September 20, 1982 12:00 PM

Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Having this world-class chorus sing “Yes, We Have No Bananas”, “Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella on a Rainy Day” and “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” sounds like a wacky idea. Nevertheless, from the same wonderful 320 folks who bring us “Silent Night”, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “Onward Christian Soldiers” now come many jolly Prohibition Era songs, which some people might have wished were prohibited instead of booze: “I’m Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover”, “I’ll Be With You in Apple Blossom Time” and “I Want to Be Happy” are there. Mind you, these ditties sound fine when your favorite uncle is belting them out after Sunday dinner, but a choir—in particular The Choir—overwhelms the material. It’s like Luciano Pavarotti singing cat food jingles. Shame on conductor Jerold Ottley. Not that this Utah-based vocal battalion need restrict themselves to Handel’s Messiah, but surely there’s something between that and Bye, Bye, Blackbird.

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