Six-CD Box Set of Hy Zaret and Lou Singer's BALLADS FOR THE AGE OF SCIENCE Set for 10/15 Release
For the first time in over fifty years, Harbinger Records will release "Ballads for the Age of Science," the most successful educational recordings of all time, as a six-CD box set.
Featuring more than four dozen original songs written by Hy Zaret, co-author of the iconic popular song "Unchained Melody," and Lou Singer between 1959 and 1961, the albums introduced scientific concepts and terms using catchy, easy-to-learn lyrics and music to grade school students across America in the early 1960s.
The CD box will be available in stores nationwide on Tuesday, October 15, 2013. The albums are available from Harbinger Records (www.HarbingerRecords.com) and through downloads on iTunes. They are distributed by Naxos USA.
Baby Boomers have fond memories of these catchy songs. The original recordings are now cherished by collectors both for their beautiful covers and for nostalgic memories of their youth. The recordings on the newly-released CDs are meticulous digital restorations of the original 1961 recordings in all their monophonic glory.
The talent featured on the recordings includes legendary folksinger Tom Glazer and pop singer Dottie Evans ("Energy and Motion Songs," "More Space Songs," "Weather Songs" - Glazer only); singer/actress Dorothy Collins ("Experiment Songs"); and folk-singing duo Marais and Miranda ("Nature Songs," "More Nature Songs"). The Tony Mottola Orchestra, directed by Hecky Krasnow, plays on many of the records. Famed illustrator Leo Leonni designed original covers for each album. Hy Ruchlis was the science advisor.
The songs included in "Ballads for the Age of Science" have been experienced beyond the confines of the classroom, whether on the pages of "The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction" in a 1960 Isaac Asimov essay or two decades later covered by the popular '80s alternative band "They Might Be Giants."
More recently, websites and Facebook fan pages have been set up in honor of this unforgettable music.
About Harbinger Records: Celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2010, Harbinger Records is a leading independent CD label featuring the Great American Songbook. Stars of stage, cabaret, and jazz have graced the Harbinger label. Ken Bloom and Bill Rudman, owners of Harbinger Records, co-produced the Grammy-nominated Great Songs of the Cotton Club by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler, featuring the legendary Maxine Sullivan. Maxine and pianist/arranger Keith Ingham were also featured on two subsequent Harbinger CDs featuring songs by Burton Lane and Jule Styne. Bloom and Rudman also produced Peggy Lee's Love Held Lightly: Rare Songs by Harold Arlen. In addition, Harbinger has released the catalog of the Walden Records label on CD featuring great songs by the masters of the American Musical Theatre. Among the artists on Harbinger records are Barbara Carroll, Eric Comstock, Sylvia McNair, Amy Burton, and Heather MacRae. Harbinger has also issued historic recordings by Noel Coward, Charles Strouse and Lee Adams, Ethel Merman, Mabel Mercer, and Susan Johnson. Harbinger Records is distributed by NaxosUSA.
HYMAN HARRY ZARITSKY (Hy Zaret) was born on 21 August 1907 to Max and Dora Zaritsky. He grew up in the Bronx (New York City) and graduated from the Bronx High School of Commerce. While in high school, he played roving center for a club football team called the Brownies.
After high school, he went to West Virginia University, primarily to play football. When he showed up for football practice, the coach suggested he should try wrestling instead. After looking at the players in the locker room, Mr. Zaritsky decided to take the coach's advice; most football players were taller than 5'5" even then.
Mr. Zaritsky was determined to be a poet, but his mother convinced him to become a lawyer. So he earned his law degree from Brooklyn Law School. He then limited his practice to closings for clients of his father, who was a realtor. The practice provided enough money and left time for writing.
He decided that lyricists were at least a bit more likely than poets to earn a living, so he became a lyricist.
In 1934, Mr. Zaritsky changed his last name to Zaret.
In the summer of 1939, he and a friend went to visit another friend, who was a counselor at a sleep-away camp. While there, Mr. Zaret met another counselor named Shirley Goidel. He said he would marry her. She thought he was crazy and avoided him for several months. In the fall, he convinced his younger sister to be his "date" (complete with pseudonym) for a party that Shirley would attend. Hy and Shirley married 28 June 1940, and remained married until his death.
On 12 June 1945, Thomas Michael Zaret was born; Mr. Zaret wrote a parody of "One Meat Ball" as the birth announcement. On 28 July 1948, Robert Edward Zaret was born; Mr. Zaret wrote a parody of "Listen to the Green Grass Growing" as the birth announcement. Thomas died 14 June 1984 of a brain tumor; he is survived by his wife and son. Robert is pleased and proud to be reviving his dad's songs.
Hy Zaret died 2 July 2007, one month shy of his 100th birthday.
In 1935, he wrote "Dedicated to You" with Saul Chaplin and Sammy Cahn. It became his first hit and is still a perennial jazz favorite, with recordings by Billy Eckstine, Carmen McRae and Shirley Horn, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., Tommy Dorsey, Johnny Hartman, John Coltrane, and others.
In 1941, three of Mr. Zaret's songs became hits Ted Weems and his orchestra had a hit recording of "It All Comes Back to Me Now" (written with Joan Whitney and Alex Kramer); Frank Sinatra also recorded it. Jimmy Dorsey had a hit recording of "My Sister and I" (written with Joan Whitney and Alex Kramer). And Vaughn Monroe had a hit recording of "There I Go" (written with Irving Weiser).
During World War II, Mr. Zaret was in the U.S. Army Special Services, along with Frank Loesser, Alex North, Peter Lind Hayes, Jerry Livingston, Arnold Auerbach, Jose Limon, and others. He wrote parodies for "Yank" magazine, and many of these songs were recorded on an album called "Strictly GI". He wrote "Soldiers of God" (song of the Army chaplains), the official song for the WAC. "Song of the Army Nurse Corps", "Saga of a Sad Sack" (with Frank Loesser), and other official songs. He also wrote English lyrics for "The Marseillase" (French National Anthem), "The Partisan" (recorded by Leonard Cohen and Joan Baez), "Garibaldi War Hymn", "Katyusha", and the Soviet Unions' new anthem.