Belafonte On Campus

lsp3779.jpg (30868 bytes)

LP mono RCA LPM3779
LP stereo RCA LSP3779
LP Victor SHP5626 Japan
LP RCA 740.678 France
Stereo8 P8S-1223
R2R RCA TP3-5032
Recorded in 1967
Ernie Calabria, guitar, Al Schackman, guitar, Bill Salter, bass, Percy Brice, percussion, Auchee Lee, percussion, Ralph MacDonald, percussion

A1 Roll On, Buddy # 2:45
A2 The Hands I Love # 4:57
A3 The Last Thing On My Mind # 3:47
A4 Delia # 3:42
A5 The Far Side Of The Hill # 3:30
A6 Waly, Waly (False Love) # 4:43
B1 Sail Away Ladies # 3:21
B2 The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face # 3:37
B3 Hold On To Me Babe # 3:40
B4 Those Three Are On My Mind # 3:43
B5 The Dog Song # 4:25

It can be hypothesized that Harry Belafonte's career as a singer of folk songs ended with this album. Launching into a four-year drought, he would not have another exceptional album for RCA Victor until 1971's Calypso Carnival. The theme for the album was spurred by Belafonte's popularity on college campuses in the mid-'60s. College audiences in the '60s were to folk singers what armed forces recruits were to big band singers and comedians during World War II: sure things. The liner notes estimate that during his most recent tour, Belafonte played to a quarter of a million American students at forty colleges.

The selections on the album are ones he sang on the tour, and Belafonte deftly combines songs from folk tradition with new works by rising singer-songwriters. Of the latter, Gordon Lightfoot's "The Hands I Love" (featuring the delicate guitar work of Al Schackman) and Tom Paxton's "Hold On to Me Babe" stand out as memorable. Even Paxton's "The Last Thing on My Mind" is given an offbeat treatment, more as a gospel rocker than a tender ballad. Bill Eaton, more in his element than with the relatively quaint, alien music of the West Indies, created the kind of sound Belafonte thrived on: new ways to sing familiar songs. Lonnie Donegan's skiffle anthem "Don't You Rock Me Daddy-O" becomes more of a bluesy shuffle on "Sail Away Ladies," and Leadbelly's work song "Take This Hammer" is transformed into an entirely new song, now titled "Roll On, Buddy." The results of these upending of traditional arrangements could have been disastrous, but for Harry Belafonte during the Summer of Love, they were still working.
 ~ Cary Ginell, All Music Guide

TP3-5032 front