Another Banana Split, Please
30th July 2019 Jamie Dyer 0 Comments
The weather has been scorching over the last week or so, and many BBQs and summer parties will be held. If you are looking for a vintage vibe to your shindig, Bear Family Records‘ latest release may be the answer. A follow up to 2018’s ‘A Banana Split For My Baby’, it continues the theme of summer through another collection of recordings spanning 1938 to 1962.
The album features forays into Rock n Roll, Jazz, Novelty, Doo-Wop and Pop; predominantly focused on the 1950s and early 1960s. Obligatory classics from Jerry Keller, The McGuire Sisters, Eddie Cochran, Brian Hyland, Andy Williams and The Four Voices are all here, alongside rarer gems from Sammy Salvo, The Lifeguards (a spin-off from Bill Haley’s Comets), Bikinis and The Kittens. It is also nice to hear the nostalgic vocal version of ‘(Theme from) a Summer Place’, sung by Joanie Sommers. The only song, in my opinion, that appears a little out of place is 1938’s Tutti Frutti by Slim & Slam; sounding odd next to a large amount of material from a later period. There is no denying, however, this recording has the summer factor that the label is striving for. It’s a mixed bag of tunes, with plenty of variety.
The historical nature of the included material means there are occasional questionable moments; Gerry Granahan’s ‘Too Big For Her Bikini’ being one. The sound quality, despite the vintage of tracks, is mostly excellent with a few minor issues.
The 28-page booklet, included in the set, provides a bit of background information on each artist and song, along with relevant illustrations and photographs. A regular feature for Bear Family Records, but always a welcome one.
Bear Family Records have compiled a colourful and intriguing selection of summer-themed tunes from yesteryear. The eclectic nature, seen in many of the label’s compilations, is a real selling point. Perfect for a vintage themed summer BBQ, your guests will be singing along in no time!