Time capsule, part II
Martha Mears was fairly well-known in the '40s; she was the behind-the-scenes 'dubber' for several leading ladies who couldn't carry a tune. For some reason she never gained star status on her own.
Why, I don't know. Lord, lord, lord, what a voice! Fantastic range in both senses of the word: tenor to soprano, sultry vixen to pure angel.
In '44 and '45, Mears hosted "10-2-4 Ranch", a daily 15-minute show sponsored by Dr Pepper. The show consisted of songs and banter by Mears and the Sons of the Pioneers, mainly in a western spirit. Only a few of the episodes have been preserved
by the old-time-radio archivists, which is unfortunate. It appears to have been aimed mainly at our boys overseas.
Here are three fine pieces and one piece of pure heaven, by Mears and the Sons:
First, Polistra's favorite, a modernized version of the Kansas state song:Listen
Second, an example of a genre that has been lost, the 'Western Heart Song':Listen
Third, Martha's rendition of America the Beautiful:Listen
Finally, a hymn that sounds like early 20th century sacred music, perhaps Benjamin Britten. I can't find any references to the words online, so its source is somewhat puzzling. And Martha does it --- well, I can't say anything.Just listen.
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PS: Found the hymn. It's the 'Evening Star' aria from Tannhäuser. The words aren't the same; perhaps altered by the Sons of the Pioneers to suit their purpose.