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.
After the war, Mr. Zaret continued his collaboration with Joan Whitney and Alex Kramer. They wrote thirty-three songs together, including "It All Comes Back to Me Now", "No Other Arms, No Other Lips" (recorded by The Chordettes and Slim Whitman), "You'll Never Get Away" (recorded by Louis Prima with Gia Maione, Sam Butera and the Witnesses, and Teresa Brewer), "So Long For A While" (theme song for "Lucky Strike Hit Parade"), and the two songs mentioned earlier.
Mr. Zaret's most prolific collaboration was with Lou Singer. Their first hit was "One Meatball". In 1944, the Andrews Sisters had a hit recording of the song. Josh White's version sold a million copies, Josh White featured it at Cafe Society Uptown and comedian Jimmy Savo featured it at Cafe Society Downtown. Josh White and his son, Josh White, Jr., recorded it for Armed Services Radio. Dave Van Ronk has also covered it. Zaret and Singer also wrote "Young and Warm and Wonderful" (recorded by Gene Pitney, Tony Bennett, James Darren, and Eddie Adams, Jr.), "Atom and Evil" (recorded by The Golden Gate Quartet), "Listen to the Green Grass Growing", "I Spoke to Jefferson at Guadalcanal", "Israel's Freedom Ballad", "My Lily and My Rose", "The Lass with the Delicate Air" (recorded by Josh White, and a variation on an old English song by Michael Arne), and hundreds of Little Songs including Ballads for the Age of Science and Little Songs on Big Subjects.
From 1948 to 1951, Mr. Zaret was a writer for the CBS radio show, Sing It Again. In 1954, Mr. Zaret received a phone call from composer Alex North. Mr. North had just completed the score for a movie, and needed a lyric for the theme song. Mr. Zaret initially declined because he was too busy overseeing the painting of his house. Mr. North said the movie was about a model low-security prison, and Mr. Zaret agreed. The movie was titled Unchained and the new song was called "Unchained Melody." The movie came out in 1954, and is forgettable. But several recordings of the song were hits that year and the song received an Oscar nomination; the winner was "Three Coins in a Fountain" from the movie Three Coins in the Fountain. In 1990, the movie Ghost used the 1965 Righteous Brothers recording. In 2011, Ghost: The Musical opened in London. The song has been recorded by thousands of artists, and many recordings have been hits. In 2007, it received ASCAP's Towering Song award.
CHARLES LOUIS SINGER (Lou Singer) was born on 3 October 1912 in the Bronx, NY. He was later known as Louis C. Singer. His brother Alexander was a TV producer and one of the original creators of "Name That Tune". His brother David was in advertising.He taught himself piano and was a child prodigy. His first musical love was jazz, which he called "the true expression of twentieth century America". He said his early compositions "Slipping through My Fingers" (in 1935), "Orientale Nocturne" (with Leon Carr in 1938), and "Counterpoint al Mode" (with Leon Car in 1939) were "musical expressions written in the medium of his own period". He studied music theory, harmony, and counterpoint at Julliard School of Music.
While at Julliard, Mr. Singer met Rosalie Robin. They married and had two daughters, Frances and Barbara. His daughters provided most of this biography.Mr. Singer's first job was with W. C. Handy. He then worked as an arranger in the Duke Ellington office, where he helped write "Lost in Meditation" (with Irving Mills, Duke Ellington, and Juan Tizol in 1938), and "Gypsy Without a Song" (with Irving Gordon, Duke Ellington, and Juan Tizol in 1938). He used the money he earned to further his musical education
During the 1940s, Mr. Singer worked extensively in radio, including the show "Flow Gently Sweet Rhythm" with John Kirby and Maxene Sullivan. He wrote "If I Had a Ribbon Bow" (with Hughie Prince) and "Lass With a Delicate Air" (with Hy Zaret), and other work inspired by English folklore. In 1947, he was named to the New York Times Honor Roll for Radio, and the Radio and Television Critics Circle. He also earned the Billboard and Variety Awards for contribution to radio.
During the 1940s, he also worked as staff arranger for Lou Levy (Leeds Music). This work inspired changes in his musical style and new collaborations. He wrote "Keep Smilin' Keep Laughin' Be Happy", "One Meat Ball" (with Hy Zaret, and made famous by Josh White, Jimmy Savo, and The Andrews Sisters), "Sleepy Serenade" (with Mort Greene, and made famous by The Andrews Sisters), "Atom and Evil" (with Hy Zaret), "I Will be Home Again" (with Raymond Leveen and Bennie Benjamin, and later recorded by Elvis Presley when he went into the army), "Bugler's Dilemma", and "Tic Tac Toe." "Song of the Army Nurse Corps" (with Hy Zaret) was formally adopted as the official anthem of the Army Nurse Corps during World War II.
Mr. Singer collaborated with Paul Glass on a series of books about the history of music, which included arrangements for voice and piano plus guitar chords. These include "Singing Soldiers: A History of the Civil War in Song" , "Songs of the Sea", "Songs of Town and City Folk", "Songs of the West", "Songs of Hill and Mountain Folk", "Songs of Forest and River Folk", and "The Spirit of the Sixties". These books were published by Grosset and Dunlap.
In the 1950s Mr. Singer wrote "Young and Warm and Wonderful" (with Hy Zaret, and made famous by Tony Bennett), "Am I a Toy or a Treasure" (with Arthur Altman and Irving Taylor, and made famous by Kay Starr), and "Kismet: A Musical Arabian Night Piano/Vocal Score (with Robert Wright and George Forrest). He composed the theme song and background score for the famed TV cartoon series "Gigantor," and later for "Big World of Little Adam"; both series were produced by his brother, Alexander.
From 1947 through the early 1960s, he worked on the "Little Songs" series with Hy Zaret. Mr. Singer and his brother were working on a third television series ("Ringo"), when he died suddenly from a blood clot in his brain on 26 February 1966.