Saturday, 1 October 2011

The Ravens on Matt the Cat's Juke in the Back show


An hour of the Ravens can be heard on Matt the Cat's Juke in the Back radio show by clicking here for the prx (Public Radio Exchange) website. Matt gives a history of the group in between their records on National.

I'm listening right now, and sound quality is pretty good to these ears.I'd forgotten how infectious and swinging Mahzel was - and as Matt says, that's not a record you will hear on the radio. If you are unfamiliar with the group, then they form a kind of musical bridge between the Mills Brothers and Ink Spots and the "proper", gospel-inflected doo wop groups. Jazzy and sophisticated, but with the unmistakable, fathoms-deep voice of Jimmy Ricks putting something earthier into the mix. There are corny elements, but the Cliff Adams Singers they ain't. And as with the Flamingos' and Moonglows' recordings on Chance a few years later, there is a pleasure in picking up details of the backing musicians. Not as bluesy, but not polite either.

And Matt has just announced that Billy Vera is guesting to talk about (I presume) Count Every Star. But I have to stop now, as There's No You has begun, and that will require all my concentration. Goodbye.

Oh, question: did the Flamingos hear the Ravens' recording of September Song? Listening to this just now, in better quality than I'm used to, is a delight.


Earlier post about the Ravens with some youtube clips here .

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