#879 (12/17/16 - 12/30/16)

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

THIS WEEK'S SELECTIONS PROVIDED BY ANDREW BOHAN

"I'll Get Along Somehow"/"Dream"
by The Harmonaires
on Varsity 5025
released in 1949 [recorded 1948]


[The above photo is courtesy of Paul Ressler.]

Above: The Harmonaires.

Columbus (Ohio) Evening Dispatch, March 30, 1947: The Harmonaires, radio and stage singing group will appear (in Columbus).... Originally a quartet, the organization is now made up of 12 members and is under the direction of a former Columbus attorney, Ragland Reid. The Columbus man started his musical career with the now famous Southernaires.

At present the Harmonaires are heard regularly on WLW and are appearing in many midwest engagements.

Pittsburgh Courier, November 8, 1947: Famed Harmonaires Hit Radio Jackpot—Two years ago a group of troubadors were enjoying local fame in and around Columbus, Ohio, singing for Curtiss-Wright (where they were employed), War Chest, War Bond, Red Cross campaigns and at USO Canteens and veterans hospitals. No one doubted that the Harmonaires were good. But Station WLW in Cincinnati thought they were greater than that, so the singers were given a Sunday morning spot on the "Nation's Station."

Listener response was immediate and full of praise for the excellent work of the group. Soon they were in demand for other WLW programs. But what no one knew was the fact that Raglan Reid, director, had set his sights on 400 memorized songs before the group made a single personal appearance. Planning paid off.

On June 23, 1946, the Harmonaires, twelve strong, were given a featured Sunday morning spot which was aired by a network of 54 stations by NBC. The Harmonaires were in....

They now have commited to memory more than 700 songs.... With Raglan Reid directing and Harold "Ham" Clark as piano accompanist, the future looms extremely bright for the troubadors.

Pittsburgh Courier, January 31, 1948: The Harmonaires, who gained fame broadcasting from Radio Station WLW in Cincinnati, Ohio, have signed with Gale Agency, it was announced this week.

Prior to the ban, the Harmonaires waxed ten sides on the Majestic label, first of which are due for release next month. The choristers are slated to appear on the Paul Whiteman show "On Stage, America" over the ABC web on Feb. 9, plus several television stints.

Don Richmond, noted composer and bandleader, has been engaged to pen a number of arrangements for the Harmonaires.

Nassau Daily Review Star (Long Island, NY), February 6, 1948: ....the Harmonaires, a group of eleven vocalists, organized by Homer Smith and accompanied by Harold Clark, presented a series of selections....

The Marion Star (Marion, OH), May 7, 1948: The Harmonaires, popular singing group now nationally known for appearances on top-flight eastern radio shows and for numerous recordings, will appear....

Since they have been in the East, the Harmonaires have appeared on the Fred Allen show twice, the Henry Morgan show twice, the Spike Jones show and have made hundreds of transcriptions....

The Harmonaires originally began singing at the Curtiss-Wright plant in Columbus. Under direction of Raglan Reid, a graduate of Ohio State University Law School and Wilberforce University, the group has increased to 12, including a pianist. In November 1945 they aired their first program over WLW. In 1946 they became featured on a half-hour Sunday morning show originating at WLW. It was carried by 54 NBC stations and brought the Harmonaires national recognition.



Above: Three pictures of The Harmonaires. In the image at left, Harold "Ham" Clark is second from the right. Center image is from The News Journal (Wilmington, DE) newspaper dated 12/30/49. Far right image is from The Marion Star (Marion, OH) newspaper dated 5/7/48.


EXTRA AUDIO (Windows Media Player):
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]

Listen to "Kentucky Babe" - The Harmonaires - Royale EP 228.

This was also released on Varsity 5009 in 1948 and on Royale LP 35. The release dates on the EP and LP are not given in Disco-File.

The Varsity and Royale labels were both owned by Eli Oberstein. He also had ownership in Hit (later to be renamed Majestic), Allegro, Classic, Elite, Harmony, Juke Box, and Rondo at one point or another in the 1940s and 1950s.

Listen to "Barnacle Bill" - The Harmonaires - KayBee #OTM 15-1 - 1950.

KayBee was a Wilmington, Ohio label owned by Kroger Babb. Per Disco-File, this recording of "Barnacle Bill" by The Harmonaires was in the 1950 Hallmark movie "One Too Many." Hence the "OTM" in the record number.

Babb wrote the screenplay for the movie. If you believe the KayBee labels, The Harmonaires sang three additional songs in this movie, all released on KayBee in 1950. They were also in the 1945 movie "Forever Yours."




EXTRA EXTRA AUDIO (Windows Media Player):
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]

Listen to "Runnin' Wild" - The Harmonaires - Varsity 5009 - 1948. The flip side is the same "Kentucky Babe" as in above "EXTRA AUDIO."

The above right clipping is from The Gazette And Daily (York, PA) newspaper dated 4/14/48.



Above: Label image of Varsity 5025 released in late 1949. The Harmonaires had records on Majestic (1948), Varsity (1948-49), Orpheus (1948), Embassy (1948), KayBee (1950), and Royale (early 1950s).

"I'll Get Along Somehow" had previously been released on Majestic 1242 and "Dream" on Majestic 1249, both in 1948. "I'll Get Along Somehow" was also released on Varsity LP 6915 and Royale LP 35, dates uncertain. "Dream" was also released on Varsity EP 228 and Royale EP 228, again dates uncertain.

The Billboard Review (11/26/49):

THE HARMONAIRES — VARSITY 5025....
I'll Get Along Somehow
(56) Passable vocal group treatment of an oldie which is being revived in the blues and rhythm market.
Dream (48) Another recent vintage oldie is done acceptably by the group.

(NOTE: A ratings range of 40-69 was considered "satisfactory.")

NOTE: Most discographical information provided at this website is from Ferdie Gonzalez' Disco-File.


Listen to this week's selections featuring The Harmonaires on Varsity 5025 from 1949:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]

     A. Stream RealAudio...
 
          1. I'll Get Along Somehow
          2. Dream
 
          BOTH played in sequence

     B. Download RealAudio...
 
          1. I'll Get Along Somehow
          2. Dream

     C. Stream/Download Media Player...
 
          1. I'll Get Along Somehow
          2. Dream
 
          BOTH played in sequence

      [To download audio files, right-click on link and then select "Save (Link) Target As..."]


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