Monday, July 30, 2012

Dorothy Collins: Experiment Songs

In 1961, veteran songwriters Hy Zaret and Lou Singer produced an entertaining and educational series of LPs entitled Ballads for the Age of Science. Marketed at curious youngsters, the songs explained nature, energy, motion, outer space, and weather in a variety of musical arrangements, delivered by folksingers Tom Glazer, Dottie Evans, and the husband-wife duo of Marais and Miranda.

One volume, Experiment Songs, was sung by Raymond Scott's then-wife, Dorothy Collins. In a warm, endearing voice, Collins sang about magnets, rainbows, planetary orbits, vibration, and minerals. To our ears, this is some of the most charming singing by Dorothy Collins ever captured on disc. She is accompanied by a small orchestra led by guitarist Tony Mottola (who formerly played with Raymond's big band).

The albums have long been out of print. However, earlier this year I came to an agreement with the late Hy Zaret's son Robert to reissue the series. Working with best-available source recordings, I digitally restored all six albums, which are now available at iTunes and elsewhere. We're hoping to reissue the series on vinyl at some point.

You can hear samples and purchase tracks (or the complete album) of Experiment Songs here.

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