Sunday, May 10, 2020

M-O-T-H-E-R (A Word That Means the World to Me)—Murfin Home Confinement Music Festival 2020

 M-O-T-H-E-R (A Word That Means the World to Me) Sung by Henry Burr.

It’s Mother’s Day and how better to celebrate than with the first recording of the song most closely identified with the holiday.  M-O-T-H-E-R (A Word That Means the World to Me) was written by lyricist Howard Johnson, also known for such hits as I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream and When the Moon Comes over the Mountain, and music by Theodore Morse in 1915.
Henry Burr at the recording microphone in the 1920's.
It was recorded by prolific Canadian-born tenor Henry Burr who recorded thousands of songs for various labels under various names.  He was very popular in the 1910's and had the most #1 hits in the decade.  His most successful record was Just a Baby’s Prayer at Twilight which eventually sold an astonishing million copies. He is estimated to have sold around 240 million records.
The song was covered by many and became a vaudeville staple.  It rose to new popularity with a follow-the-bouncing-ball animated short that helped teach the lyrics to many.  Changing musical tastes past the song by until post-World War II barbershop quartets made it a mainstay of the niche genre

The Frothy Boys serenade Karen Meyer with M-O-T-H-E-R (A Word that Means the World to Me).
The Frothy Boys, the men’s a cappella group made up of Tree of Life UU Congregation member memorably sang it to a mom plucked from the congregation every year at Mother’s Day services and also sang it as a singing telegram to other moms in the community to raise money for charity.

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