An actor, humanitarian, and the acknowledged "King of Calypso," Harry Belafonte ranked among the most seminal performers of the postwar era. One of the most successful African-American pop stars in history, Belafonte's staggering talent, good looks, and masterful assimilation of folk, jazz, and worldbeat rhythms allowed him to achieve a level of mainstream eminence and crossover popularity virtually unparalleled in the days before the advent of the civil rights movement — a cultural uprising which he himself helped spearhead.
After flirting with traditional African-American material in his previous albums, Belafonte, for the first time, devotes an entire album to the blues. However, of the eleven songs, only two could be classified as traditional blues: "In the Evenin' Mama" and "Cotton Fields," the latter given a five minute treatment. Belafonte would take this song on the road as part of his live act for the next decade. Of the other songs, three were covers of Ray Charles standards ("A Fool For You," "Hallelujah I Love Her So," "Mary Ann"). Another highlight is Belafonte's rendition of Billie Holiday's "God Bless the Child."
Harry Belafonte - Sings The Blues (1958)
(320 kbps, front cover included)