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Album Review

Bordering on easy listening, the Anita Kerr Singers provided an airy, non-threatening pop sensibility scored by the "first lady" of the Nashville music studio scene. Kerr's sizable credentials landed her a multi-project deal at Warner Bros., where she cut five albums in less than two years. This is the third in the series, which included tunes penned or made famous by the German composer Bert Kaempfert. Although he would rack up several notable numbers stateside, perhaps residual reticence from WWII was reflected by Kaempfert's lack of success. However, Kerr's infallible ear helped her recast his biggest hits for 1967's dozen-song Bert Kaempfert Turns Us On! "L-O-V-E" was a latter-era chart-maker for Nat King Cole, and is perhaps most familiar to modern audiences from multiple uses in a variety of advertisements. Here, the laid-back vocalists give the tune a warmth that would become a trademark of Kerr's ensemble. The gentle "Two Can Live on Love Alone" takes on a definite melancholia, thanks in part to the artist's lead wafting above the male chorus to great effect. Slightly more upbeat is the jazzy soft shoe of "Remember When (We Made These Memories)," featuring a perfect example of the combo's communal vocals. "Danke Schoen" and "Strangers in the Night" bring out the best of what Kerr and company have to offer. Their simple and unobtrusive melodies are perfect for the light interpretations found here. "For Bert" is the sole original, and was penned by Kerr and on-again, off-again collaborator Rod McKuen, presumably as an homage to Kaempfert. In 2007, Collectors' Choice Music issued Bert Kaempfert Turns Us On! on CD, making it available for the first time in several decades for new generations to enjoy.


Formed: Memphis, TN

Genre: Country

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s

In the 1950s and '60s, the Anita Kerr Singers were one of the most popular group of backup vocalists in all of country music, appearing on countless recordings by renowned Nashville artists. Kerr was the group's leader, but was joined by alto Dottie Dillard, tenor Gil Wright, and baritone Louis Nunley, as the quartet initially gained attention by performing on the NBC radio program Sunday Down South in the early '50s, which led to a contract with Decca Records. In 1956, the Anita Kerr Singers landed...
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Bert Kaempfert Turns Us On, The Anita Kerr Singers
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