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Spell Of The Yukon

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Album Review

Stuart Hamblen's The Spell of the Yukon is an innovative early concept album that combines the Yukon poetry of Robert W. Service with Hamblen's original songs, produced in a style reminiscent of Johnny Horton's "North to Alaska." Many of the cuts feature Hamblen's dramatic poetry recitations with musical backing and sound effects. All of the material deals with the Alaskan frontier or bigger-than-life Yukon characters, and despite the emphasis on Service's poetry, Hamblen's songs are the highlights. "Mush" and the romantic "Make Believe Bay" are fine, but "Pokolodie Bill Left His Soul Behind" is Hamblen's masterpiece, a masterful and evocative composition that is easily one of the best things he ever wrote. Despite making a strong impression on many of its listeners, The Spell of the Yukon was not a big seller and remains a well-kept secret.

Customer Reviews

Great Memories!!

My dad had this LP Album when I was a boy growing up. Through Stuart Hamblin, I learned to appreciate Robert Service and the rugged art of the Last Frontier!

Stories that captured my imagination as a child

I was so glad to see this album. Many of my frozen Idaho nights were spent listening to the mesmerizing voice a lyrics. The howling winds, the fight to survive in a harshly beautiful land and loneliness of that great northern adventure to find gold became real to me through this LP.

I Can't Believe This is on iTunes!!

Our Dad had this album when we were teenagers. We listened over and over and over again. It made me fall in love with the poetry of Robert Service.... who made Alaska and the Yukon Territory come alive for me. I still want to go there some day. He also had a wonderful sense of humor. Big Wicked Bill, I believe, was written by Stuart Hamblen; but it fits beautifully on this album, and I challenge any animal lover to listen to it without sobbing. As I recall, Stuart Hamblen was the only artist at the time that Robert Service's widow gave permission to record some of this. It's very well done. The whole album is a keeper. ENJOY! (By the way, this review is by Verna Avarell, not my husband Kory as the post says.)


Born: October 20, 1908 in Kellyville, TX

Genre: Country

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

The name alone evokes a big, beefy hard-livin' type and that's exactly what Stuart Hamblen was. Popular for singing hits like "My Mary" and "Texas Plains" during the '40s, Hamblen was also cast as the ranch "tough" in many cowboy flicks of the era, as his reputation with the bottle served him well for the role. Hamblen, however, eventually found God and left country music altogether,...
Full Bio
Spell Of The Yukon, Stuart Hamblen
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Customer Ratings