Who was/is Gordon Macrae ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more
Gordon Albert Macrae was born on 12th March 1921 in East Orange, New Jersey to William and Helen Macrae. As a youngster he showed great promise as an entertainer and by the time he was 11 years old, he was appearing as a master of ceremonies on local radio. Whilst attending High School he became a member of the drama club. Gordon also expressed an interest in music and as well as singing, he learned to play piano, clarinet and the saxophone.
After high school Gordon went on to college and whilst there, he entered and won a talent contest. The prize was a two week engagement at the New York World's Fair, singing with the bands of Harry James and Les Brown. Although no offers of work followed this engagement, it did make Gordon decide that his future lay in show business.
Gordon joined the band of Horace Heidt and developed his talent for singing. He left the Heidt band in 1942 and his next career move was to Broadway, where he had a role in the production, 'Junior Miss'. Gordon then replaced Frank Sinatra on the radio programme 'Your Hit Parade'. After two years in the Air Force, Gordon teamed up with his wife Sheila for their own radio programme. The next major step in Gordons career was in 1947 when he was signed by Capitol Records. Gordon stayed with the label for over twenty years.
In 1948 Gordon was signed to a seven year contract by Warner Brothers. He made his film debut when he appeared as a boxer in The Big Punch'. His second film for the studio was the musical 'Look For The Silver Lining' with June Haver. Realising how suited Gordon was to musical comedy, Warners then teamed him with Doris Day in 'Tea For Two'. The teaming was perfect -and Gordon and Doris went on to star in perennial favourites like 'West Point Story', 'On Moonlight Bay' and 'By The Light Of The Silvery Moon'. Gordon then appeared in the two films which were perhaps the highlights of his career, `Oklahoma' and 'Carousel'.
On this compilation we have tried to show the versatility of Gordon Macrae. We begin with 'Dear Hearts And Gentle People' and 'Mule Train' a double sided winner from 1950, which demonstrates Gordon's way with then current pop songs. Of course Gordon was also famous for his duets on record with Jo Stafford. On this occasion however we have chosen his perhaps lesser known singing partners, Gisele Mackezie and June Hutton. Gordon and Gisele teamed up on 'A Lover's Waltz', 'On Rosary Hill' and 'My Buick My Love And I'. June Hutton takes over the Doris Day role on two numbers from 'By The Light Of The Silvery Moon', the title song and 'Be My Little Baby Bumble Bee'. It is hoped that a complete CD of the duets with Jo Stafford will follow at a later date.
We couldn't have a set by Gordon without looking at his repertoire from films and shows. Ray Anthony's Band join Gordon on two songs from 'Oklahoma' -'People Will Say We're In Love' and The Surrey With The Fringe On Top'. Gordon also treats us to the seldom heard 'Bella Notte' from 'Lady And The Tramp' and 'Woman In Love' from 'Guys And Dolls'
Gordon Macrae died on 24th January 1986 but he left a vast legacy of recordings for us to enjoy at our leisure. Drew Blackburn - In Tune International. Compilation by Drew Blackburn.