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The Gospel Side of Red Foley

Red Foley

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Album Review

Mitch Miller's singalong albums and the far-reaching revival of old Tin Pan Alley pop songs in the 1950s inspired Red Foley to do the same on Let's All Sing With Red Foley in 1959. Foley, as MC of the Grand Ole Opry, was well-known as a country artist but one with an obvious Bing Crosby influence and many pop successes to his name. His singalong album is aimed at an audience of middle-aged or older listeners with its selection of songs from the 1910s like "Moonlight Bay" and "I Want a Girl" as well as other well-known tunes from the '20s and '30s. Foley is joined by a mixed chorus but assumes a prominent lead role, conducting call-and-response exchanges with the chorus or taking brief solo turns. The arrangements are mostly old-fashioned ones that create an impression of Foley and a large group of his (highly professional) friends singing songs around a parlor piano, but the modern flourish of an electric guitar weaves in and out at times. The back cover of the album helpfully provides lyrics for most of the songs so at-home listeners can join in the fun.

Biography

Born: 17 June 1910 in Blue Lick, KY

Genre: Country

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

Red Foley was one of the biggest stars in country during the post-war era, a silky-voiced singer who sold some 25 million records between 1944 and 1965 and whose popularity went far in making country music a viable mainstream commodity. Born Clyde Julian Foley on June 17, 1910, in Blue Lick, KY, he began playing guitar and harmonica at a young age, and by the time he was 17 had taken first prize in a statewide talent competition. While attending college in 1930, he was spotted by a talent...
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The Gospel Side of Red Foley, Red Foley
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