Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Merigail Circa 1980

As promised at both the 365 days project and in my previous post here, I am presenting a short tape sent to me by one of Merigail Moreland's relatives, featuring five songs she recorded around 1979 or 1980, when she was have been in her mid to late 30's. For me, her performances here lack the spark, verve and pure joy of life that radiates from the earlier recordings. In addition, I don't really find the songs or the backing arrangements to be very interesting (with a few exceptions). However, in order to complete the picture, to honor the requests made, and also because others may enjoy these as much as the earlier tracks, I am including these tracks here.

The best two songs, in my opinion, are versions of "Both Sides Now":



And "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You":



Also on the tape were versions of a song called "The Joker":



And a song previously recorded by Barbra Streisand, "Why Did I Choose You?":



The tape actually begins with this song, but as I find it the weakest, in recording quality, performance as well as a song, I've included it last. It is called "With Pen in Hand":




Perhaps there are yet more recordings to be heard, and if so, I'll be happy to share them here!

Monday, September 10, 2007

More Merigail

After my recent post, to the 365 project, of a bunch of Merigail Moreland material, there were several requests that I post the rest of what I own of this wonderful singer. I'm going to do this in two posts, each containing multiple tracks.

(By the way, perhaps this was known to everyone but me, but clicking on the word "divshare" allows you to go to the track itself and download it.)

First up are three tracks that I skipped in submitting to the 365 days project, because I was unsure that they actually are Merigail. However, the more I listen to them, the more convinced I am, due to the little flip in her voice near the end of two of these three tracks. These are, however, the least of the tracks I am offering up today, in terms of quality, and I would guess that they predate the "Reputation" tapes from 1953 by at least some months, if not more, based on the (lack of) quality of her singing.

First, she sings a song called "Why", a song her father appears to have been trying to turn into a hit (based on the number of versions of it that turn up on these tapes), presumably with her father, and perhaps the woman who joins in later is her mother:



Next, she sings the previously heard (at 365 days) "Mommy Daddy Bye Bye" with the same man:



Then she sings "Why", again, this time with an unidentified woman, probably the same woman as in the earlier version:



Next up is a third version of "Head Cheese", which I left out of the 365 days post because it seemed sort of redundant. This is from the same recording session as the second of the two versions posted to 365:



The main focus for today, however, is the other 1953 versions of Reputation, which I left out of my post because there were just so many of them. Here we have the first recorded version with the guitarist, who appears to be still learning his part:



Next up, another take, one which followed the "you were sharp" version that I've already shared:



Here is a tiniest fragment of a take, included for completests:



And here is a version actually recorded after the "final 1953 version", but apparently rejected in favor of the better version done just before this one:



After ten years, these recordings can still make me tear up more than just a bit. Her voice connects with me on some very basic level, the joy of a child combined, at times, with the abilities of a great singer in training. I love every minute of these tapes.

Tonights project is to digitize the circa 1980 tapes of Merigail which I was sent recently, and I hope to have those posted tomorrow.