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King's Singers

The King's Singers is a six-man vocal ensemble which tours the world singing a variety of repertory.

The group was formed in 1965 by Alastair Hume, Simon Carrington, and Brian Kay. all, at that time, Choral Scholars of the Choir of King's College, Cambridge. Together with other Choral Scholars.

Choral Scholars (there are fourteen at any one time) are the mature-voice singers of the Choir. They receive scholarships to attend King's College, a part of Cambridge University. In return, they undertake a full schedule of music-making, as the Choir sings daily services in the King's Chapel during term, and also a variety of concert appearances and tours. The Choral Scholars even have their own special table at the College dining hall.

This constant work and shared life results in a strong group identity, and in 1965 several members decided to make a private recording of some of the secular music they had been working on, calling themselves "Schola Cantorum Pro Musica Profana in Cantabridgiense." They commissioned one hundred pressings to keep and give to friends and families.

From this start, six of the members (Martin Lane, Al Hume, Neil Jenkins, Richard Salter, Simon Carrington, and Brian Kay) decided to undertake a tour, and booked themselves as "Six Choral Scholars from King's College." The tour was a success, despite what they chose as a uniform to promote an image of professionalism.

As described in The King's Singers, a Self Portrait, by the six members current in the late 1970s (Nigel Perrin, Hume, Carrington, Anthony Holt, Bill Ives, and Kay), this uniform began with "sensible black shoes" but also included "corduroy jackets of interestingly different colors and cut, bow-ties whose patterns were incompatible but daring, and trousers that were matched in the sense that all were dark and all were baggy."

Nevertheless, the group was a success. In 1968 they were invited to sing a concert with Simon Preston and the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, their London debut. Searching for a proper name, they asked Mike Bremner of Argo Records. By then, the group already was known for its mix of classics and more popular repertory. Bremner suggested "The King's Singers" for the serious stuff and "King's Swingers" for pops. They chose to sing all their music under the first suggested name.

They have recorded their wide variety of music for several labels, and remained in existence continuously since 1965, although the personnel of the group has completely turned over. At the groups thirtieth anniversary approached, they were Tenor Paul Phoenix, baritones Phillip Lawson and Gabriel Crouch, Bass Stephan Connolly (the longest-serving current member), and countertenors Nigel Short and David Hurley. In 1968 and 1969 the Singers included one female singer (successively, Felicity Palmer and Eleanor Capp), and in 1969 they briefly added a third counter-tenor, James Bowman. The all-time longest serving member of the group was Alastair Hume, and original founder who remained with The King's Singers until the end of the 1992 season. ~ Joseph Stevenson
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Great American Songbook

Disc 1

1. The Best Is yet to Come

2. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered

3. Let's Misbehave

4. Night and Day

5. Cry Me a River

6. I've Got the World on a String

7. When I Fall in Love

8. It's De-Lovely

9. Beyond the Sea

10. Cheek to Cheek

11. Begin the Beguine

12. At Last

13. I've Got You Under My Skin

14. The Lady Is a Tramp

15. My Funny Valentine

16. I Won't Dance

17. Every Time We Say Goodbye

Disc 2

1. Let's Misbehave

2. Begin The Beguine

3. At Last

4. It's De-Lovely

5. The Lady Is A Tramp

6. My Funny Valentine

7. I've Got The World On A String

8. Every Time We Say Goodbye

x

Track List: Here's A Howdy Do

Title: H. M. S. Pinafore (The Lass That Loved A Sailor), Operetta

1. H. M. S. Pinafore (The Lass That Loved A Sailor), Operetta: A British Tar

Title: The Mikado (The Town Of Titipu), Operetta

2. The Mikado (The Town Of Titipu), Operetta: The Mikado: The Sun Whose Rays

Title: The Gondoliers (The King Of Barataria), Operetta

3. The Gondoliers (The King Of Barataria), Operetta: The Gondoliers

Title: Ruddigore (The Witch's Curse), Operetta

4. Ruddigore (The Witch's Curse), Operetta: Ruddigore

Title: The Pirates Of Penzance, Operetta

5. The Pirates Of Penzance, Operetta: Ah, Leave Me Not Pine Alone And Desolate

Title: The Mikado (The Town Of Titipu), Operetta

6. The Mikado (The Town Of Titipu), Operetta: A Wand'ring Minstrell I

Title: The Pirates Of Penzance, Operetta

7. The Pirates Of Penzance, Operetta: The Pirate King

Title: The Mikado (The Town Of Titipu), Operetta

8. The Mikado (The Town Of Titipu), Operetta: Tit Willow

Title: The Pirates Of Penzance, Operetta

9. The Pirates Of Penzance, Operetta: With Catlike Tread

Title: The Mikado (The Town Of Titipu), Operetta

10. The Mikado (The Town Of Titipu), Operetta: Brightly Dawns Our Wedding Day

11. The Mikado (The Town Of Titipu), Operetta: A More Humane Mikado Never Did In Japan Exist

Title: The Gondoliers (The King Of Barataria), Operetta

12. The Gondoliers (The King Of Barataria), Operetta: Rising Early In The Morning

Title: Work(s)

