Oct 3, 2002
EPs and 45 Singles, Italian Releases


Ciao Albert,
I don’t know whether you are aware of the following releases from here.
1) EPA-694, " Spirituals " (RCA Italy)
Belafonte and the Norman Luboff Choir
Tracks : Sylvie, In That Great Gettin’ Up Mornin’, Jump Down Spin Around
2) EP A72V-0096, " Melodie Di Harlem " (RCA Italy)
Tracks : I’d Do Anything by Lena Horne, Scarlet ribbons by Harry Belafonte, Troubles by Harry Belafonte, You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To by Lurlean Hunter.
3) SP 45N-0868, Fifteen / Round The Bay Of Mexico (RCA Italy)
Sleeve carries the title, "La Fine Del Mondo" (the end of the world), the Italian name for the movie " The World, The Flesh and The Devil. "
4) EPA-4263, " Belafonte Sings The Blues " (RCA Italy)
Tracks : God Bless The Child, Hallelujah I Love Her So, Mary Ann
5) SP CBS-5884, Marching To The Fair / Sunbird (CBS Italy)
Hope you might enjoy,
Ciao, Tiziano

Dear Tiziano,
It appears my collecting days are not over.
Ciao, Albnut

Jan 9, 2003
Rare Recordings

Dear Albert,
I have again listened to the obscure recordings of " Chickens " and " Another Man Done Gone " from the Japanese EP. My conclusion is that these are not alternate versions at all. They have been recorded at a slightly lower speed but Belafonte’s vocals and all the rest are definitely the same as the familiar masters.
Best regards, Carlo

Dear Carlo,
Your conclusions on those two tracks are quite a revelation indeed. I must say that I found the sound on these recordings a little muddy compared to the masters we know. The speed difference, if small, could very well originate from my turntable which admittedly is slightly off at 45 rpm. My apologies to all for raising false hope in my over exuberance. The track count will be updated to reflect your findings.
Many thanks for taking the time to put these these recordings under the microscope.
Kind regards, Albert

Jan 12, 2003
Acapella Group

Hello,
We’re a French vocal group named Esteem and Harry Belafonte is one of our main inspirations. We have heard that he will be in Paris on March 24th. It would be such an honour to sing with him or just to meet him on this occasion. Do you know someone on his team we can contact for the French tour ?
Thank you in advance, Régis

Cher Régis,
Je voudrais bien vous donner les coordonnées de Monsieur Belafonte mais, malheureusement, je ne les ai pas. Ca a toujours été extrêmement difficile d’entrer en contact avec lui ou ses confidents. Il faut dire depuis " l’affaire Powell " cela est devenu presque impossible. Je vous souhaite bonne chance et surtout beaucoup de joie avec votre projet de chant.
Bien à vous, Albnut

Jan 21, 2003
I Don't Like It Here

Hello Albert,
I'm amazed to discover a really well-developed website on an artist. Some years ago, my brother and I were in a hotel room watching TV and came upon a film that left us amazed. As it was late at night and we had been the whole day on the road, we had to turn the TV off sooner than we'd have wanted. The film had already started when we arrived, so all we knew was Harry Belafonte was alone in a nightmarish New York. I don't recall if we saw any other characters, but we remembered a marvelous song he sang while playing a guitar. Today, I searched the IMDB website for the film and found out it was "The World, the Flesh and the Devil." The following three songs are listed (all sung by Harry Belafonte):

"I Don’t Like It Here" (Harry Belafonte and Ranald MacDougall)
"Gotta Travel On" (Paul Clayton, Larry Ehrlich, David Lazar, and Tom Six)
"Fifteen" (Alan Green and Robert Nemiroff)

Information on the laserdisc is given as follows:
Disc Title: The World, the Flesh and the Devil, released 4 March 1998
MGM Home Entertainment ML 106812, Black and White - 95 minutes
Unfortunately I have not been able to locate a copy, thus I still don’t know which song we heard. In your "Stage and Screen" section, the information is more or less the same except for the expression "title?" after the name of the first song. I have searched carefully all of your website, and found several versions of "Gotta Travel On" and "Fifteen" in different recordings. Fine but since you (and Jan, and Judy, and Carlo, and others… as you can see I've been around your site) seem to know so much about Belafonte, I'm surprised that "I Don't Like It Here" could be a surprise for you. First, because you don't seem to be sure about its real title and second, because it doesn't appear in your list of songs. I have three questions for you:
1. Do you know where can I find a copy of the MGM laserdisc?
2. Which one was the song we heard and which version available on CD is the same as in the film?
3. What about "I Don't Like It Here"? Why don't you know a lot more about it?
Anyway, thank you for your beautiful site and for reading this message.
Jorge Parga, La Coruña, Spain

