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Nagler, Eric.

Elephant Records, 1985.Phonodisc. 1-12", 33 1/3rpm, stereo. $9.49. Includes song sheets. Distributed by A&M Records, # LFN 85-11.

Pre-School-Grade 5
Reviewed by Christine Buchanan

Volume 14 Number 1
1986 January

Eric Nagler will be a familiar figure to children who saw him on television as a regular guest on Sharon, Lois, and Bram's "Elephant Show." His first record was Fiddle Up a Tune, and he has also been featured on a number of group records, including Banana Split. This latest record brings us eighteen more songs and chants in Nagler's lively, and often irreverent style. Included are both traditional and new songs, many written by the singer himself. He also provides a rendition of Button Up Your Overcoat from 1928, thus continuing the recent trend by children's singers to rediscover some of the popular songs of the Tin Pan Alley period.

Although this is a studio recording, the enthusiastic participation of two different choruses, and Eric's own banter throughout, create the feeling of a live performance . In one cut with his son Christopher (who is featured several times) one has the impression of overhearing a private moment. Nagler is an accomplished player of many folk instruments, and the record demonstrates this versatility. Some of the instruments heard include the fiddle, banjo, mandolin, Jew's harp, washboard, spoons, the beautiful and rarely heard psaltery, and even a musical sewerpipe. Other good musicians supply additional accompaniment on more traditional instruments. I personally would have preferred to have heard a few more purely instrumental sections, and one or two fewer funny songs, simply because the music is so well-played and enjoyable. Probably even the youngest pre-schooler will respond to the lively rhythms of this record, but perhaps the child aged about six to eleven years will most appreciate the jokes about smelly socks, burps, and the like. An accompanying leaflet includes the words to all songs. It would have been useful to have also included the music and/or chords for guitar and autoharp. Recommended for all children's school and public libraries.

Christine Buchanan, Toronto, Ont.
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