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> When They Rolled Their "Rsssss..."
Tony
post Feb 4 2008, 02:47 AM
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It suddenly dawned on me (while listening to a series of old recordings) that vocalists -- always a male, never a female -- sometimes rolled their "r"s. Not all the "r"s in every sentence, of course, but perhaps as often as three times on a single recording as they made their way through the lyrics.

This practice is more commonly heard on old cylinder recordings made just before and after the turn of 1900, and I think it safe to say that post-1925 the style is heard no more. Such trilling of the letter "r" is also heard from that same period on British recordings, where the practice seems to have been even more widespread.

It might be worthy to note that the German dance/jazz band male volocalists of the twenties and thirties rolled their "r"s -- and with gusto! -- since it customarily formed a part of that language's enunciation -- especially so if the singer was Austrian.

And so I ponder -- how (or better yet, why?) did this practice creep into the English-speaking musical world -- and more-over, what caused it to fall out of favor?



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Brunswick
post Feb 4 2008, 03:17 AM
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The rolling of the R's continued well into 1931-1932, up until tenor voices started to disappear from popular recordings around 1933-1934.. I've uploaded a bunch of vocal recordings on youtube.

Here is one of Scrappy Lambert from 1927 singing Chloe

http://youtube.com/watch?v=NjxVX0xLnDg

I love the way he rolls his R's in that song smile.gif
I also have a bunch of James Melton and Franklyn Baur etc.

http://youtube.com/disco79


After the masculine brutish baritone voice became popular thanks
to singers like Crosby... this sort of singing went out of style. It
was probably seen as too elegant, refined and "pansy" like. Probably
similar to when people called disco music "gay" in the 1980's and
showed off their masculinity by listening to rock.



QUOTE(Tony @ Feb 3 2008, 06:47 PM) *
It suddenly dawned on me (while listening to a series of old recordings) that vocalists -- always a male, never a female -- sometimes rolled their "r"s. Not all the "r"s in every sentence, of course, but perhaps as often as three times on a single recording as they made their way through the lyrics.

This practice is more commonly heard on old cylinder recordings made just before and after the turn of 1900, and I think it safe to say that post-1925 the style is heard no more. Such trilling of the letter "r" is also heard from that same period on British recordings, where the practice seems to have been even more widespread.

It might be worthy to note that the German dance/jazz band male volocalists of the twenties and thirties rolled their "r"s -- and with gusto! -- since it customarily formed a part of that language's enunciation -- especially so if the singer was Austrian.

And so I ponder -- how (or better yet, why?) did this practice creep into the English-speaking musical world -- and more-over, what caused it to fall out of favor?



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Andy Senior
post Feb 4 2008, 05:10 AM
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On the Revelers' recording of "Gems from 'Oh, Kay!'" there is a female singer who does roll her Rs. This seemed so anomalous at the time that I assumed it was one of the boys singing in a very good falsetto voice! Upon looking in the Brian Rust Entertainment Discography, I discovered that the "mystery Reveler" was in fact Gladys Rice.

So much for assumptions!
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Tony
post Feb 6 2008, 09:47 AM
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VERY INSIGHTFUL, GENTLEMEN. THANKS FOR LETTING ME IN ON THAT ONE.

IT MIGHT EVEN BE THAT SOME AD AGENCY COPYWRITER WAS LISTENING TO ONE OF THOSE OLD RECORDS WHEN THE INSPIRATION CAME TO HIM: RRRRRRRRRRUFFLES....HAVE.....RRRRRRIDGES.
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victrolajazz
post Feb 6 2008, 04:36 PM
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A good example of this is found in one of my favorite songs,

QUOTE(Aaron2006 @ Feb 2 2008, 04:50 PM) *


You'll also notice in conjuction with the "rolled" "Rs" that the vocalists present perfect diction and enunciation, singing each world clearly and distinctly. This derives from the fact that in the early days of recording, before the advent of the crooners, many of the popular vocalists had been operatically trained, or at least influenced. They also had to project their voices due to the lack of a microphone.

Eddie the Collector

This post has been edited by victrolajazz: Feb 6 2008, 04:43 PM
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