Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sing Children Sing: Songs of the United States of America (1977)

Caedmon TC-1558, UNICEF 5045

I picked up four LPs from the Sing Children Sing series at the thrift shop: USA, British Isles, France and Austria. They were either new and sealed, or open and near new. You never know with this kind of record whether it will be tastefully done or not. But I noticed the performers were "The New York Opera Children's Chorus," so I figured it couldn't be too bad.

I was right. Though I would have preferred most of these songs performed by just the chorus, the instrumental arrangements are good, and the banjo and guitar playing are by Eric Weissberg. The singing is just right - it sounds accomplished but not excessively polished. A couple of soloists come from what I call The Annie School of Singing, but most of the tunes get everything just right. One of the singers, Vanessa Williams, went on to be a successful actress.

From the LP:
"The New York Opera Children's Chorus
Mildred Hohner, Director
Arranged and Conducted by Robert DeCormier
Produced by arrangement with the United States Committee for UNICEF
Eric Weissberg (guitar, banjo)"

Wayfaring Stranger

The Farmer is the Man (written circa 1877)

Gentle Annie

The Erie Canal

Stars Shining By and By

Simple Gifts

Additional tracks (by request)
Ol' Dan Tucker

The Singing School


  1. Thanks for posting. We listened to this LP many times when our kids were small. Too bad this LP has not been converted to CD. I would love it for my grandchildren.

  2. Thank you so much. You have no idea how long I have been searching for this recording, and I have not been able to find it anywhere. It was rejuvenating to hear these again- so fabulous. Is there any way at all you could post the remaining tracks from the first album in this series? I remember a recording of 'By'n bye" as well as "Singing School" and "Erie Canal," "Great Granddad" and "Gentle Annie." It would be so, so very wonderful to hear these songs again... and the others. If you ever find the time to do this, there are several people I know who would appreciate your efforts. Thank you very much.

  3. Thanks for your comment and I"m glad you found these tracks. Though I don't post entire albums on Not On CD, I will try to add a few more tracks from the LP.

  4. Thank you Kurt, thank you. Hearing these songs again means such a great deal to me. I simply cannot find words to express the depth of my appreciation, as I've been looking everywhere on the internet and used record stores for this recording for ages (and as you see, never gave up- thank you for being here for us audiophiles!). I didn't know who had published it- only that it was a children's chorus, the word 'Sing' and 'Children' was in the title, and it featured a recording of 'By'n by' that rivets me to this day for its purity and sweetness-- its arrangement is set perfectly for children's voices. Do the liner notes on the album indicate the arranger, or anything else about this piece specifically? Thank you for posting it and for your work with 'lost' recordings. It's wonderful to hear the honest (not over-produced) quality of the singing and recording. -Anne

  5. You're welcome. All the songs were arranged by Robert DeCormier. The liner notes say "A unique part of our heritage is expressed in the Black field song, The Blue Tail Fly and the spiritual Stars Shining By and By."

  6. What a wonderful find! These voices bring tears to my eyes. Is there a chance you could make "Simple Gifts" available--my favorite.

  7. I know this post is old but I occasionally search for this album and was really excited to find one that didn't have broken links. I wore the tape out as a child and I've been trying to find another copy ever since. If you still have the originals, could you possibly upload Singing School and Old Dan Tucker? Thank you!!!

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