Monday, July 6, 2009

Dora Hall - Sings

All-Music Guide has a little entry for this not-so-well-known singer but I think that they are being just a bit harsh as I found some of her music at least a bit interesting (Satisfaction, Five O'Clock World) and her version of Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree was almost as good as the original:

If Dora Hall hadn't been married to a man who was willing to foot the bill for her vanity productions, it's unlikely she ever would have made a recording. A great many who heard her sing believed she had more money and nerve than talent. A small percentage of others ended up collecting the numerous recordings that were distributed free of charge throughout the 1960s, and recalling with fondness her rather unusual television specials during the following two decades.

Hall was married to Leo Hulseman, head of the Illinois-based Solo Cup Company. His deep pockets paid for the grandmotherly Hall's numerous vanity productions, and his products were used to distribute her recordings to the public. The recordings were released on a number of different labels, many of which were Solo subsidiaries or affiliates. Among them were Premore, Reinbeau, Calamo, and Cozy. During the 1970s, Hulseman shelled out 400,000 dollars for just one of his wife's television specials. He also hired some of the day's big names to make an appearance and sing with Hall. The cast included Oliver, Frank Sinatra Jr., Rich Little, Rosey Grier, Phil Harris, and Ben Blue. Hall began entertaining when she was barely more than a toddler. When she was older, she sang for World War I troops as part of a trio known as the Harmony Maids. She quit the group in 1920, wed Hulseman, and went on to become a grandmother of 16. Her recordings were given out with purchases of Solo plates and cups. They included such singles as "I Got You Babe" backed by "Hang on Sloopy," "All Shook Up" backed by "Roll Over Beethoven," and "King of the Road," whose flip side was "Are You Lonesome Tonight." Albums ran the gamut from show tunes to country. Television specials included Once Upon a Tour, Moments With Dora, Secret Sleuth, and Dora's World, among others. ~ Linda Seida, All Music Guide

All of that being said, there are some catchy tunes on this compilation of singles and, in a way, I would almost have to consider it outsider music.

Link (entire album - 320kbps VBR MP3)


Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

(dammit! blogger's post scheduling system is acting up again!)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks. Her husband usually hired top notch production talent. Her "Dora Hall Sings Top Teen Tunes" was produced by P.T. Barnum (the pop/R&B record producer, not the circus guy). And there's an interview at Spectropop with one of the songwriters. She might not sing well, but the arrangements and production are usually good.


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