore)
04. Fools Like Me (Clement/Maddux)
05. Growin’ Pains Of Time (Jameson)
06. Don’t Want To (Jameson)

The Rockin’ Side: (16:50)
07. My Baby Left Me (Crudup)
08. My Baby (Dixon)
09. Long Tall Sally (Enotris/Johnson/Penniman/Blackwell)
10. Rave On (West/Tilghman/Petty)
11. Lawdy Miss Clawdy (Price)
12. Johnny B. Goode (Berry)

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Don Cossack Choir – Songs Of The Don Cossacks (1958)

FrontCover1The Don Cossack Choir Serge Jaroff  was a men’s chorus of exiled Cossacks founded in 1921 by Serge Jaroff and conducted for almost sixty years by him.

After suffering total defeat at the hands of the Red Army, many Cossacks ended up in the diaspora. In 1921 it was with these very Russian refugees that Serge Jaroff set about forming a choir in the Turkish internment camp Çilingir [Wikidata], near Istanbul. The Cossacks began to accompany their own church services, and later left for the Greek island of Lemnos. To improve the situation, they started giving open-air concerts, which were especially popular with the British. The Cossack lieutenant, Serge Jaroff, worked hard on his choir’s repertoire, until a splendid opportunity presented itself. Troops were to be shipped from Çilingir to the Bulgarian town of Burgas and on their behalf the Russian envoy suggested that Jaroff and his choir should be attached to the church. Although the parish was too poor to support a choir, the offer was accepted and the members of the choir were obliged to find work on the side.
Serge Jaroff

The tents were then exchanged for barracks in Sofia, provided by the Ministry of Defence. The profit from the-often improvised-concerts was about $ 2,- (approx. 8 German marks at the time). Even so, the debut on 23 June 1923 in the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Sofia, was excellent for morale.

This was followed by an offer from a factory in the French town of Montargis. The wife of the factory owner was Russian, and since the factory already had a wind band, they also considered having a choir. Unfortunately, lack of funds marooned the choir in Vienna.

Help came from a representative of the League of Nations, who took an interest in the choir. He brought the singers in contact with the director of a concert agency. At an audition in the director’s office the singers exceeded all expectations-and a historic decision was made.

But the offer of a concert in the Vienna Hofburg on 4 July 1923 put everything else in the shadows. After this amazingly successful concert in the Austrian capital, the director predicted that the choir would not sing once, but a thousand times. In fact, it would eventually perform in excess of 10,000 concerts.

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The choir toured Australia in 1926, leaving behind its lead tenor, Savva Kamaralli (Савва Камаралли), who decided to make his home there.
U.S. Citizenship

They traveled to the United States for the first time in 1930 and attained U.S. citizenship in a mass ceremony in 1936. With World War II looming, the choir found a new home in the United States and Sol Hurok became manager of the choir.

After the War, in 1953, Konzertdirektion Kurt Collien from Hamburg took over the choir from Clara Ebner, and in 1960 the choir was taken over by Otto Hofner from Cologne. Hofner and Jaroff would eventually become good friends and 20 March 1981 Jaroff transferred all the rights of his choir to Hofner. Otto Hofner also directed three feature films and six TV-movies. The last tour under Serge Jaroff was in 1979, although he continued as choir leader until 1981. Hofner left when Jaroff finally agreed to a tour under the direction of George Markitisch.

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In 1985, Otto Hofner sought contact with Michael Minsky. Conforming to Jaroff’s wishes, Hofner wished to organize a tour with Nicolai Gedda as soloist and Michael Minsky as conductor. Michael Minsky had been, since 1948 in contact with Jaroff and his choir and since 1964 soloist in the Don Cossack Choir Serge Jaroff. This would take place in 1986, as a memorial to Serge Jaroff. The tour was a success, but when Minsky became ill and Nicolai Gedda did not want to sing every day, Otto Hofner called it quits.

In 1991 Wanja Hlibka (Ваня Хлибка), a soloist since 1967, started the choir again with George Tymchenko, another former soloist of the Don Cossack Choir Serge Jaroff. In 2001 Otto Hofner transferred all the rights in the name Don Cossack Choir Serge Jaroff (Хор донских казаков Сергея Жарова) to Wanja Hlibka.[1] The choir continues to give performances.

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The Don Cossack Choir was renowned for the quality of the tenors and baritones and for the depth and resonance of the low basses. Every member of this choir was and is trained in a classical or operatic way. The singers can reach sheer power without using amplification. Also the voices have different timbres for different volumes. in the piano range the singers hum in the mezzo piano to mezzo forte the singers switch from a light singing voice to a more deeper sounding voice but with brilliancy. When singing forte a pure operatic bass baritone and tenor voice is achieved with extreme loudness and brightness in the voice. An outstanding feature are the tenors singing in head voice in a soprano range but another feature of this choir is it sings in a unit. The voices have a very good balance throughout the entire singers. (wikipedia)

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And here´s one of their typical recordings … not my kind of music, but full of great voices … singing from the past !

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Personnel:
Don Cossack Choir conducted by Serge Jaroff

German tour programme from 1959
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Tracklist:
01. Down The Petrograd Road 2.14
02. Lesguinka 3.39
03. Two Songs 3.42
04. The Legend Of The Twelve Robbers 5.09
05. By The Don River 3.51
06. Two Cossack Songs 3.19
07. O God, Save Thy People 2.38
08. In The Church + First Psalm Of David 10.10
09. Evening Bells 2.42
10. Excerpts From The Opera 9.09

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