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Category:    Home > Reviews > Blues Music Compilation > Sing Brother Sing (Mills Bros./Delta Rhythm Boys)

Sing Brother Sing (Delta Rhythm Boys/Mills Brothers)

 

Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: D     Collection: B-

 

 

Two forgotten greats of early vocal music in the 20th Century are now on DVD.  The Delta Rhythm Boys and The Mills Brothers did their share of short Soundies and other motion picture appearances, and they are now brought together in Sing Brother Sing, a short-but-solid collection of music industry pioneers who paved the road for endless vocal performers throughout the years to date, including any act currently in a Music Video.

 

This set includes the following songs, many of which are still well known classics:

 

Delta Rhythm Boys:

1)     Do Nothin’ Til You Hear From Me

2)     Undecided

3)     St. Louis Blues

4)     Jersey Bounce

5)     Dry Bones

6)     Jack, You’re Playing The Game

7)     Just A-Sittin’ & A Rockin’

8)     Snoqualomie Jo Jo

 

The Mills Brothers:

9)     Take The “A” Train

10)  Opus One (with Nat King Cole)

11)  Lazy River

12)  ‘Till Then

13)  Cielito Undo

14)  You Always Hurt The One You Love

15)  Paper Doll

16)  Old Rocking Chair

17)  Caravan

 

Of course, some interest might be here for this set thanks to the Coen Brothers’ O Brother, Where Art Thou? And the phenomenal success of its soundtrack, being that these classics from the 1930s and 1940s are often not that distant from the songs in that film.  Unlike the Deltas, The Mills managed to have a few hit singles and albums into the Rock Era, but their music early on had such a lasting impact that this is some of the most important American music ever recorded.  Though it runs less than 45 minutes long, Sing Brother Sing is archival enough to recommend, even when the quality of the various full screen, black and whiter images are not.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is also down a few generations and there are no extras.

 

A recent conversation about music this critic participated in discussed how with up to hundreds of tracks and digital enhancements, a group of truly talentless and most undeserving music acts passing themselves off as artists have helped ruin an already troubled music industry.  It is true, while many countless true talents are passed by, making us all losers in the end.  In the time of The Mills Brothers and Delta Rhythm Boys, you were on your own.  Everything was practically “unplugged” and acoustic, the true test of most music talent.  This set and the longetivity of its material and artists from the 1930s and 1940s is hardly likely to be repeated by just about any act now.  Its timing could not be better.

 

 

-   Nicholas Sheffo


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