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Anita Darian: Misirlou

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Uploaded on Oct 20, 2007

Here is an extract of another ultra-rare record, "East of the Sun", by the "Armenian Yma Sumac", Anita Darian.
Anita Darian has been a serious working singer for nearly 50 years. She's worked in everything from opera and classical recitals to television jingles and cartoon voice-overs. She has a classically-trained voice with a four-octave range, which has enabled her to take on some remarkable jobs over the years. She sang on a number of albums of Broadway musicals, including "The King and I" and "Show Boat" for Columbia Records. She sang and played the kazoo at a performance of Mark Bucci's "Kazoo Concerto" at one of Leonard Bernstein's famous Young Peoples' concerts with the New York Philharmonic, which later earned her a part in the recording of John Corigliano's eccentric take-off, titled "The Naked Carmen", on the original Bizet opera. And hundreds of millions of listeners have heard her demonstrate her vocal range without knowing it, because she provided the swooping counter-melody behind the tenor lead on the Tokens' #1 hit, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", a cover of a South African song written by Solomon Linda.
"East of the Sun", recorded in 1960 with Frank Hunter handling the arrangements, is a collection of genuine and ersatz Near/Middle Eastern songs such as "Misirlou" and "Gomen Nasir". It's a treat to hear the rare vocal version of "Misirlou", but Darian's style is operatic rather than exotic. She obviously had the capacity to go the Yma Sumac route, but she sticks to an approach more heard in recital halls than cocktail lounges. Darian is still performing today and was featured in a 2003 Cabaret Festival in New York City.
Enjoy!

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