Work With Other Artists

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Thurl worked with so many different singers that it would be almost impossible to name them all. This page will not try to accomplish that, but will instead focus on recordings on which Thurl can be easily heard, singing with other artists.

Andrews Sisters
Thurl was enlisted by the Andrews Sisters to sing with them on a remake of the Johnny Cymbal hit "Mr. Bass Man" (2:34). The song was released both as a single and on the album The Andrews Sisters Present  on Dot Records in 1963.

Betty Blake
Betty Blake and Thurl teamed up for a couple of duets "Are You Mine" (2:29) and "Out of Line" (2:38) on Abbott Records in 1955.

Johnny Bond
Thurl appeared on Johnny Bond's 1967 Starday release Ten Nights in a Barroom. Thurl is heard throughout the album, but is featured on the song "White Lightning" (3:57) playing the part of The Gorilla.

Les Brown
Thurl and the Mellomen sang on "Let It Be" (2:58) by Les Brown and His Band of Renown. The lead vocal is by Lucy Ann Polk. The flip side has "I'll Never Let You Cry" which is again sung by Lucy Ann Polk with the Mellomen providing the backup vocals, though Thurl is not featured.

George Burns
The Mellomen sang on the 4 song EP George Burns Sings. They were credited as The Mellow Men Quartet and can be heard on all 4 tracks. Thurl is best featured on "Don't Take Me Home" (2:01). The other songs are "La Vie En Rose", "Red Rose Rag", and "Some of These Days".

Champ Butler
Thurl is prominently featured on a 1951 recording by Champ Butler & the Lee Brothers. The song "Way Up in North Carolina" (2:23) is essentially a duet between Champ and Thurl with the rest of the Lee Brothers providing backup. The Lee Brothers was another pseudonym for The Mellomen.

Rosemary Clooney
Thurl worked with Rosemary Clooney on several occasions. One of the best recordings to hear Thurl on is her version of the Stuart Hamblen song "This Old House" (2:23) which was a #1 hit for her in 1954. The Mellomen sang on a few other records, scoring hits with "Hey There" and "Mambo Italiano" in 1954. The 1955 single, "Where Will the Dimple Be?" (2:26) also features Thurl.

Bing Crosby
Thurl worked with Bing Crosby in the late 1930s as part of the Paul Taylor Choristers on the Kraft Music Hall radio show. As a member of the Mellomen, he worked with Bing again in the 1950s. They appeared on several of Bing's albums including a 1951 Decca release, Shilleaghs and Shamrocks on the songs "With My Shillelagh Under My Arm" (2:27) and "St. Patrick's Day Parade" (2:10).

Doris Day
Thurl frequently backed up Doris Day as a member of both the Mellomen and the Norman Luboff Choir. One good place the hear him is on the sound track album to film Calamity Jane, although the version of the song "'Tis Harry I'm Plannin' to Marry" (2:07) differs from the actual film version. Thurl does not appear in the film, and on the sound track the Mellomen are billed just as Vocal Quartet. Other good songs to hear the Mellomen are "Hoop dee doo" and "I Didn't Slip, I Wasn't Pushed, I Fell".

DeCastro Sisters
Thurl worked with the DeCastro Sisters on "Boom Boom Boomerang" (2:16) which was released on Abbott Records in 1955.

Georgia Gibbs
Thurl sang with Georgia Gibbs a couple of times, most notably "Dance with Me Henry (The Wallflower)" (2:18) which was a # 1 hit in 1955. The Mellomen also sang on a recording of "Dream a Little Dream of Me"/"Cherry Stones" by Georgia Gibbs & Bob Crosby.

Stuart Hamblen
Thurl sang on several of Stuart Hamblen's records. He is featured on "This Old House" (2:57) from 1954. Stuart Hamblen released several different versions of this song during his recording career and Thurl sang on at least two of them. When Rosemary Clooney recorded the song, she enlisted Thurl to sing the same parts he had on the original version.

