Art Samuels and the Montréal Youth Singers

Antiwar songs by Art Samuels and the Montréal Youth Singers

Art Samuels was born in Montreal in 1923. […] He has been, among other things: insurance sales-man, radio announcer, advertising copywriter and part-time serious writer. Though interested in all forms of folk art, he does not consider himself to be a folk-singer, but a "singer of folk songs and composer of ditties." He has had no formal musical training, relies on a keen ear and an intuitive ap-
proach to music whereby he "juggles musical ideas about in his head until they come out 'right'."
About his composing he says, "A lot of people ask me where I get the ideas for my songs. Well, of course, the answer depends on which songs they mean. The more serious ones emerge out of strong personal feelings I have about things like war and other forms of human injustice… things I feel I want to comment on. Again, by nature, I have always had an irreverent attitude towards all breeds of ‘sacred cows’, so often enough I turn to satire. Most of my ‘plain non-sense’ songs, of course, just seem to happen… I may be idly strumming my guitar, get a whimsical idea, do a little word weaving, and there it is. I don 't necessarily consider these songs less important than the serious ones, because healthy laughter to me has always seemed a profound human emotion."

The Montreal Youth Singers spend a good part of their young lives learning, practicing and singing folk songs of many nations to large and enthusiastic audiences. Many of them are developing into promising soloists. Only part of the group is represented in this recording; these are Helen Gold (director of the group), Mary Feinberg, Jack Nissenson, David Silverberg and Louis Spiers.