Cherry Red's él label continues to trawl through the annals of musical nostalgia for a recent pair of releases spotlighting a legendary team of actor and director, and a Brazilian music queen.
John Ford/John Wayne: Western Classics celebrates the partnership between director Ford and star Wayne that survived, personally and professionally, for 50 years. Ford was already an established, successful director when he first met USC student Marion Morrison, at the time working a summer job at 20th Century Fox as an assistant property man. Ford took an interest in the youngster and gave him a few walk-ons in his films; within a couple of years, Morrison had taken the name of John Wayne, and Ford recommended him to director Raoul Walsh. Though Walsh's The Big Trail (1930), with Wayne in his first leading role, flopped, Ford remained friends with Wayne. In 1938, Ford cast his friend in Stagecoach, and the movie made John Wayne a star overnight. When World War II started, John Ford was in uniform while John Wayne remained behind in Hollywood, supporting his family and starring in picture after picture. Wayne's decision not to join the Armed Forces deeply disappointed Ford, and the conflict informed their future relationship. Between the war's end in 1945 and Ford's passing in 1972, the two men made twelve films together - many of which, including The Searchers, How the West Was Won, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, stand among the all-time greatest westerns in cinema history.
The él release spotlights two of the above-named films. Though the music of 1962's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is best-remembered today for the Burt Bacharach/Hal David "exploitation song" that wasn't actually in the motion picture (in which David succinctly captured the essence of the film in a brief pop lyric) the movie boasted a distinctive score courtesy of composer Cyril Mockridge. Western Classics features both Mockridge's main title and the famous Bacharach/David song as performed by The Fairmount Singers. Ford directed the Civil War sequence of 1962's How the West Was Won, with Henry Hathaway and George Marshall handling other segments of the all-star epic. The film's original MGM Records soundtrack recording is presented in full here, including Alfred Newman and associate Ken Darby's score and songs.
In addition, Western Classics presents music from other films by Wayne and Ford, individually. Wayne starred in 1961's The Comancheros for director Michael Curtiz; Lonnie Donegan's "The Comancheros" (recorded with musical director Tony Hatch) is included here. The same year, Ford directed Shirley Jones, Richard Widmark and James Stewart in Two Rode Together. Its George Duning-composed main title as well as Strauss' "Blue Danube" which is heard in the film. The final movie represented on this set is 1963's comic western McLintock! starring Wayne and his Quiet Man co-star Maureen O'Hara. The original United Artists soundtrack LP of Frank DeVol's score appears here, plus John Wayne himself singing "Katie with the Light Red Hair." The package includes a booklet with new liner notes describing each film plus credits.
The team at él has also brought together the two first LPs from Brazilian vocalist Elis Regina (1945-1982) on one CD. Both 1961's Viva a Brotolândia and 1962's Poema de Amor were recorded by Regina when she was still a teenager. Before her untimely death from a fatal drug-and-alcohol overdose in 1982, she was one of Brazil's reigning music superstars.
Elis Regina began her singing career at the age of 11, singing on a children's radio program in her home of Porto Alegre, capital and largest city of Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. In 1960, the budding starlet traveled to Rio de Janeiro to record her first LP, Viva a Brotolândia or Long Live Teenage Land featuring songs by Paul Anka ("Puppy Love"), Rodgers and Hammerstein ("My Favorite Things"), and Johnny Burnette (Barry DeVorzon and Ted Ellis' "Dreamin'")! She developed an exuberant performance style and sound quite unlike the more reserved bossa nova taking Brazil (and the world) by storm. "I found Elis tacky, but full of talent," singer-songwriter Caetano Veloso is quoted in the liner notes to this two-fer release. Noted composer-arranger Eumir Deodato elaborates in another quote: "Elis Regina heralded a generation of singers who thought about their audience presentation, and they discovered that there were other ways of reaching the public than with the voice alone." But fans fell in love with her voice as well as her rock-and-roll, teen-oriented persona.
She won her first festival song contest in 1965 with Edu Lobo and Vinicius de Moraes' "Arrastão (Pull The Trawling Net)", and when her performance was released as a single, it made her the biggest selling Brazilian recording artist since Carmen Miranda. Dois na Bossa, recorded with singer-musician Jair Rodrigues, shattered sales records in Brazil and became the country's first LP to sell over one million copies. The album helped popularize the MPB (Música Popular Brasileira) movement which thrived in the post-bossa nova years. Later, some would associate her with tropicalismo alongside the likes of Veloso, Gal Costa and Gilberto Gil (whose songs she recorded), and she even teamed with bossa nova's leading light Antonio Carlos Jobim after he reportedly placed an early veto on her recording his classic songs.
