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Interview Three: Press Notices
Short reviews and dates from the press about Alan Dean and his musical career.
Source: Jazz Professional
1952 THE MELODY MAKER
ALAN DEAN MAKES DEBUT IN HARLEM AND TRIUMPHS AGAIN
One sigh—and he was in!
New York, Saturday.—Alan Dean added another item to the remarkable list of his American triumphs this week when he made his Harlem debut with a group including Stan Getz, Kai Winding, Al Haig and Eddie Safranski. The occasion was the annual all-star show presented at the Apollo Theatre by the Amsterdam News, and although Alan followed such acts as Milton Berle and Denise Darcel, he made a lasting impression on thousands of Harlemites. Alan went on stage with his all-star group, and a sigh greeted his first two notes. He was " In." After the show, which ran from midnight to 4 a.m.. Alan revealed in a backstage chat that he expected night club engagements to keep him busy for the next two months. He leaves next week tor Hull and Quebec, with dates following at Philadelphia. Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Toronto and Washington—the latter two return bookings. Josh White, also on the Apollo bill, made as big a hit as he did recently at Cafe Society. The Stan Getz group did a couple of numbers on its own and sounded beautifully relaxed. Barbara Carrol's trio from the Embers, with Joe Shulman on bass and Herb Wasserman on drums, was also a highlight. As usual at these Apollo specials, the pit band was conducted by veteran bandleader Eubie Blake.
Melody Maker - December 1951
Alan Dean flies to U.S wax date
Alan Dean has had his engagement at the Old New Orleans supper club in Washington extended for a further two weeks. Because of the growing demand in the States for Alan's records, he will be flown to New York to wax a batch of sides.
MELODY MAKER January 3, 195
Ella Mae Morse writes in "Down Beat": "When I was working in Wildwood, NJ, recently, I worked with a boy named Alan Dean, the boy who's over here from England;and I have never in my life heard a more terrific voice than this boy has. Actually, he doesn't have to sing; all he has to do is walk up on the stage and smile at the audience—he's got 'em right then; but he sings with terrific feeling and has a range from A to Z." Need I say more?
ALAN DEAN TOPS CANADIAN POLL; ROMPS AHEAD OF U.S. GIANTS
Polltopper Alan Dean has won a resounding victory over U.S. stars in a Canadian popularity poll conducted by MM correspondent and CBC producer Henry F. Whiston. Entitled 1952 Jazz At Its Best, the poll is the largest of its type yet held in Canada. From the first handful of ballots, it was apparent that Alan was to pile up a substantial lead over his closest competitors, Billy Eckstine and Herb Jeffries. One club appearance and a week of vaudeville earlier In the year had proved to everyone that Alan had established Montreal as his most successful city on the North American continent. Significant was the almost complete lack of ballots cast for Frank Sinatra; Mel Torme. Bing Crosby, Eddie Fisher. Richard Hayes, Bill Farrell and other recording names, some of whom also made personal appearances locally during the year
Melody Maker, January 1953
The Musical Express 1951
DEAN PLAYS EMPIRE STATE BUILDING
ENGAGED BY WEALTHY SOCIALITES MR. AND MRS. EARLE J. NATHAN, TO SING AT THE COMING-OUT CELEBRATIONS OF THEIR DAUGHTER, SUE, WAS BRITISH SINGER ALAN DEAN. SUE NATHAN HAD REQUESTED ALAN DEAN'S SERVICES AFTER WITNESSING HIS WASHINGTON SUCCESS.
The celebrations included a midnight trip to the top of the Empire State Building where, 120 floors above Fifth Avenue, the bewildered singer carried out what must have been the most unique engagement of his career. After his own performance he led the guests in community singing. So many guests, newsreel cameramen and press photographers were crowded in the small confines of the skyscraper's pinnacle that it looked in danger of toppling over from top-heaviness. "It certainly looked that way to me," said Dean. "In fact, we were so high up that the programmes should have read: ' To the Accompaniment of Harps.' " The British singer received $1,500 for this engagement (£500).
Alan Dean 25 Minutes in New York Show
WITHIN A FEW DAYS OF ARRIVING IN NEW YORK, BRITISH SINGER ALAN DEAN WAS INVITED TO GUEST ON THE FABULOUS BARRY GRAY PROGRAMME OVER STATION WMCA. BARRY GRAY IS CURRENTLY THE BIGGEST AND MOST TALKED OF NAME IN AMERICAN RADIO. ORIGINALLY A DISC-JOCKEY, GRAY HAS DEVELOPED SUCH A DYNAMIC STYLE OF COMMENTATING THAT HIS THREE-HOUR-LONG SHOW, FROM MIDNIGHT UNTIL THREE, NOW BOASTS ONLY FOUR RECORDS AT THE MOST. THE REST OF THE TIME IS CLEVERLY DEVOTED TO KEEPING MILLIONS OF NEW YORKERS OUT OF THEIR BEDS.
The Barry Gray show is conducted nightly from Chandler's Restaurant on 137 E.46th Street The show is spontaneous and Gray's brilliant mind keeps the programme jumping for the full three hours. He touches on any subject of topical interest and diners are free to argue back at him from their tables or battle with him at the microphone.
Barry Gray was so impressed with Britain's ambassador of song that he kept him at the microphone for a full 25 minutes, discussing British affairs in particular and European affairs .in general. This conversation was unscripted and Dean says that he has never felt so much at ease before a microphone.
DOWNBEAT DEC. 28 1951
Alan Dean Old New Orleans, Washington. D. C.
Washington—After reading the rave reviews about Alan Dean (a local paper said he would do more for Anglo-American relations than Princess Elizabeth's visit) we were a little skeptical. Nobody could be quite that good.
We were wrong. Watching the British poll-winning ballad singer for the first time, we realized that his American debut in this D.C. club might be the first rung on a ladder that would reach very, very high.
Alan Dean proves an important point: that it is possible to sing in perfectly good taste, sing good songs instead of tired novelties, sing with a warm, friendly personality but without corny gestures, and still be infinitely commercial.
In other words, Alan won't have to go off on any wild goose chases after financial success. It will come to him if he just keeps on thrilling the people the way he thrilled them here..
His style is modern, his voice rich and full, and although there are moments that suggest such influence as Sinatra and Eckstine, there are indications that before long he will be as big as either of them, because he is just as individual.
We hope Alan will stay here indefinitely—long enough to wind up as a gladly adopted son, a Dean of American singers.
NOV. 21, 1951
Old New Orleans, Washington, D. C.
Young British pop singer, playing his first nitery engagement in this country, is one of the better vocal prospects. The voice is there, the personality is pleasant and wholesome, and he has a friendly, easy manner with the ringside audience. While he talks with a British accent, none of it comes through in his chirping. Second unusual feature is that he seems to have absorbed a number of different styles which break through from time to time in the handling of different material. He ranges from a full baritone down to a certain breathlessness, and occasionally soars off in the kind of bouncey presentation which characterizes Frankie Laine.
If properly channeled among the right numbers, there's more than enough equipment to make a real dent among the 1951 bobbysoxers, with some left over to appeal to their mothers. As show caught he was most successful with the Laine-style presentation of "Domino" and a softly romantic offering of "London by Night." He also does "So Easy to Love," "Too Young," new French number, "If You Go," and one or two others.
Encores are smartly handled. He invites the audience to name the selections and then pretends he doesn't know the words to all these American songs. On first encore, "Nevertheless," he had a couple of delighted gals at ringside tables calling the lyrics to him line by line, although it was notable that when they were a little slow, he went ahead anyway. "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" was second encore. He begged off to fine hand. Lowe.
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