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Burl Ives

With his grandfatherly image, Burl Ives parlayed his talent as a folksinger into a wide-ranging career as a radio personality and stage and screen actor. After spending his early twenties traveling the country as an itinerant singer, Ives moved to New York City in 1937. By the end of 1938, he had made his Broadway debut, and he also sang folk songs in Greenwich Village clubs. In 1940, Ives began to appear regularly on radio, including on his own show, The Wayfarin' Stranger, on CBS. Ives made his first records for Stinson, a small folk label, then was signed to Decca, a major label. He made his movie debut in Smoky in 1946. In 1948, his first book, Wayfaring Stranger, was published. In 1949, he had his first chart hit with "Lavender Blue (Dilly Dilly)." The same year, he moved to Columbia Records. With the advent of the long-playing record, Ives suddenly had a flurry of LP releases from his three labels: The Wayfaring Stranger on Stinson; three volumes of Ballads & Folk Songs, Women: Folk Songs About the Fair Sex, Folk Songs Dramatic and Humorous, and Christmas Day in the Morning on Decca; and Wayfaring Stranger, Return of the Wayfaring Stranger, More Folk Songs, American Hymns, The Animal Fair, and Mother Goose Songs on Columbia. He also recorded a series of albums for Encyclopedia Britannica Films under the overall title Historical America in Song. In 1951, he hit the Top Ten with "On Top of Old Smoky." In 1952, he returned to Decca. While continuing to publish books and to act on Broadway and in the movies, Ives made a series of albums that included Coronation Concert, The Wild Side of Life, Men, Down to the Sea in Ships, In the Quiet of the Night, Burl Ives Sings for Fun, Songs of Ireland, Old Time Varieties, Captain Burl Ives' Ark, Australian Folk Songs, and Cheers, all released in the second half of the '50s. In 1961, Ives oriented himself toward country music, resulting in the hit "A Little Bitty Tear," which made the Top Ten in both the pop and country charts. The single was contained on The Versatile Burl Ives. "Funny Way of Laughin'" was another pop and country Top Ten in 1962; it appeared on It's Just My Funny Way of Laughin' and won Ives a Grammy Award for Best Country Western Recording. He turned his attention primarily to movie work from 1963 on, especially with the Walt Disney studio. But he charted with Pearly Shells in 1964 and made a children's album, Chim Chim Cheree and Other Children's Choices, for Disney Buena Vista Records. At the end of the '60s, Ives returned to Columbia Records for The Times They Are A-Changin' and Softly and Tenderly. He gave up popular recording, but returned in 1973 with the country album Payin' My Dues Again. He also continued to record children's music and released several religious albums on Word Records. Turning 70 in 1979, he became less active and finally retired to Washington State. In the '90s, Decca and the German Bear Family label reissued many of his recordings. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi
full bio

Comments

We need more Burl Ives
please more records of Burl
We need some Goober Peas! Another one of his classics many don't know of.
kpollard88
Two songs I always remember, The Fox and the Erie Canal
Pandora, we need more Burl Ives here! He had lots of great albums and tracks that aren't even mentioned in this write-up. Got The World By The Tail is one of the albums. His wonderful version of Ghost Riders In The Sky is one of the tracks.
Mary Ann Regrets will always be one of my favorite songs of all time. Burl Ives has always been my favorite singer. I was teased in school for loving his folk music. I could listen to his voice all day long. The only song that annoys me is Holly Jolly Christmas.
a.little.bit t y . l e t . m e . d o w n . o n e o f h i s g r e a t e s t s o n g s . r e d . s . 5 7 0 0 6
jpotter881
Did you know he testified in 1952 at the House Unamerican Activities Committe naming Pete Seeger among others as maybe being Communists? Tough times then.
rbriggs93
Holly Jolly Christmas. Say no more!
tabasco002
His songs, more than anything else, remindsme of my Father. Dad would always sing along with Burl and seemed so happy. We miss you Dad, love you always.
i hade two of his tape and they both went bad
Burl Ives voice was like fine wine; it got better with age.I really enjoyed his music and movies.
I just love listening Burl Ives. He brings back warm memories of childhood
Burl Ives was one of the best folk singers ever. He was great. We ll miss him.
mfran40
He was also an extremely good actor in such movies as "Cat On A Tin Roof"!
hfkayden
I luv Lucy that u like it.
What a multi-talent e d man. His singing and acting are exemplary.
joekeating
Burl Ives is part of the fabric of a wonderful and innocent society that was "americana" back in the 50's and 60's and even into the 70's - for me. Christmas was not complete without "Rudolph the Rednosed Raindeer". And although those days sometimes seem long gone, they are still here in the timeless music of a wonderful individual named Burl Ives. God has truly blessed him and enriched us for having had him in our lives. Thanks Mr. Ives.
I do not think that Burl Ives has much in common with Johnny or June Cash. A little more with the other three. His style is pretty much unique. Great Folksinger, especially for children.
There is a song he sang called Lenora, Let Your Hair Hang Down, which I was named after but I can not fing it anywhere. It is a great song (I may be a little biased).
bulldogfap
THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER BURL IVES AT LEAST NOT IN MY LIFE TIME. FAP
rgspops
We need more Burl Ives on this station. Great old songs and many memories of 70 years ago.
This guy has a very relaxing voice and is very pleasant to listen to.
Another good singer. Brings back lots of memories.
A great singer who knew the roots of his folk songs and how to share the songs meanings
He was the best music of my childhood, along with Pete Seeger and Shel Silverstein.
His music bring back memories of my carefree, childhood days.
bellsnest
One of my all time favorites!
satchi.venka t a r a m a n
A great voice that harkens memories of an era of innocence and simplicity in life.

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