Today’s selection is an album from the Pickwick Children’s Chorus. Was there an actual Pickwick Children’s Chorus? I don’t know but, unlike a lot of records like this, this at least sounds like the same kids singing the whole way through. I’ve always liked children’s groups like this. They don’t sound like professional singers. They just sound like kids having a good time singing their lungs out (while still staying in tune).
We start things out with “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” which they do a pretty nice job on. Often in children’s choruses like this, even if the chorus sounds unpolished they’ll have a couple of soloists that sound like they just got through performing in “Annie.” I’m pleased to say that this time the solo parts sound like they randomly picked a member out of the group and stuck them in front of the microphone.
Next we have an old sounding song called “Just One of Those Songs.” I wasn’t familiar with it, so I checked to see where it might have come from, and it turns out to have been made popular by the Ray Charles Singers and by Jimmy Durante in 1966, so it’s pretty old now, but not that old when this record might have come out.
Chances are you know the song “Alley Cat,” even if you don’t know it by the title. It’s one of those songs that you normally heard as a piano instrumental. Well, apparently there’s also a sung version called “The Alley Cat Dance.” The words don’t really add anything to it, other than giving you instructions on how to do the dance (admittedly a helpful touch).
All I remember about the next song, “Happiness Is,” is that it was used as a jingle for Kent cigarettes. Did the song exist on its own before that, or was it like “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing,” where they excised all mention of Coca-Cola in the hit version?
We end with the patriotic song “What’s More American.” This was a song I sang in elementary school many moons ago. It must have made an impression on me because I knew just about all of the words when I heard it here! When I checked on this one, it turns out that Bing Crosby sang this originally. Come on, I’m not that old!!
Anyway, if you’d like to hear the rest of this album, you can find it here. See you next time!