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Best harmony singers

Once Famous 20 Dec 04 - 04:12 PM
Midchuck 20 Dec 04 - 04:52 PM
Midchuck 20 Dec 04 - 04:53 PM
MudGuard 20 Dec 04 - 04:58 PM
PoppaGator 20 Dec 04 - 05:38 PM
DonMeixner 20 Dec 04 - 06:19 PM
GUEST,Harmony singer devotee 20 Dec 04 - 06:19 PM
Georgiansilver 20 Dec 04 - 06:25 PM
YorkshireYankee 20 Dec 04 - 06:44 PM
frogprince 20 Dec 04 - 06:44 PM
Padre 20 Dec 04 - 06:51 PM
Compton 20 Dec 04 - 07:03 PM
PoppaGator 20 Dec 04 - 07:04 PM
GUEST,Auggie 20 Dec 04 - 10:26 PM
M.Ted 20 Dec 04 - 10:33 PM
Metchosin 20 Dec 04 - 10:51 PM
Metchosin 20 Dec 04 - 11:10 PM
GUEST,Harmoni 21 Dec 04 - 12:40 AM
Peace 21 Dec 04 - 12:52 AM
Peace 21 Dec 04 - 12:56 AM
Peace 21 Dec 04 - 12:56 AM
Steve Parkes 21 Dec 04 - 04:17 AM
Steve Parkes 21 Dec 04 - 04:18 AM
The Borchester Echo 21 Dec 04 - 04:42 AM
muppitz 21 Dec 04 - 06:56 AM
GUEST,Vic at work 21 Dec 04 - 08:00 AM
Grab 21 Dec 04 - 08:07 AM
jaze 21 Dec 04 - 08:08 AM
The Borchester Echo 21 Dec 04 - 08:22 AM
Vixen 21 Dec 04 - 08:30 AM
Peace 21 Dec 04 - 08:31 AM
rumanci 21 Dec 04 - 08:35 AM
GUEST,James 21 Dec 04 - 08:38 AM
ConcertinaChap 21 Dec 04 - 08:46 AM
Paco Rabanne 21 Dec 04 - 08:49 AM
Essex Girl 21 Dec 04 - 09:17 AM
Vixen 21 Dec 04 - 09:27 AM
breezy 21 Dec 04 - 09:41 AM
Once Famous 21 Dec 04 - 10:52 AM
GUEST,Jack 21 Dec 04 - 11:37 AM
Metchosin 21 Dec 04 - 11:43 AM
GUEST,Chris 21 Dec 04 - 08:27 PM
GUEST,Melani 21 Dec 04 - 09:15 PM
GUEST,Champagne Carol's SS 21 Dec 04 - 09:59 PM
Steve Latimer 21 Dec 04 - 10:06 PM
jimmyt 21 Dec 04 - 10:44 PM
GUEST,Sam Hudson 22 Dec 04 - 08:09 AM
GLoux 22 Dec 04 - 08:19 AM
belfast 22 Dec 04 - 08:35 AM
Fliss 22 Dec 04 - 09:01 AM
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Subject: Best harmony singers
From: Once Famous
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 04:12 PM

Singing harmony is something I am proud I do well. At the bi-weekly bluegrass jams (some country and some folk is also played) I have developed harmony parts for songs by a number of singers, who seek me out to do these songs when their turns come up.

Who do you think were and are the best of the harmony singers?

Or who influenced you?

For me, a couple of great examples of great harmony singers are/were:

Herb Pedersen, who voice has done harmony with Chris Hillman on many recordings.

Nick Reynolds, Kingston Trio guitarist who knew the art of the "blend."

Don Rich, who's phrasing was like buck Owens twin brother.


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: Midchuck
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 04:52 PM

FinestKind

The Seldom Scene, in their prime (before Duffey died)

Early Ian and Sylvia

And the original Kingston Trio, as you say, for those of us who can remember them

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: Midchuck
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 04:53 PM

Whoops, I forgot.

Jody Stecher and Kate Brislin.

Emmylou Harris singing harmony for just about anyone.

P.


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: MudGuard
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 04:58 PM

Hissyfit (Linda Kelly & Hazel Richings)


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: PoppaGator
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 05:38 PM

They're not strictly "folk," more like "roots rock," but I have to give my vote to the subdudes.

