Orriel Smith - A Voice in the Wind (1963)
I've been particularly busy as of late, so this post comes a little later than I had promised. I hope you'll find that it's worth the wait. A Voice in the Wind is a pretty traditional folk album from a singer who is anything but traditional.
She is a classicaly trained singer whose mother sang opera. Grew up in Washington, DC living across from the Seeger family. Started performing folk songs at Gerde’s Folk City in NY when she was 18 and studying opera singing in the city, and managed to get on the Johnny Carson show (singing “The Russian Nightingale”) before she had a recording contract, which got her signed to Columbia to record this LP and some tracks on a couple of Columbia's All-Star Hootenanny compilations. After that moved on to the Jimmy Joyce Singers and a recording with Ray Conniff live in Japan. She did a fantastic single with Phillip Lambro (Tiffany Glass b/w Winds of Space) that is available on the Fuzzy Felt Folk compilation (highly recommended) and sang on Lambro's soundtrack to Crypt of the Living Dead (also available on CD). Nowadays she performs opera arias while clucking like a chicken, which you do have to hear to believe (my description can't do it justice). Thankfully both The World's Favorite Cluckoratura Arias & Live! From CarnEGGy Hall are available on CD.
On this record she performs largely unaccompanied by her own guitar and occassionally strings under the direction of Walter Raim. The record was produced by Bobby Scott, who helped her select the material (a nice mix of British and American ballads, for the most part).
You can review her full discography here. And read an excellent interview, from Terrascope, here. There are also a couple of poor quality videos from her folk-singing days out on Youtube here and here.
1. The Deceived Girl
2. Down By The Glenside
3. When I Was Single
4. Over The Hills
5. Been On This Train
6. White Curtains
7. Black Is The Color
8. Chilly Winds
9. Take My Mother Home
11. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
12. Red Rosy Bush
Coming sometime next month: A Revolutionary Revelation by the Musical Theatre.