Today's post is a shot in the dark, a hope that somehow, someone who reads this blog had this record as a child, has this record and/or knows who the performer(s) is or are. This track may not be for everyone, but I suspect there are some for whom it will resonate as it does for me.
In 1964, when I was four, my mother spent a few days putting over three hours of her children's (and her own) favorite records onto a reel of tape for posterity. My brother and sister are older than me, so these records ranged from 78's from the early '50's, to multiple tracks off of albums from the early '60's.
The tape contains everything from the usual subjects ("Witch Doctor", Spike Jones records) to more obscure titles (a Children's Records Guild 78 of "The Little Gray Ponies" by Tom Glazer), to virtually unknown records ("The Baby Babble Record", which I previously shared in the first 365 days project).
I digitized this tape a few years ago, and when I went to seek out the artists' names, I was not surprised to find that, with my obsessive collecting and keeping of records, I still owned nearly all of the records contained on the tape. The record I couldn't find in my collection was the one I most wanted to know more about. It's a version of "The Three Little Pigs", clearly from a 5" 78 (you can hear the break where the record is started over on the B-side at the 95 second point). I don't believe it's a "Little Golden Record", based on the searching I've already done, but I could be wrong.
I can't get over this record, and would love to hear other recordings featuring the same singer. I don't think this was a favorite of mine when I was little, but as an adult, it captivates me. I love the high-quality musical arrangement (try finding anything this complex and well played on a children's record from the last 40 years), and I am completely in love with the voice of the woman who sings most of the song. Her performance conveys an breathtaking and wonderful degree of emotion - for example, on the words strong and big" just after the halfway point, and on the words "the walls were strong" near the end of the piece, she is as good a storyteller as I've ever heard.
Some people cry at sad movies. This is the sort of thing that makes me tear up - a sweet, innocent (and, by the way, perfectly arranged and performed) record. I am in awe of this singer's ability to put such feeling into such simple words from such a simple story.
Please excuse the poor sound quality - this record had been much loved by young hands, for well over a decade, by the time it was copied to tape
In three years of looking, I've been unable to determine anything about this record. If anyone knows, or thinks they know, who this is, I'd be forever in your debt.