Viva a Brotolândia/Poema de Amor captures the roots of the exciting sound of the young Elis Regina. The (uncredited) liner notes tell the story of her often tumultuous personal life as well as that of her musical career. Both the Elis Regina set and John Ford/John Wayne: Classic Westerns are made available via current U.K. public domain laws, and both titles are available now at the links below
Various Artists, John Ford/John Wayne: Classic Westerns (él ACMEM289CD, 2015) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
- The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Main Title)
- The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance - The Fairmount Singers
- Two Rode Together (Main Title)
- On the Beautiful, Blue Danube - Leopold Stokowski and His Symphony Orchestra
- The Comancheros - Lonnie Donegan
- How the West Was Won Overture - Dave Guard and the Whiskeyhill Singers
- How the West Was Won (Main Title)
- Bereavement and Fulfillment
- The River Pirates
- House in the Meadow - Debbie Reynolds
- Cleve and the Mule
- Raise a Ruckus Tonight - Debbie Reynolds
- Come Share My Life
- The Marriage Proposal
- Entr'acte - Dave Guard and the Whiskeyhill Singers
- He's Linus' Boy
- Climb a Higher Hill
- What Was Your Name in the States? -Debbie Reynolds
- No Goodbye
- How the West Was Won (Finale)
- McLintock! (Main Title) and Katherine Theme
- Hurry Up Hoedown
- The Other Woman
- Run Katie Run
- McLintock's Theme
- The Young
- The Lover's Waltz
- Just Right for Me
- Red Garters
- The Cakewalk
- Katie with the Light Red Hair - John Wayne
Track 1 from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, 1962
Track 2 from Dot single 45-16340, 1962
Track 3 and a version of 4 from Two Rode Together, 1961
Track 5 from Pye single 7N 15410, 1961
Tracks 6-21 from How the West Was Won, MGM LP 1SE5, 1963
Tracks 22-32 from McLintock!, United Artists LP UAS 5112, 1963
Track 33 from McLintock!, 1963
Elis Regina, Viva a Brotolândia/Poema de Amor (él ACMEM290CD, 2015) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
- Dá Sorte
- Sonhando (Dreamin')
- Tu Serás
- Samba Feito Pra Mim
- Fala-Me De Amor (Take Me In Your Arms)
- Baby Face
- Dor De Cotovelo
- Garoto Último Tipo (Puppy Love)
- As Coisas Que Eu Gosto (My Favorite Things)
- Mesmo De Mentira
- Amor, Amor... (Love Love)
- Dá-me Um Beijo (Kiss Me, Kiss Me)
- Nos Teus Lábios
- Vou Comprar Um Coração
- Meu Pequeno Mundo De Ilusão (My Little Corner of the World)
- Las Secretarias
- Saudade É Recordar
- Canção De Enganar Despedida
- Podes Voltar
Tracks 1-12 from Viva a Brotolândia, Continental LP LPP-3161, 1961
Tracks 13-24 from Poema de Amor, Continental LP PPL 12.009, 1962
Ricardo Amaral says
There's something very wrong on Elis Regina's bio: she was never connected to tropicalismo by any chance, very far from it. She was always indeed a more-traditionally oriented singer and she was an early discoverer of new-folk and regional composers such as Belchior, the Clube da Esquina movement and the superb Renato Teixeira and Zé Rodrix. Her crew was full-on the MPB crowd, more at odds (indeed, there are quotes from feuds at that era) with tropicalismo than embracing it.
Even though these 2 early records show her dabbling with teen pop, she quickly left it for bossa nova and what became known as MPB (a fusion of jazz, latin rhythms and samba canção - occasionally flirting with folk). Tropicalismo traded more with "brega" and rock'n'roll.
Joseph Kyle says
That John Wayne/John Ford compilation is excellent! There's a wonderful Stefanie Powers/Jerry Van Dyke duet towards the end of the collection, from the McLintock! soundtrack, that's worth the price of admission to this great set.