Spike Jones
Thurl's work with Spike Jones goes back to the late 1930s when they were both part of the NBC Studio Orchestra that worked with Bing Crosby on radio. Spike was the drummer and Thurl was part of the vocal ensemble. Thurl and some of the other singers used to make up funny lyrics to popular songs of the time. When the various members went different directions, Spike took that idea and made a career out of it. He occasionally called Thurl for help on his later projects.

Thurl worked with Spike Jones and His City Slickers on the albums Bottoms Up (1952) and Dinner Music For People Who Aren't Very Hungry (1956). The latter includes the song "Wyatt Earp Makes Me Burp" (2:22), which prominently features Thurl. The Mellomen also appeared on a couple of singles from 1952, "Winter" (2:00) and "I'll Never Work There Any More" (2:24). On Spike Jones in Stereo (1959), Thurl is credited on the album as The Mad Doctor, singing "Teenage Brain Surgeon" (3:03).

The Mellomen also appeared on an episode of The NBC All-Star Revue with Spike Jones on January 12, 1952. See Thurl on Television for details.

Don Knotts
Thurl sang with Don Knotts on the song "I Wish I Were a Fish" (2:21) for the sound track album of The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964). Sadly, the version used in the film is not the same and does not feature Thurl. It was also released as single on Warner Brothers Records and was re-released on the 1998 5-CD boxed set, Warner Brothers 75 Years Entertaining The World: Film Music.

Mario Lanza
As part of the Jeff Alexander Choir, Thurl sang on the song "Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!" (2:40) from Mario Lanza's 1956 album Cavalcade of Show Tunes.

Roberta Lee
Thurl joined Roberta Lee on the songs "Wing Ding Ding" (2:03) and "You Wanna Talk About Texas" (1:56) from a 1956 single and "January" (2:17) from 1958. In addition to these, the Mellomen sang on "When the Organ Played at Twilight", "True Love and Tender Care" and "Montana Hummingbird"

Billy May
Thurl sang the vocals on the song "Do You Believe in Santa Claus" (2:33) which is credited to Billy May. This recording obviously dates from the 1950s but was not released until 2005 when it came out on the CD Ultra Lounge Christmas Cocktail, part 3.

Jim Nabors
Thurl worked with Jim Nabors on many of his albums, though on most he is just part of a vocal ensemble. One of the recordings that does feature him is "Go Tell It On the Mountain" (3:01) from the Jim Nabors Christmas Album released in 1966.

Elvis Presley
The Mellomen worked with Elvis on several occasions, first on the sound track for It Happened At The World's Fair, recorded in October 1962. Elvis wanted to work with his regular backup group, the Jordanaires, but due to a scheduling conflict, the group was unavailable. MGM suggested that Elvis listen to the Mellomen. After hearing them, he agreed to work with them. They sang on two songs, "One Broken Heart For Sale" (1:50) and "Cotton Candy Land". 

After that, the Mellomen also provided backup on the title song to the film Roustabout, recorded in March 1964, as well as the entire sound track of Paradise Hawaiian Style, recorded in July and August of 1965. They also appeared on screen as a gospel quartet in the 1969 film The Trouble with Girls (and how to get into it). They sang throughout the film, providing the singing voices for the college boys. For more details, visit the Thurl in Film page.

Dinah Shore
The Mellomen worked with Dinah Shore on a few occasions. One good example it on the "Twelve Days of Christmas" (3:46). The also sang on "Down in Nashville, Tennessee" which was released on RCA Victor in 1951.

Benny Strong
The Mellomen also teamed up with Benny Strong and His Orchestra for a few songs. Thurl is easily heard on "Blonde Hair Blue Eyes and Ruby Lips", "Don't Bring Lulu" (2:03), "You Call Everybody Darling" (2:01), and "I Love My Baby" (2:02).

Others
Either by himself or as member of a group such as the Mellomen or the Norman Luboff Choir, Thurl worked with all a great many other singers including: Harry Belafonte, George Cates, Dennis Day, Kirk Douglas, Duane Eddy, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Arlo Guthrie, Phil Harris, Eartha Kitt, Frankie Laine, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford, Bob Thompson, Bobby Vee, Lawrence Welk, and Margaret Whiting.

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