They once opened for Crosby Still and Nash (and maybe Young, too -- I'm not sure), and David Crosby complained out loud that they were impossible to follow. They *are* better singers, and better harmonizers, than CSN, which is pretty darn good.

I also have to give a mention to the delightfully wacky Roches, Maggie, Terre and Suzzy (or any two of them when we can't have all three).


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: DonMeixner
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 06:19 PM

Don and Phil Everly

The (Original) Sons of The Pioneers

The Blue Sky Boys

Simon and Garfunkle (Garfunkel)

John Roberts and Tony Barrand

Norman Snabbernackle and his Choir

To name several


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: GUEST,Harmony singer devotee
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 06:19 PM

For me the only harmony singers that I would walk over broken glass to see and hear are Coope Boyes and Simpson. Their precision diction and excellence are unbeatable - I was even able to introduce a member of the choral society that I sing with in my other life to them without having to worry about their reactions. A barbershop singer that I know was knocked out by their technique and "over-ring" (not sure if that is the correct term - in other words production of an apparent fourth harmony for a three part harmony group). Can't get to see them often enough!


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 06:25 PM

"Steeleye Span" come to mind first and the two songs they do that immediately spring to mind are "The Rosebud in June" and "Gaudete" which are sung acapella.
Have sung both songs with others in harmony and both go down well in any company.
Martin, I too am good at working out harmonies both in Folk music and at Church.
Best wishes, Mike.


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 06:44 PM

Tim and Molly O'Brien – bluegrass, newgrass, gospel; as bro & sis, they have that special "family voice/sound" going for them.

Coope, Boyes & Simpson – British male trio, trad & new songs, wonderful tight harmonies

Graham & Eileen Pratt – mostly trad British songs (half of Regal Slip) – fantastic blend!

The Watersons & the Copper Family – no comment needed, methinks

Sweet Honey in the Rock – six African American women with powerful voices, doing spirituals, hymns, gospel, jazz, blues...

Manhattan Transfer – slick, oh-so-sophisticated harmonies

The Everley Bros – interesting harmonies; great blend

Rockapella (are they still around?)

The Four Bobs – wonderfully tight harmonies, and extremely original arrangements of songs you wouldn't really expect a capella renditions of, like Purple Rain, Psycho Killer and Innagoddadavida(sp?)

Agree with Midchick about Finest Kind and with PoppaGator about the Roches

There's SO many more, of course – but these are the ones who come to mind straight away...


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: frogprince
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 06:44 PM

The trio of Anne Hills, Cindy Magnuson, and Patricia Herdman.
Sweet Honey In The Rock.


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: Padre
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 06:51 PM

John Duffy of the Country Gentlemen

Carter and Ralph Stanley

The Louvin Brothers


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: Compton
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 07:03 PM

I'll give a vote to Coope,Boyes and Simpson. they are the dogs!...The Copper Family are/were pretty hot too!...and whilst thinking on, "Sound your Instuments of Joy"/ Malpass Wassail- Watersons, still raises hair on the back of the neck. The Young Tradition........


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: PoppaGator
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 07:04 PM

Many of the best harmonizing groups are siblings/families. There's something at work there that goes deeper than musical talent and skill -- there's something genetic deep down in their bodies and minds that just goes together.

How could I have forgotten to mention the Everly Brothers? Then there's the Wilson brothers and cousins (Beach Boys), the aforementioned Roche sisters and many many more.

Martin's original post, however, seemed to be more about the ability to improvise harmony as an *individual* skill. Some have it, some don't, and I believe that it's a skill that must be practiced regularly to remain strong. If you know how to harmonize, it matters little whether the singer(s) with whom you are harmonizing are your relatives -- there's just a little extra intangible quality there if they are.


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: GUEST,Auggie
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 10:26 PM

Many good one's listed so far but there are some notable omissions.
Two guys named John and Paul used to harmonize pretty good.
If you're a bluegrass fan like MG, the very country Ricky Skaggs is pretty hard to top.

My all time favorites,however, are inimitable The Mills Brothers.


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: M.Ted
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 10:33 PM

The Peerless Quartet, The Four Freshmen, Karl and Harty, The Dinning Sisters,The Four Aces--to fill in a few missed--


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: Metchosin
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 10:51 PM

PoppaGator, I heartily agree regarding sibling/families and will add Kate and Anna McGarrigle and the Andrews Sisters.


