Showing posts with label Burl Ives. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Burl Ives. Show all posts

Sunday, June 14, 2015

June 14: Burl Ives

Whether it was his irascible personality in various motion pictures or as an animated host for playful reindeer, people instantly knew who Burl Ives was. Mr Ives had the voice that played to the radio audience because of its intrinsic calming quality and valued variance of intonation. Born June 14 of 1909, Burl Ives captured the American stage, movie and radio enclave with an almost operatic enhancement. One could say his first public performance was of him singing to a group of old soldiers. His uncle asked him to sing before the group and immediately his talents were noticed.

His early days had him partnered with the Boy Scouts of America as a spokesman and a former scout. Radio was a big part of Burl Ives, beginning with his first 1940’s radio program called The Wayfaring Stranger, where Ives first heard the news of WWII. Mr Ives continued to work on radio guest-starring on programs such as Bing Crosby, Martin and Lewis and Command Performance. He continued to parlay his hand with folk music, becoming part of the “The Almanacs”. As the war with Germany was going on, Burl Ives and his group could be seen around the country supporting the war effort and urging Americans to stay strong.

In 1947, Ives paired with the Andrews Sisters to record for Decca Records and held for weeks one of the highest selling recordings of the day. Although cleared of any communist sympathies, Burl Ives had to face the charges during the 1950s.

During this period, and into the 60’s, Mr Ives performed in various motion pictures. Into the 90’s, he was a great lover and performer of country music, stay involved in films and lent his voice to animated characters. He is probably most remembered as the host snowman for the classic , “Rudolph, The Red-nosed Reindeer”. Burl Ives was married twice and one son.

In 1995 he passed away from complications dealing with oral cancer. It has always been a well-known belief that Burl Ives personified joy and happiness in everything he did...and lived.

Friday, December 14, 2012

December 14: Happy Birthday, Spike Jones!


Spike Jones was born December of 1911, but that is not all that there is about this talent of early radio. Besides he being an accomplished bandleader, Jones also inspired a satirical approach to his music by incorporating sound effect into the score. Spike Jones and His City Slickers were hugely renowned as the king of music jocularity. By adding cowbells and catcalls, Jones developed a musical blend and comedy routine that shook the rafters of wherever their venue. His group was especially big during the 1940’s and 50’s. Lindley “Spike” Jones gained his famous nickname because he resembled a railroad spike as a lanky and skinny individual. The sound effect addition came as a result of his youth when he was taught the “art” of pots and pans as added noise makers. He performed on Bing Crosby;’s first recording of White Christmas. Spike gained a radio following when he performed , The Chase and Sanborn Program, for NBC. As Edgar Bergen’s summer replacement, Jones grew in notoriety as more Americans had the opportunity to hear his talent. Mel Torme and Burl Ives were just a couple of the many guest stars that came onto his radio program over a 2-year period. Unfortunately, for America Spike’s life was cut short at the age of 53 when he passed away from emphysema. He may have moved on, but not his legacy.