Harry Belafonte (Official Thread)

Soot and Stars

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Harry Belafonte
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Harry Belafonte is not an artist I ever felt any depth for. My introduction to him was not a deep one by any means. In fact, my introduction came to him in about as cheesy an intro you can to an artist. It was in a comedy and if that's not cornball enough the comedy which the larger majority have already guessed is called Beetlejuice! Let's relive that scene shall we! :tongue:

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Listen, let's be honest! The song is campy as Hell! Even as a traditional song where you bear in mind the innocence and culture of it's creation! That song is great, the scene is great and they work well together! It's just not a song you hear where you would connect that to the singer and think more than novelty just like with Bobby McFerrin and that song where he expects you to just be ****in' happy all the time sans medication! :tongue: Anyway, in my 70's thread a Harry Belafonte album came up. It was:

Belafonte By Request
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and I'll be honest. I wasn't looking forward to it. I'd been hit by everything from Bongo beating bland Jazz to Ringo doing country which was more interesting than my Statler Brothers debacle. None were horribly bad but I wanted a rock album at that point and not Coconut guy trying to cover songs! It turned out even though a lot of songs were missing from my search that I slowly began to realize this guy can sing. Not only that but it was such a beautiful tone and may be the best of this type I've heard! Maybe he's not a writer but his tone is so awesome and unique that it's made me appreciate these type of covers in a way I couldn't pull out of Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra (I've triiiiied with both), Tony Bennett, you name it, etc. The song that clinched the deal with me was his cover of Scarborough Fair. I've heard this song covered but this is the only version I've heard I'd put alongside the original. The original had the benefit of beautiful harmonies but the timing here tells a great story to set it on it's own:

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Here are some other examples of Harry's lesser known singing and interpretations:

Losing hand and Danny Boy


I'm a newb to this guy but I don't see anyone making a thread for him anytime soon! My purpose is twofold aside from honoring a great! Number one, I want you to be surprised and say "Hey, I've never heard this guy like this! Maybe I should delve deeper!"! Number two, for whoever lived this, whatever era of Belafonte it is, I want you to keep feeding me and helping me here what else he has up his sleeve! Have fun and Hell, post a fun coconut song if that's what you like! :heheh:
 

Phil B.

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Re: Harry Belafonte

Grew up listening to Belafonte..


Jump In The Line



Monkey



AND

Belafonte and Animal!

 

Soot and Stars

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Re: Harry Belafonte

I've never heard The Monkey song Phil! :grinthumb I loved the interplay with Animal though! :oyea: The comedic timing was awesome there! :heheh:
 

METALPRIEST

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Re: Harry Belafonte

Nice thread!! Very unique man!!

I like me some Harry!! Jump In The Line is still cool as hell!

Here's a little Matilda to keep the spirit rollin'

 

CP/M User

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Re: Harry Belafonte

I initially got his Greatest Hits, but in some ways the only reason I listen to him is because of BeetleJuice movie, well okay I might have been inspired when I heard songs like "Island In The Sun" and "Jamaica Farewell" on the radio which simply show that Belafonte isn't all Calypso music, which I think is great! :D He has a great variety of Traditional Folk songs as well, Calypso was quite a success for him in 1957 (I think) though, but to have that diversity is just incredible.
What's also incredible are his two Live Concerts at Carnegie Hall. Belafonte at Carnegie Hall is a Live Performance of Belafonte doing his Popular songs along with some other other folk gems which make it a standout performance. Belafonte Returns to Carnegie Hall is basically Belafonte inviting some other artists which he came across, such as The Chad Mitchell Trio, Odetta & Miriam Makeba and along with the Belafonte Folk Singers there are some incredible songs in that concert too and wonderful performances. Those albums I reckon are must haves if you enjoy Belafonte. The quality of the concerts are amazing - they would put Beatles concerts to shame! :(
 

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Harry Belafonte on Wikipedia

Harry Belafonte is the "King of Calypso". Harry has a long and distinguished resume of films and albums to his credit. His career spans 60 years.

Albums:

1954 Mark Twain and Other Folk Favorites
1956 Belafonte
1956 Calypso
1957 An Evening with Belafonte
1957 Belafonte Sings of the Caribbean
1958 To Wish You a Merry Christmas
1958 Belafonte Sings the Blues
1959 Love is a Gentle Thing
1959 My Lord What a Mornin'
1960 Swing Dat Hammer
1961 Jump Up Calypso
1962 Midnight Special
1962 The Many Moods of Belafonte
1963 Streets I Have Walked
1964 Ballads, Blues and Boasters
1966 In My Quiet Room
1966 Calypso in Brass
1967 Belafonte on Campus
1968 Belafonte Sings of Love
1970 Homeward Bound
1970 This Is Harry Belafonte
1970 Belafonte by Request
1971 The Warm Touch
1971 Calypso Carnival
1973 Play Me
1976 Belafonte's Christmas
1977 Turn the World Around
1981 Loving You is Where I Belong
1988 Paradise in Gazankulu


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The above album introduced American audiences to Calypso music. This album was the first album in the USA & England to sell over 1 million copies in a year.

Banana Boat Song (Day-O)



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Jump in the Line
 

CurtRHCP

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I just know few songs of him, "Jump In The Line", "Banana Boat Song", ...

I like but I don't know all his songs... So I'm not a specialist ^^
 

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