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Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians

Author: Virginia Waring

Publication date: 2007

Music In American Life Series

University of Illinois Press

“Famous American, chorus leader, showman, glee club pioneer, golf tournament host, and entrepreneur--Fred Waring was all of these and more, an enigma who held together a major musical organization for sixty-seven years, a man at ease on stage but loathe to sit through meetings, a man so earnest in his patriotism that by the 1980s he was considered almost an endangered species.

Virginia Waring, his wife of thirty years, chronicles both his many achievements and his shortcomings with candor and affection in Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians. Her gracefully written biography traces Waring's childhood in Tyrone, Pennsylvania, his rise to fame as a band-leader, development and promotion of the Waring Blendor, leadership of Shawnee Press, concert tours, radio and television programs, and his legacy of the highest possible standards in music as in life.

This intimate portrait of an American legend is accompanied by a compact disc with twenty-eight selections recorded by the Pennsylvanians over a forty-year period. They range from Adam Geibel and Tom Waring's "Sleep," recorded in 1928, through Cole Porter's "Love for Sale," Jerome Kern and Otto Harbach's "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," the traditional "Sometimes I Feel like a Motherless Child" and "Dry Bones," to Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson's "September Song" and Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein's "Some Enchanted Evening."

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