During a recent rescue sweep, we uncovered yet another album by that fabulous mystery lounge band The Populaires. This will be the fourth album from the boys that we have shared and this time around we are happy to be able to give you some backstory on the group. Seems that one of the drummers from the group, Bill Purcell, saw that we had been sharing the Populaires’ albums and that were looking for info about the group. He responded with a very nice email with a wonderfully detailed history of the band.
We were correct in our assumption that the group was the house band at the Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. The original group started playing in the ‘Old White Club’ (the cocktail lounge of the hotel) around 1949. The original line up consisted of Bill Walz on bass and vocals, Bill Sloane on keyboards and vocals, Chuck Bills on sax and vocals and Mike Powers. Eventually Mike Powers and Chuck Bills left to be replaced by Constantine ‘Conny’ Thymius playing multiple woodwinds and trombonist/vocalist Kenny Martin. Mr. Martin had a successful career in the big band world prior to joining the Populaires playing trombone and singing with Jack Teagarden, Jimmy Dorsey, and Guy Lombardo (that’s him singing on the Lombardo band’s recording of ‘Hello Young Lovers’, a hit in 1951). Mr. Purcell joined the group in 1975 and played with them until 1978, but continued to sit in with the band periodically. The group retired from playing in the late 80s/early 90s.
With this album, we again find the boys playing a mix of older standards mixed with contemporary (for 1970) hits. The put a boppy spin on ‘Proud Mary’, take a stab at ‘Take Me Home Country Roads’, and offer up an odd version of ‘My Sweet Lord’. There’s also a nice, mellow instrumental arrangement of ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’ that really grew on me with repeated playings. Have fun listening and as always, Enjoy!
Download all the mp3s and cover art in one 50MB Zip file.