13. Work(s): Gilbert & Sullivan Medley

Title: Patter Matter (a Patter-song Medley), For Voices

14. Patter Matter (a Patter-song Medley), For Voices: Patter Matter

Title: The Mikado (The Town Of Titipu), Operetta

15. The Mikado (The Town Of Titipu), Operetta: Here's A How-de-do! If I Marry You

x

Track List: Good Vibrations

1. Good Vibrations

2. Cecilia

3. Father To Son

4. The Boxer

5. Texas Girl At The Funeral Of Her Father

6. Seaside Rendezvous

7. And So It Goes

8. American Pie

9. Some Folks' Lives Roll Easy

10. Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover

11. That Lonesome Road

12. Freddie Feel-Good

13. M. L. K.

x

Track List: Get Happy!

Composer: George Gershwin
Title: Sweet And Low-Down, Song (from Tip-Toes, Musical)
Title: The Half Of It, Dearie, Blues Song (from Lady, Be Good!, Musical)
Title: The Real American Folk Song (Is A Rag), Song (from Ladies First, Musical By Various Authors)
Composer: Harold Arlen
Title: Any Place I Hang My Hat, Song
Title: Ill Wind, Song
Composer: George Gershwin
Title: I Got Rhythm, Song (From Girl Crazy, 1930)
Composer: Harold Arlen
Title: Out Of This World, Song (from The Film "Out Of This World")
Title: Somewhere Over The Rainbow (For The Film "The Wizard Of Oz")
Title: One For My Baby (and One More For The Road), Song
Composer: George Gershwin
Title: Porgy And Bess, Opera
Title: But Not For Me, Song (from Girl Crazy, Musical)
Title: Porgy And Bess, Opera
Composer: Harold Arlen
Title: It's A New World
Title: Get Happy, Song (Used In "9:15 Revue")
Title: When The Sun Comes Out, Song
Title: My Shining Hour, Song (for The Film "The Sky's The Limit")
x

Track List: Annie Laurie: Folksongs Of The British Isles

1. Scarborough Fair

4. Annie Laurie

5. Greensleeves

6. Danny Boy

8. Loch Lomond

10. Sally Gardens

13. Golden Slumbers

14. Ar Hyd Y Nos (All Through The Night)

16. Home Sweet Home

x

Track List: Gesualdo: Tenebrae Responsories For Maundy Thursday

Composer: Gregorian Chant
Title: Maundy Thursday: Lectio 1 ("Incipit Lamentationem Hieremiae Prophetae. Aleph. Quomodo ..."

1. Maundy Thursday: Lectio 1 ("Incipit Lamentationem Hieremiae Prophetae. Aleph. Quomodo ...": Lectio 1

Composer: Carlo Gesualdo
Title: Responsories (9) For Maundy Thursday, For 6 Voices, Feria 5
Composer: Gregorian Chant
Title: Maundy Thursday: Lectio 2 ("Vau. Et Egressus Est A Filia Sion")

5. Maundy Thursday: Lectio 2 ("Vau. Et Egressus Est A Filia Sion"): Lectio 2

Composer: Carlo Gesualdo
Title: Responsories (9) For Maundy Thursday, For 6 Voices, Feria 5
Composer: Gregorian Chant
Title: Maundy Thursday: Lectio 3 ("Iod. Manum Suam Misit Hostis Ad Omnia")

9. Maundy Thursday: Lectio 3 ("Iod. Manum Suam Misit Hostis Ad Omnia"): Lectio 3

Composer: Carlo Gesualdo
Title: Responsories (9) For Maundy Thursday, For 6 Voices, Feria 5
Title: Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel, Motet For 6 Voices, W. 7/93

13. Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel, Motet For 6 Voices, W. 7/93: Benedictus

Composer: Gregorian Chant
Title: Christus Factus Est, Versicle

14. Christus Factus Est, Versicle: Christus Factus Est

Comments

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How about "Watching the Winter Wheat"
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I grew up many of their albums and attending their concerts. Why can't I find The Beatles Connection album or other songs like Life on Mars, Windmills of you Mind, or several dozens of others?

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