Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Starlight Wednesday

'Forever' by The Little Dippers, aka The Anita Kerr Quartette



"Anita Kerr is quite simply one of the great underrated talents in the harmony pantheon. Her arrangements are expert, the execution impeccable.  ...She's a pioneer for women in the fields of music arranging and producing..."

So what's up with the 'aka?'

Re-edited from Wikipedia:
"Anita Kerr was borned Anita Jean Grilli on October 31, 1927. She's an American singer, arranger, composer, conductor, pianist, and music producer. She recorded and performed successfully with her vocal harmony groups - frequently billed as 'the Anita Kerr Singers,' in Nashville, Los Angeles, and Europe.

Kerr received a special ASCAP Award in 1975 for her significant contributions to the birth and development of the Nashville Sound, and in 1992, she received a NARAS Governors Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to American Music.

In 1960, as 'The Little Dippers,' the group recorded a hit single, 'Forever,' for the University label, but it all started long before that...
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Shortly after moving from Memphis to Nashville, in 1948, Kerr organized a vocal quintet, which was hired by WSM radio program director to become leader of and arranger for an octet choir on the radio station's "Sunday Down South" broadcasts.

The group's first recording session was with Red Foley, and their collaboration resulted in a No. 16 hit on Billboard's Pop chart in 1950: 'Our Lady of Fatima.' The following year, they were signed to DECCA Records, where Anita's group continued to sing backup for other country artists in Nashville, including Eddy Arnold, Burl Ives, and Ernest Tubb.

Anita Kerr's singers won a contest on the Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts national television program in 1956, then became a quartet, and made regular appearances with Godfrey on his daily television and radio broadcasts from NYC. A few years later, Kerr and her singers performed five times a week with Jim Reeves on his national radio program at WSM. 

After their hit with 'Forever,' the Anita Kerr Singers signed with RCA Victor in 1961. Their first album for the label was 'From Nashville...The Hit Sound.' Subsequent RCA Victor LPs extended the quartet's repertoire as they explored the soul songs of Ray Charles and the compositions of Henry Mancini.

The group's 1965 album 'We Dig Mancini' won a Grammy Award for Best Performance by a Vocal Group. The Singers continued to perform as backup singers in Nashville, and using Kerr's arrangements, they can be heard on songs by Brenda Lee, Perry Como, Pat Boone, Rosemary Clooney, Bobby Vinton, Roy Orbison, Willie Nelson, Floyd Cramer, Al Hirt, Ann-Margret, and many other artists."

*For this, and more, original hits from the 40's, 50's, 60's, and more, tune into John Christopher's streaming 24/7 musical extravaganza "The Neon Beat" by clicking here, or click the icon on the side of this page.

(disclaimer: the views expressed here are my own and not affiliated with John Christopher or The Neon Beat. I'm simply a fan of the show.)  
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