Jules Farmer (vcl), Henri René, Bob Bain, Jim Tyler (arr, dir), Frank Beach, Joe Triscari, Manny Klein, Conrad Gozzo (tp), Joe Howard, Milt Bernhart, Tommy Pederson, Si Zentner (tb), George Roberts (b-tb), Ted Nash, Ronny Lang (as), Sylvia Ruderman (fl), Gus Bivona (cl, as), Dave Pell, Gene Cipriano (ts), Marty Berman (bs), Art Fletcher (p), Victor Feldman (vib), Barney Kessel, Al Hendrickson, Allan Reuss (g), Joe Mondragon, Rolly Bundock (b), Earl Palmer, Irv Cottler (d), Frank Carlson, Bernie Mattison, Lou Singer (perc), Dorothy Remsen (harp), plus Strings
Reference: BMCD 877
Bar code: 8427328008778
· Collectors Edition
· Issued in Digipack
· LP + Bonus Tracks
· Original Cover Art and Liner Notes
· Stereo Recordings
· Newly Remastered
Singer Jules Farmer was 19 when he signed his contract with Imperial Records in May 1959, and all his recordings for the label were made that year. All were cut under the supervision of Henri René, Imperial’s album-artist-repertoire chief, who provided all the excellent big band and string backings, except for one date arranged by guitarist Bob Bain. A first single, Love Me Now and Part of Me, came out in July to great reviews. After a summer of club work and promotion, August saw his second single, and the ballad These Things Happen received an equally warm reception: “First-rate performance by Farmer. A strong recording that could break loose with some push,” wrote Billboard.
Late in October, Imperial released an LP, “Jules Farmer.” Billboard reviewed him as a pop talent, and wrote: “Jules Farmer shows himself to be a class vocalist somewhat in the Brook Benton, Nat Cole, Earl Grant styling on this smart collection of ballads. He has a rich quality, and he sings in a loose, relaxed manner.”
After a year with Imperial, his contract finished, and he moved to Roulette Records. A single came out in August 1960, but despite a promising start, Farmer disappeared from the music scene. This CD compilation contains the full musical legacy of a man whose rich, big baritone was once compared with some of the best.
"And you thought Jackie Paris was obscure!!! After listening to this unbelievable reissue of the most obscure of the obscure male vocalists, I did a major Google search on Jules Farmer. All I came up with was references to these recordings and various references to him “disappearing” from the music scene.
JULES! Are you still out there?!?!? We want to hear from you!!
This guy was only 19 when he made these recordings of standards with an orchestra conducted by Henri Rene’ and Bob Bain. The session guys include some top tear studio gents like Earl Palmer/dr, Milt Bernhart/tb,Barney Kessel, Joe Mondragon/b, Victor Feldman/vib, Ted Nash/as and Gus Bivona/ts, but you’re not going to care about that as much as the fact that this guy is a swinging delight, able to mix the warm comforting tone of Nat Cole with the swagger of Frank Sinatra with just a dash of Mark Murphy looseness. IS THIS ALL THERE IS?
At least it’s a lot. He’s got a rich sizzle on pieces like “Take Love Easy,” and does an enunciation on “The Song Is You” of the word “Be-U-Ti-Ful” that NO ONE does anymore, and he milks each lyric for all it’s worth. He plays with the feel of “The Surrey With The Fringe On Top” like a cat and a ball of yarn and gets down and dirty with blisters on “Every Day I Have The Blues.” There are a handful of singles that include some rich strings for the pop crowd, but it works convincingly on “Love Me Now” and “Possibly.” A hip little nine piece band lends suave and supple support on “Come Away” with Farmer displaying that rare quality of sounding like he’s singing right at ya. We gotta do some detective work on this guy. Why did he drop out? Now that I know he existed, I feel the music world is lesser without him. Grab this and stump your friends as they’ll ask the same question I did on the title. “Please, sir, may I have some more?”
Ringer of the Week
George W. Harris (November 3, 2016)