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The Merry Macs Sing Mairzy Doats

The Merry Macs

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Album Review

This 26-song collection of the Merry Macs' work will probably have to be considered definitive, until and unless Proper does a four-CD set (assuming they left behind enough music for that). The material dates from 1939 through 1946 and does overlap with the Collectors' Choice domestic compilation on the quartet, without encompassing all of the latter's content. The sound is good and, in fact, the selection is very pleasing, focusing on their cooler harmony workouts and some of their more syllable-twisting numbers — "A-Rumble A-Rhumba" and "Ta-Hu-Wa-Hu-Wai (Hawaiian War Chant") are worth the price of admission, and even some of the more conventionally styled numbers such as "Johnson Rag" can be savored today for their mix of harmony singing and swing jazz accompaniment (indeed, the unnamed clarinet soloist on the latter number is particularly notable). The sound quality is excellent throughout this release, which is entirely transferred from 78s, and the annotation, if not quite as focused as that on the Collectors' Choice volume, is reasonably informative.

Biography

Formed: 1925 in Minneapolis, MN

Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s

An early harmony vocal group most famous during World War II, the Merry Macs formed around Ted, Judd, and Joe McMichael. The brothers, raised and based in Minneapolis, began singing at an early age, with their mother as an occasional melody vocalist. In the mid-'20s, the trio made the leap to radio and toured (as the Personality Boys) with Joe Haymes. By 1930, they had added a female vocalist, Cherry MacKay, and become the Merry Macs. After signing to Victor in 1932, the group made their label debut...
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The Merry Macs Sing Mairzy Doats, The Merry Macs
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