Greatest Hits by The New Christy Minstrels

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Album Features
UPC: 074640927928
Artist: The New Minstrels/The New Christy Minstrels
Format: CD
Release Year: 1988
Record Label: Columbia (USA)
Genre: Folk

Track Listing
1. Green Green
2. Today
3. A Little Bit of Happiness
4. Everybody Loves Saturday Night
5. We'll Sing in the Sunshine
6. The Drinkin' Gourd
7. Chim Chim Cher-Ee
8. Downtown
9. Cottonfields
10. Ida Red
11. Mighty Mississippi

Details
Playing Time: 31 min.
Distributor: Sony Music Distribution (
Recording Type: Studio
Recording Mode: Stereo
SPAR Code: n/a

Album Notes
This odd collection was the first compilation featuring the 1960s extended folk ensemble the New Christy Minstrels. Although the group's trio of Top 40 selections are included, the remainder of the long-player is primarily drawn from post-Barry McGuire and -Randy Sparks lineups. Initially issued in 1966, the 11 selections on Greatest Hits (1966) are actually more conspicuous for the bevy of somewhat obvious contenders that are not included. One such entry is the Grammy-winning overhaul of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" that had taken home the Best Performance by a Chorus nod in 1962. Sparks (guitar/vocal) initially wanted to combine the forces of a choral unit and a folk combo, which he eventually did by joining several smaller Los Angeles-based bands together. The Christys' main impact came as a result of the spirited Sparks/McGuire collaboration "Green, Green," making it into the Top 15 in the summer of 1963, followed by the Top 30 side "Saturday Night." Two motion picture-related melodies became their next efforts of consequence as their final Top 40 tune, "Today," was featured in Advance to the Rear (1964) and "Chim, Chim Cher-ee" had been lifted from Mary Poppins (1964). Although it was not their version used in the film, a seminal performance of the number during the nationally broadcast 1964 Academy Awards ceremony would solidify their association with the song. The Sparks-penned numbers "Mighty Mississippi" and "Drinkin' Gourd (The Muddy Road to Freedom)" aside, the rest is seemingly ill-conceived filler from mid-'60s outings that found the Christys languishing in the wake of folk-rock and the omniscient British Invasion. For parties seeking a better single-CD anthology, Vanguard's Best of the New Christy Minstrels (1996) is an apt dozen-song primer, while the more studious enthusiast can't go wrong with the 45-track Definitive New Christy Minstrels (1998) or somewhat less cohesive Hits and Highlights 1962-1968 (Coat Your Mind in Honey) (1999) from the Australian Raven reissue label. ~ Lindsay Planer

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