Back in 1957, following Harry Belafonte's huge success with the Calypso album, RCA decided to issue a sampling of tracks from his first 3 LPs (Mark Twain, Belafonte, & Calypso) on 45 rpm vinyl discs. In so doing they hoped to capitalize on the popularity of single-play records amongst younger listeners. The package was augmented with selections from his existing singles catalogue. In all, it consisted of 21 discs issued in sleeves carrying a color photo of Belafonte. Of the 42 sides, 10 were drawn from his early singles portfolio (1952-54), 8 from new singles (1955-57), and the remaining 24 from LPs. Uninformed music buffs, who had only just tuned into Belafonte, did not realize that some of these tracks had been around for upwards of 5 years. But jukeboxes everywhere suddenly had access to a wide variety of Belafonte repertoire.

The following 3 selections were omitted from the release:

Jerry
(This Timber Got To Roll) - 1952
Probably excluded because it was already available on EP.

Gomen Nasai
(Forgive Me) - 1953
Belafonte recorded this number under duress. He had been on contract to RCA for over a year and had not yet
enjoyed commercial success as a recording artist. Consequently the A&R people pressured him to explore
songs from outside the folk idiom. Although initial sales were encouraging, he refused to include this number in
his nightclub act and it never achieved its potential on the charts. Considering these circumstances it may have
been left out of the re-issue intentionally.

Springfield Mountain
(Too Roo De Nay) - 1953
Possibly just an oversight.

Also of interest is the fact that the original recording of Matilda from 1953 was chosen for this release in spite of the existence of an update from the Belafonte LP of 1955. In contrast, the 1952 reading of Man Smart was supplanted by the up-tempo track from the Calypso LP of 1955.

This special edition was made up of the following singles:

Title

Duration

Year

Catalog No.

Matrix No.

Pretty As A Rainbow

2:17

1954

47-5722

E4VW-2804

Acorn In The Meadow

2:39

1954

E4VW-2805

Troubles

3:38

1955

47-6249

F2PW-5805

Hello Everybody*

2:13

1955

F2PW-5804

The Blues Is Man (Part 1)*

2:50

1956

47-6458

G2PW-1826

The Blues Is Man (Part 2)*

2:52

1956

G2PW-1827

Jamaica Farewell*

2:46

1956

47-6663

G2PW-4916

Once Was*

2:53

1956

G2PW-4908

Mary's Boy Child*

2:53

1956

47-6735

G2PW-4902

Venezuela

2:50

1953

E3VW-1096

Day-O (Banana Boat)

3:02

1955

47-6771

F2PW-8702

Star-O

2:04

1955

F2PW-8703

John Henry

3:22

1954

47-6780

E4VW-4107

Tol' My Captain

2:40

1954

E4VW-4106

Mo Mary

2:12

1954

47-6781

E4VW-3982

Lord Randall

4:07

1954

E4VW-4105

Man Piaba

3:20

1954

47-6782

E4VW-4168

The Fox

2:50

1954

E4VW-3920

Man Smart

3:34

1955

47-6783

F2PW-5809

Chiminey Smoke

2:03

1952

E2VW-5957

Unchained Melody

3:20

1955

47-6784

F2PW-7411

A-Roving

3:23

1952

E2VW-5958

In That Great Gettin' Up Mornin'

3:17

1955

47-6785

F2PW-5807

Jump Down, Spin Around

1:58

1955

F2PW-1999

Will His Love Be Like His Rum

2:32

1955

47-6786

F2PW-7369

Dolly Dawn

3:15

1955

F2PW-7810

Hosanna

2:37

1955

47-6787

F2PW-7370

I Do Adore Her

2:45

1955

F2PW-7809

Come Back Liza

3:05

1955

47-6788

F2PW-7813

Brown Skin Girl

2:45

1955

F2PW-7811

Water Boy

3:51

1955

47-6789

F2PW-5810

Noah

4.53

1955

F2PW-5802

Danny Boy*

4:43

1956

47-6790

G2PW-4905

Take My Mother Home

5:55

1955

F2PW-5800

Mama Look A Boo Boo*

2:58

1957

47-6830

H2PW-1273

Don't Ever Love Me

2:46

1957

H2PW-1276

Suzanne (Every Night)

3:09

1953

447-0320

E3VW-0548

Matilda

2:27

1953

E3VW-1095

Shenandoah

3:15

1952

447-0321

E2VW-6873

Scarlet Ribbons (For Her Hair)

2:42

1952

E2VW-6872

Hold 'Em Joe

2:30

1954

447-0322

E4VW-2807

I'm Just A Country Boy

3:00

1954

E4VW-2806




Footnotes:

1)  Selections drawn from the "early singles" portfolio are in italics, while those from "new singles" carry an asterisk (*).

2) It had not been the intention of the present study to address the subject of re-issues and compilations, however it was felt that an exception was warranted in this particular case. The singles launch heralded Harry Belafonte's arrival as a recording artist with broad popular appeal.

3) Artwork is taken from the Best Of Belafonte, 10 EP boxed set compilation of 1956.

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