In the popular music business the phrase "to make noise" means to
attract considerable enthusiastic and favorable attention. And not too
many years ago a truly virtuoso singing performance of the popular
classic "Poinciana" by a young man made a lot of noise around Tin Pan
Alley. The tune "Poinciana", is of course, one of the mom artistically
intricate and difficult to execute i effectively in the popular field.
And this young man showed such true pitch, such arresting tonal
qualities, ! such authority in phrasing and delivery that his
performance of the venerable song won him quick attention of the trade
press, talent managers and buyers. His name is Steve Lawrence, and he
has been making noise in the music business ever since. 1 He was sixteen
when he startled the music industry with his vastly talented rendition
of "Poinciana", ! and interested music business parties who looked him
up and found that he had won an Arthur Godfrey Talent Scout show some
time previous. They found that his dad was a Cantor in a Brooklyn
synagogue, and that young Steve Lawrence's proficiency with a popular
song was no accident. At eleven he and the Lawrence family decided that
he would strive to be a popular singer. For three years previous, from
the time he was eight, Steve, his older brother and Dad had sung
together in the synagogue. But now that the decision was made for Steve
to attempt a career in the music industry, his father wisely urged him
to preserve his voice, and to concentrate on learning the basics of his
trade. For three years, until he was fourteen, then, young Steve did
almost no singing at all. But he studied piano, saxophone, arranging and
compositions. Then in Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn, in easy
stages, he resumed his singing, working industriously with the school
Glee Club. Shortly thereafter came the Godfrey victory and noise-making
rendition of "Poinciana." It was this intense and careful basic popular
musical training, which enabled young'; Steve to sing "Poinciana" with
the impressiveness he displayed. And there is little doubt that it was
this T" training, which enabled him to stand out, shortly thereafter, in
a group of more than fifty young singers, who were auditioning for a
new Steve Allen Show to be telecast via the NBC-TV New York outlet,
WRCA-TV.1 Steve Lawrence was Steve Allen's choice hands down.
the Steve Allen show, which in September of 1954 became the NBC-TV
network show "To-night", Steve Lawrence has since become the favorite
male vocalist of literally millions of music lovers from Coast to Coast.
In addition to his constantly developing talents as a singer, he has
learned a good deal about acting and comedy through his television work,
thanks to the always helpful Allen. But never before have his
unparalleled vocal talents been so amply displayed as they are in this
long playing collection. Here he does a group of the teen-ager hits
which he has made peculiarly his own. Such songs as "Party Doll", "Can't
Wait For Summer" and "Fabulous". Here, too, be sells with a devastating
charm rarely heard in a pop collection the show and movie tunes "Ethel,
Baby' (trom "Mr. Wonderful") and "Adelaide" (from "Guys and Dolls").
Here he runs the gamut from the folk-calypso styled "Banana Boat Song"
to "Open the Gates of Mercy" with in-between stops at the romantic "Long
Before I Knew You" and "Kiss Me Now". Here is a great, well trained
talent, loaded with heart and charm, singing for you, at the halfway
mark in a brilliant career. Young Steve has already come far, but you
and I know he will come much. much farther as time goes on
Artikeleigenschaften von Steve Lawrence: Songs By Steve Lawrence (CD)
Steve Lawrence is no Buddy Knox. In some respects, he's a lot more. In other respects, he's a lot less. It's the latter problem we're concerned about here.
Like many of the finest rockabilly records, Party Doll was really a series of guitar solos set apart by some vocal stanzas. Knox's little four-piece group, The Rhythm Orchids, wasn't up to much, but they shone on Party Doll. You pushed them much beyond that and you'd see the holes in their game. Putting together a studio group of New York's A-team and telling them to play down like this, has the potential to reveal the holes in their game as well. Could they keep it to just three chords? Could Steve Lawrence (born Sidney Liebowitz) resist the urge to be a classy ballad singer and keep it to basic Texas rock 'n' roll? Here are the results.
Actually, they're surprisingly good. Knox's original version hit the charts on February 23, 1957, and Steve Lawrence was in the studio barely three weeks later on March 17th. There was no grass growing under the feet of the nice folks at Coral Records. Dick Jacobs Orchestra & Chorus masks the identity of a nucleus of credible musicians who listened to (or knew) the Knox original and kept their performances credible. The unnamed guitar player stays locked into Knox's solo for the first four bars and then lets it fly, revealing his skills extend beyond 3-chord rock 'n' roll. Steve Lawrence's vocal is surprisingly effective, even showing some bluesy edges (flatted thirds) when you might not expect to hear them. Only the cornball ending suggests that maybe these people didn't quite have their hearts in what they were doing.