The Liner/Sleeve Notes:
“This record album introduces you to the very enjoyable vocal talents of a man called Father Robert White. “Father Bob”, as he likes to be called, is no newcomer to the world of music. He has always maintained an avid love of singing and listening to good music. He has participated in various local variety shows and was a member of the seminary choir during his days of preparation for the priesthood. Father is a native of Massachusetts and is current assigned to Saint Andrews parish in Jamaica Plain, Mass.
The inspiration responsible for the recording sessions and ultimate production of this record came about when Father White was advised that Richard Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston, was about to institute a much needed charity drive that would benefit the hundreds of needy and destitute people throughout the diocese. Father White realized that a beautiful and well done record album would be something uniquely different that might appeal to the thousands of Massachusetts parishioners and to music lovers in general who would purchase the album, not only to assist in the fund raising, but also to add another good record to their collection. All the songs on the album are well known and in most instances famous popular music selections that have been done by some of this country’s most successful vocalists such as Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and many others.
And although Father White’s modesty may cause him to shrink a little at this, it must be said that the vocal abilities that he commands are on a competitive par with many of the well known singers in that perform in the pop music field today. In order to perform really well, an artist must have a sincere love of and devotion to his art, and therein you have the reason for Father White’s musical success via this recording — his devotion in life as man and priest cannot help but permeate any and all other facets of his God given talents. Evidence of this will be quite apparent when you hear him sing on this lovely album.”
“The Reverend in Rhythm” is another one of those records everybody searches for, but nobody can find for a reasonable price (see Interesting Facts) – I, personally, found it for $20 on Amazon.com – lucky me… I guess.
Anyways, the album opens with the 1966 song “Tiny Bubbles” – originally by Don Ho. Frankly, despite the Reverend being a rather talented singer, I find the album to be a bore. I’m just not into that easy listening 60’s pop. (Dean Martin is my exception.), I got to admit, the backing singers – whom are not credited – are rather enjoyable too. Next up is a cover of Tony Bennett’s “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” – listed on this album as just “San Francisco” – and well, A+ effort, C- for boring me. (I know, I’m a little harsh on this review, but as I said, he sings good… just not what I like), the next song is “Sunrise, Sunset” from “Fiddler on the Roof” – why are you picking all these bad songs Padre? You have the talent, use it. The fourth track is the Frank Sinatra song “High Hopes” – surprisingly, the Rev can sing Frank Sinatra pretty darn good, now if he was doing Dean Martin songs, it would be all the more worth it. So, the A-Side closes with the track “Dear Hearts and Gentle People” originally recorded by Dinah Shore in 1949, the opening is good, the Rev joins in, and well… it’s still good. (Woot.) It’s actually a decent way to close the A-Side. Shall we flip to the B-Side? Yes please.
So, the B-Side opens with the traditional English ballad, “Danny Boy” – the musicianship on the track is done rather well. Sadly, the song bores me. (Though, someone I spoke to from Ireland once told me this song is sung in a lot of bars. This confuses me greatly.) Oh, look at this! Another song from a movie, Matt Monro’s “Born Free” from the 1966 film, “Born Free” (On a total non-related note, Jonathan Brandis starred in a remake of the film “Born Free” in 1996) – but, on with the review – the song is surprisingly (I seem to use that word lots.) good. Next up is Nat King Cole’s “Ramblin’ Rose” – and once again, it’s good. (Then again, the Father is starting to sing songs by artists I actually like.) then covers a cover of Al Martino’s “Spanish Eyes” – aaaand things are going back down the hill. He does hit those high notes rather well, (so 5 points there). Next up is the song “Moon River” which originally was sung by Audrey Hepburn for the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (and by this point, something tells me that Father White liked the movies a lot.) the song is delivered well, only because I cannot remember the last time I actually heard the song. Anyways, the B-Side closes with the track “May the Good Lord and Keep You” by Meredith Willson, anyways the song is done good. So, we’ll say this recorded ended on a good note.
Anyways, tried to find any information on Rev. Robert White, but with such a common name like “Bob” White – you tend to disappear over 50 years. I’m guessing the album may’ve been recorded in ’67 or ’68. Not too sure, though it was recorded to help fund Cardinal Cushing’s (the same guy who married JFK and Jackie Kennedy, who baptized Kennedy’s kids AND preceded over JFK’s funeral.) Jubilee and Charity Drive.
The record usually goes for about $1,000+
A1 – Tiny Bubbles
A2 – San Francisco
A3 – Sunrise Sunset
A4 – High Hopes
A5 – Dear Hearts and Gentle People
B1 – Danny Boy
B2 – Born Free
B3 – Ramblin’ Rose
B4 – Spanish Eyes
B5 – Moon River
B6 – May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You
Realm Record Productions
Studio Musicians & Other Album Credits:
Produced by Joseph Saia
Recorded at The AAA Recording Studio, Boston, Mass.
Arrangements by John Domurad
Recording Engineer – Arnold Zunick
Other Albums I Own by Father Robert White: