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The Art of a Legend

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Album Review

Harry Belafonte was instrumental in bringing Third World music and rhythms into the pop mainstream in the insular 1950s. Although born in Harlem, Belafonte spent a good part of his childhood in his mother's native Jamaica, and the breezy Caribbean folk songs he learned there were transformed by his clear, strong voice and careful arrangements into sparkling pop songs. This single-disc career retrospective features his biggest hits, including the work song "Day-O (Banana Boat Song)," the mento classic "Jump in the Line," and the beautiful ballad "Jamaica Farewell." Other highlights here include a live duet with Odetta on the old fiddle tune "A Hole in the Bucket" and a version of Leadbelly's "Midnight Special" that features a 20-year-old Bob Dylan on harmonica.


Born: 01 March 1927 in New York, NY [Harlem]

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

An actor, humanitarian, and the acknowledged "King of Calypso," Harry Belafonte ranked among the most seminal performers of the postwar era. One of the most successful African-American pop stars in history, Belafonte's staggering talent, good looks, and masterful assimilation of folk, jazz, and worldbeat rhythms allowed him to achieve a level of mainstream eminence and crossover popularity virtually unparalleled in the days before the advent of the civil rights movement -- a cultural uprising which...
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The Art of a Legend, Harry Belafonte
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