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: Metchosin
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 11:10 PM

Also The Good Brothers, the harmony in Fox on the Run was magic.


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: GUEST,Harmoni
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 12:40 AM

The Everley Brothers, Simon and Garfunkle, Chad Mitchell Trio, The Beach Boys and probably several more that will come to mind once I post this.

This isn't really folk, but I loved Wilson Philips--their harmonies were so tight!

I love to harmonize and started off at a very young age with my dad and my sister. For years they were the only 2 people I could sing with because everytime I'd try to harmonize with someone else, that person would inadvertantly leave the melody and copy me. Then I joined a folk/world music a capella choir and I finally found my home. Here was a group of people who I could harmonize with to my heart's content! I also do some arranging for that choir; creating/writing harmonies is my true passion. To me, there is nothing that compares to the sound of 3,4,5,6,or 7-part harmony.

Does anyone else here gets goosebumps whenever you hear that perfect blend of harmonies?


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: Peace
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 12:52 AM

My favourite all-time song by some sweet harmonizers:

Jim Ed Brown, and his sisters Maxine and Bonnie. They areThe Family Brown and the song is "The Three Bells." I jus' don't get any better.


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: Peace
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 12:56 AM

I could get better at my typing and facts. Let me say that again:

My favourite all-time song by some sweet harmonizers:

Jim Ed Brown, and his sisters Maxine and Bonnie. They are The Browns and the song is "The Three Bells." It jus' don't get any better.


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: Peace
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 12:56 AM

Just checked for screwups.There are non.


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 04:17 AM

The Beverly Sisters, the Karlin Twins (male), the Kay Sisters ... plenty on this side of the pond. (And there's me teamed with nearly anybody else!)

Steve


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 04:18 AM

Sorry -- think that should be the Kalin Twins ...


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 04:42 AM

Watersons + Coope Boyes & Simpson together in Blue Murder
Witches of Elswick
One witch, Fay Hield, together with Damien Barber
Tenores di Bitti
Lauren McCormick & Emily Portman
Robin & Barry Dransfield


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: muppitz
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 06:56 AM

Would agree wholeheartedly with anyone citing Coope, Boyes & Simpson!
Lester Simpson was my singing teacher for a while when I was in college, but I don't think he remembers me!

Th' Antiques Roadshow are a band I always look forward to hearing.
I grew up listening to the Watersons, who were excellent in their day, as were the McCalmans, very instinctive singing!

However, the harmony band who I would gladly walk across hot coals and by stretched on a rack for are the Wilson Family.
They are the Rolls Royce of Harmony singers (In My humble opinion of course! I have no intentions of forcing anyone to change their own views!)

muppitz x


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: GUEST,Vic at work
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 08:00 AM

Wilson Family, marvellous singers six siblings and as someone said above there is something special about families singing together.
Antiques are good value for money.
What about Norma and Lal, again that family thing.
Best I've ever heard - We sang in the folk club at Bedworth Festival, 'Brave Wolfe' and the whole room sang and some wonderful hamonies. One of those occasions when you had to be there!


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: Grab
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 08:07 AM

For me, definitely Artisan. Not just for their wonderful harmonies either, although for my money they're much better than Cooper Boyes and Simpson. It's also for Brian Bedford's writing, because he's easily one of the best British songwriters today - he writes the kind of "instant classic" songs that Ralph McTell and Steve Knightley used to. Oh, and they're absolutely wonderful to see on stage too, bcos they've just got that chemistry that makes you warm to them.

Someone's got to mention the Flying Pickets as well though - they did some amazing stuff, really using their voices as instruments. And on the novelty front, there's always that 80s one-hit-wonder of "Don't worry be happy" from Bobby McFerrin which isn't technically great but is an excellent fun track.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: jaze
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 08:08 AM

I go with Emmylou Harris. She has sung and done harmony for a variety of singers and is always excellent.


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 08:22 AM

Andy Kershaw played the Watersons doing Brave Wolfe from Early Days last Sunday (19 December) on BBC R3. You can get it on the replayer for the rest of the week.


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: Vixen
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 08:30 AM

Harmoni mentioned the "goosebump effect"...yeah. That's what good harmony does...In my opinion, great music is identified by its affect on the autonomic nervous system.

