Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Brothers Four -- "Turn Around" (1965)

Turn around and you're two 
Turn around and you're four 
Turn around and you're a young girl 
Going out of the door

Today is the 26th birthday of my twin daughters, Sarah and Caroline.

When I posted this picture of the three of us on Facebook a few days ago, I prefaced it with this question:  "How did they get to be 26 -- and how did I get to be 60?"

A friend answered my rhetorical question with a reference to the memorable Kodak television commercial from the 1960s that featured the song, "Turn Around."  I remember the commercial vividly, but hadn't thought about it in many years.

If you're a parent, you don't need me to explain what that song is about -- you already get it.

Most people think that the version of "Turn Around" that was used for that commercial was sung by Ed Ames, who was a well-known television actor before he became a recording artist.  (Ames's parents were Ukranian Jews, but he was often cast as a Native American.  His best-known role was as Fess Parker's Native American sidekick, Mingo, on the Daniel Boone TV series.)  Other sources insist that Paul Arnold was the singer.

Harry Belafonte was the first singer to record "Turn Around."  The song was co-written by Alan Greene and Malvina Reynolds (she also recorded it), but Belafonte suggested some changes to the lyrics and ended up with a writing credit as well.

Others who have recorded the song include the Kingston Trio, Perry Como, and Kenny Loggins.  The only version of the song that made the top 40 was Dick and Dee Dee's version.

Here's a video of Dick and Dee Dee lip-synching to their record on a Dick Clark television special.  (This may be the worst lip-synching job in history -- Dick is clearly not ready when his spoken introduction begins.)

I think my favorite version of "Turn Around" is the one the Brothers Four did for their 1965 album, The Honey Wind Blows.  Here it is:

This photo of Sarah and Caroline was taken with a camera that was not much more sophisticated than the one shown at the end of that Kodak commercial.  (No, I have no idea which girl is which.  And no, I have no idea why it took me another eight years to realize I needed to get rid of that mustache.)

Here they are a few years later, at a friend's birthday party.  I do know which girl is which in this picture because Sarah is left-handed and Caroline is right-handed.

Here they are with their brothers a few years ago:

And here they are just a few days ago:

That's a beautiful photograph, but it really doesn't do them justice.

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