Dear Jorge,
Thanks so much for taking the time to write such an informative letter. "Belafonte Tracks" is a work in progress and as such it is input like yours that makes it possible to continually improve the site. It was initially launched as a discography of original recordings which excluded film and video sound tracks. Although these recordings have since been introduced by way of "Stage and Screen" they do not presently appear in "Standards Revisited" or "Songs," nor are they included in the tally of original recordings (tracks). It is my hope to fully integrate them in a future update.
I have the "The World, The Flesh and The Devil" laserdisc (see scan on site) but I do not have the means to view it. I did see the movie when it first hit the theatres but that's a long time ago. Bootleg copies keep showing up on eBay but I have so far resisted the urge to jump into the bidding process. It will surely appear on DVD before long. Meanwhile I will find a way to run the laserdisc. "I Don't Like It Here" is only available as part of the film soundtrack. I realize that I haven't been very helpful, however I will get back to you if there are any developments.
Kind regards, Albnut

July 24, 2003
Sakura

Dear Tiziano,
Here comes your favorite song "Sakura" (Cherry Blossoms) both in Japanese and translated into English. Now you must promise to practice it, in Japanese of course, and sing it for me!
Ciao, Norie

 

Japanese Lyric:

English Translation:

Sakura Sakura

Cherry oh cherry blossoms

Yayoino Soraha

What a great March sky

Miwatasukagiri

The view is so inviting

KasumikaKumoka

A little fog and cloud make for a great setting

Nihoizoizuru

Cherry blossoms have a pleasant fragrance that surrounds me

Izaya Izaya Miniyukan

Let's, let's go to the hill covered with cherry trees !

Hi Friends,
Now, according to Norie’s wishes, I will have to learn "Sakura" and sing it in Japanese!
Ciao, Tiziano

Nov 21, 2003
European Record Covers

Dear Albert,
Here are some additional vintage European record jackets and sleeves that readers may find interesting.
1) LP RCA LOP-1006, Belafonte Sings The Blues, Italian issue.
2) SP RCA 45N-0658, Did You Here About Gerry / The Marching Saints, Italian issue.
It's odd that the Calypso artwork would be chosen for these particular songs.
(See Dec 7 entry below for scan - panel 3.) 
3) SP RCA 45N-0556, Banana Boat / Star-O, Italian issue.
(See Dec 7 entry below for scan - panel 4.) 
4) SP RCA 45N-0605, Coconut Woman / Island In The Sun, Italian issue.
Released in both black and red vinyl.
5) SP RCA 45N-0775 Gotta Travel On / Tarrytown, Italian issue.
(See Dec 7 entry below for scan - panel 6.) 
6) LP RCA 430212 Calypso, French issue.
Includes Matilda as a bonus track.
7) LP RCA 430219 Spirituals, French issue
8) LP (10") HMV DLP 1147, The Versatile Mr. Belafonte, UK issue.
A collection of tracks previously only available on singles.
My best regards, Carlo

November 28, 2003
Belafonte and The Muppets

Dear Albert,
A Danish Television Channel is at the moment repeating the original Muppet Shows and yesterday we saw the one with Harry Belafonte as special guest. I remember it from years ago, but in black and white, but this time it’s in color. Belafonte sings "Banana Boat Song" with Fozzie trying out the difficult role of the "Tallyman." Later on Belafonte has a "drum battle" with Muppet-drummer Animal, and finally the "Turn The World Around" segment with the African dolls - very entertaining. But one thing left me wondering. In the Belafonte souvenir program from his 1978 or 1979 European tour, one page is devoted to The Muppets, and it shows 3 pictures of Belafonte and Miss Piggy in a fond embrace. In this present program there are no segments of Belafonte and Miss Piggy together - although I think there should have been. Are you aware of any other Belafonte appearance on the Muppets, or maybe the pictures are of parts cut out from the final show, or maybe "publicity-shots," only. I have this secret thought that there might have been a segment of "Jamaica Farewell," maybe something with "leave a little pig in Kingston Town," so who knows ?
Well, this is all for now - wishing you a nice weekend,
Jan

Dear Jan,
The Muppet show you just described is exactly the one I now have on DVD and it is supposed to be the complete show. My understanding is that Belafonte only made the one appearance. But in my collection of tour books I too have pictures of Miss Piggy snuggling up to Harry. It would not surprise me, as you are suggesting, that they did have a run at "Jamaica Farewell". If so the segment did not make it onto the show. I did not get to see it when it was first telecast so it's all quite new to me. It catches Harry in a very relaxed mood and great voice. Even the group-shot on this site is magical. If you find out more please let me know.
Best regards, Albert

Nov 30, 2003
Love, Love Alone

Dear Albnut,
Trivia of the day ... Who is Wallis Simpson? I just returned from the Laundromat where I happened upon an article in "Vanity Fair" about King Edward. It mentioned Belafonte's ode to the affair the king had with Wallis Simpson, later to become the Duchess of Windsor. Apparently upon hearing the tune she told people she was thinking of suing. The response was, what would she sue about? That it wasn't love? Funny! As a kid, I always found that song intriguing, but wasn't sure why. This article sure spills the beans on the story... and more.
"Petit Poison" in Toronto

Dear "Petit Poison,"
Belafonte was by no means the first to perform "Love, Love Alone," a song credited to John Hardy. In fact he relates a story about how he first heard it as a small boy in Jamaica when one of the great calypsonians of the day visited the island. I will look for the reference and report further.
Best regards, Albnut

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