I agree with all of the choices mentioned that I've heard, and I now have a list of new voices to listen to.

One "blood harmony" that deserves a mention are the Thompson twins, Chris and Meredith (no not that rock trio from the 80s!). They produce goosebumps...If you get a chance, check out "wood and stone"

V


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: Peace
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 08:31 AM

Dixie Chicks.


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: rumanci
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 08:35 AM

English Tapestry were the best .........once upon a time


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: GUEST,James
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 08:38 AM

Kate and Anna McGarrigle, The Everly Brothers. Emmy Lou Harris, with anyone


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: ConcertinaChap
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 08:46 AM

Surprised no-one has mentioned Sharon Mountain Harmony. Lucy Simpson was the source for several well-known songs like Time Has Made a Change in Me, and the quality of ensemble singing is staggering.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 08:49 AM

The McGarrigyle sisters.


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: Essex Girl
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 09:17 AM

Dave Webber & Annie Fentiman (OK The remains of English Tapestry), Cockersdale and Magpie Lane, must be added to the list.


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: Vixen
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 09:27 AM

Sharon Mountain reminds me...

New Golden Ring--another goosebump ensemble not yet mentioned...


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: breezy
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 09:41 AM

George Papavgeris is very good at singing harmony as are Cloudstreet from Brisbane Oz way.

C B S and may I mention The Voice Squad

Herga Kitty Vernon aint bad either

Are we not spoiled or what


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: Once Famous
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 10:52 AM

Enjoying the many responses.

Thanks.


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Subject: Best harmony singers
From: GUEST,Jack
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 11:37 AM

Local D/FW duet called the Harmonic Balancers, they sing down in Stephenville, Texas as well as Johnnie Highs Country Music Revue(I think)I am not sure where else they sing, but those girls could harmonize like nothing I have seen before, and they sometimes trade off lead/harmony. Just AWESOME!


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: Metchosin
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 11:43 AM

The Blind Boys of Alabama don't suck either.


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: GUEST,Chris
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 08:27 PM

I love harmony. One of the things I'm most thankful for is that I have the knack. It's not a matter of working it out: it's just there. Many of you know what I mean.

Fortunate indeed, since I'd never get a gig with my lead voice...


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: GUEST,Melani
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 09:15 PM

Just a couple of weeks ago, I was blown away once again by Dick Holdstock and Allan MacLeod, especially Dick's high harmonies. 30-odd years together and still totally fantastic!


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: GUEST,Champagne Carol's SS
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 09:59 PM

Fayssoux Starling..she graces some of Emmylou Harris' most lovely cuts.


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 10:06 PM

Another vote for Ralph & Carter. Emmylou is magical singing lead or harmony. Surprised that The Band hasn't been mentioned, especially Helm and Danko.


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: jimmyt
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 10:44 PM

as per pure harmony and lush chord progressions with sweet voicings, although many of the groups already mentioned are way up there, the Four Freshman being my favorites, if you get a chance listen to the groups, BEachfront Property, an absolute lush group, as well as the 60s studio only group SIngers Unlimited. I just bought the box set of their music and after forty years it is still unmatched.


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: GUEST,Sam Hudson
Date: 22 Dec 04 - 08:09 AM

Several mentions of Emmylou remind me of her with Mary Black and Dolores Keane singing 'Sonny's Dream' - quite beautiful. I'd also register a vote for Grace Notes.


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: GLoux
Date: 22 Dec 04 - 08:19 AM

Here are a couple of my favorites that haven't been mentioned yet:

Ginny Hawker and Kay Justice

Alton and Rabon Delmore

-Greg


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: belfast
Date: 22 Dec 04 - 08:35 AM

The Voice Squad. No longer extant unfortunately.

Martin Carthy singing with himself on "The Song of the Lower Classes" is one of the greatest harmony groups I have ever heard.

Some early recordings of the McPeake Family.


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Subject: RE: Best harmony singers
From: Fliss
Date: 22 Dec 04 - 09:01 AM

Im very fond of the close harmony of Cuckoo Oak. I know festival goers in the UK will have heard them at some point over the past 25+ years. Pat, Dawn, Mike and Pete have songs from lots of eras and backgrounds.

I was at the Ludlow session last friday with Dawn and Pat and his 2 sisters. The harmonies were ace.

cheers
fliss


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