Saturday, January 23, 2010

Legendary Irish Tenors

Various Artists

2-CD Set  on for $5.00!

"Macushla" and "She Moved Through the Fair" sung by James Melton

It's interesting to me that whoever produced this CD set used my father's recording of "Macushla" rather than that of John McCormack, who made the song famous. Here's an amusing story from my files. There's a clipping from an unidentified  newspaper dated August 1, 1931: "Melton vs McCormack:  Most listeners didn't know it, but there was quite a battle on the air recently.  The contestants, one in New York and the other in the Hollywood Bowl, were James Melton, top tenor of The Revelers, and John McCormack...we mean the John McCormack.  It was bloodless but interesting.  Melton knew he had to precede McCormack on the air by an hour.  He knew, too, that his program would attract an audience almost as large as McCormack's.  Melton went on the air and stepped out of the quartet to do a solo.  He selected the song McCormack made famous, "Macushla," and did a beautiful job.  When the great Irish singer's broadcast came along later, "Macushla" was conspicuous by its absence from his program.  Plenty of talk about the Melton stunt for several days after and a lot of the radio folks quite frank in picking Melton as the better tenor."

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