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Various 24 All-Time Vocal Greats (CD)

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(The Empress Recording) 24 tracks, original recordings In the early thirties the MGM film... more

Various: 24 All-Time Vocal Greats (CD)

(The Empress Recording) 24 tracks, original recordings

In the early thirties the MGM film company used to boast that its roster of artists contained 'more stars than there are in heaven': a similarly extravagant claim could be made for the list of artists featured in this collection, twenty-four all-time great artists with twenty-four all-time great songs in a bill of fare that no movie could ever hope to match. Getting things off to a flying start is the great, tragic Judy Garland; a star who was so badly misused by the Hollywood moguls, who stole her childhood, that she saw the last years of her short life through a haze of drink and drugs.

Way back in 1939, as a teenager, Judy recorded a memorably effervescent version of James Hanley's Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart. A wonderful performance, a supreme talent. When Jerome Kern wrote The Last Time I Saw Paris it was not as the result of a commission from a producer, but in response to a request from lyric writer Oscar Hammerstein II wl-to had written the words shortly after the fall of the great city in 1940. When the number was interpolated into the 1941 film version of the Gershwin musical 'Lady Be Good' it won Kern an Academy Award for best song.

Tony Martin's subsequent recording was an enormous hit and helped to establish him as one of the top romantic singers of the day. One of Glenn Miller's ace arrangers, Jerry Gray, co-wrote Pennsylvania 6-5000, which became one of the band's biggest hits. While Miller's own recording sold many millions, the version by the Andrews Sisters was nearly as popular. It certainly suits Laverne, Maxine and Patti's characteristic singing style down to the ground. Begin The Beguine was introduced in Cole Porter's 1935 show, 'Jubilee', but attracted little attention. Three years later the Artie Shaw recording became a hit and was immediately covered by dozens of artists. Perhaps the finest version of all was made by that master of the British cabaret scene Leslie Hutchinson, better known simply as 'Hutch'. His rich voice and fine piano playing delighted patrons at nightspots such as the Cafe de Paris as well as on stage and radio for many years until his post-war retirement.

One of the top movie box office attractions of the 'thirties and 'forties, Deanna Durbin's main attractions were her charming, fresh personality coupled with an excellent soprano voice. She performed Amapola in the 1939 picture 'First Love'. Arthur Tracy, alias The Street Singer, had a first-rate voice, much admired by opera singers as well as artists in his own side of the business. Pre-eminent as a singer of ballads throughout his long career, he became a big name on both sides of the Atlantic. The great sincerity of his singing is perfectly demonstrated in Wanderer. Particularly remembered for her work with Geraldo,Dorothy Carless was a top British band vocalist who went on to enjoy a solo career in both Britain and the United States.

Autumn Nocturne is a pleasant memento of an artist who was an important part of the music scene in the 'forties. Hoagy Carmichael's Can't Get Indiana Off My Mind is presented by The Old Groaner himself, Bing Crosby. For fifty years Crosby's unique talents placed him at the very pinnacle of the entertainment business. An accomplished actor, his mellow voice and relaxed style helped to make him a genuine megastar in popular music. At one time, in the 'forties, it was said that Crosby was the best-known man in the world, which is an incredible thought for any person to have to carry through life. Ever modest about his own achievements, Bing was prone to describe himself as being nothing more than 'a journeyman baritone'. In truth he was an extraordinarily innovative singer who has influenced generations of his successors.

The voice itself was pure gold. To describe Carmen Miranda's personality and dress as flamboyant is probably to understate the case. Wearing bizarre headgear that was almost as tall as she was, the Portuguese-born entertainer sang and acted her eccentric way through more than a dozen films. The doyen of Hollywood songwriters, Harry Warren, showed how adept he was at composing Latin-style music when he came up with I Yi, Yi, Yi, Yi for Miss Miranda to sing in 'Down Argentina Way'. However, lyricist Mack Gordon might well have felt that the song was far from being his finest hour, appropriate though the words were.

The World's Greatest Entertainer, Al Jolson, is in mellower mood than usual in the lovely You Are Too Beautiful, a Rodgers and Hart song that he sang in the 1933 picture, 'Hallelujah, I'm A Bum', an odd affair in which rhyming dialogue was used in preference to normal speech. It came in a period when Jolson's career was going through a trough that was not to end until after the war when the two bio-pits'The Jolson Story' and 'Jolson Sings Again' introduced his high-voltage singing to a new audience. Although Larry Parks played Jolson on screen, there was no mistaking who provided the (dubbed) singing. The place in British history of Dame Vera Lynn, The Forces' Sweetheart, is secure for her major contribution to the war effort through her singing in general and the work she did in entertaining the troops in particular.

The warmth of her voice and the emotions inherent in the material she performed really meant something special to wartime audiences. Although Apple Blossom Time is not a song closely associated with Dame Vera, her singing of it captures all the sentiment of both the song and the time that produced it.
Various - 24 All-Time Vocal Greats (CD) 1
01 Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart Judy Garland
02 The Last Time I Saw Paris Tony Martin
03 Pennsylvania 6-5000 The Andrews Sisters
04 Begin The Beguine Hutch
05 Amapola Deanna Durbin
06 Wanderer Arther Tracy
07 Autumn Nocturne Dorothy Carless
08 Can't Get Indiana Off My Mind Bing Crosby
09 I, Yi, Yi, Yi, Yi (I Like You Very Much) Carmen Miranda
10 You Are Too Beautiful Al Jolson
11 I'll Be With You In Apple Blossom Time Vera Lynn
12 I'm So Used To You Now Al Bowlly
13 The Boulevard Of Broken Dreams Frances Langford
14 You Were Never Lovelier Fred Astaire
15 Jim Ella Fitzgerald
16 In A Moment Of Weakness Dick Powell
17 Let's Do It Mary Martin
18 Do I Worry The Ink Spots
19 Wrap Yourself In Cotton Wool Anne Shelton
20 That Lovely Weekend Issy Bonn
21 Room Five Hundred And Four Adeliade Hall
22 Nagasaki The Mills Brothers
23 I Got Rhythm The Merry Macs
24 Sweethearts Allan Jones
Various Artists Different artists/interpreters on a CD, Vinyl LP, 7ich Singe... Either as a... more
"Various"

Various Artists

Different artists/interpreters on a CD, Vinyl LP, 7ich Singe...
Either as a theme compilation or as Greates Hits, Best of..., Singles Collections etc.

 

Various Artist on Bear Family

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Tracklist
Various - 24 All-Time Vocal Greats (CD) 1
01 Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart
02 The Last Time I Saw Paris
03 Pennsylvania 6-5000
04 Begin The Beguine
05 Amapola
06 Wanderer
07 Autumn Nocturne
08 Can't Get Indiana Off My Mind
09 I, Yi, Yi, Yi, Yi (I Like You Very Much)
10 You Are Too Beautiful
11 I'll Be With You In Apple Blossom Time
12 I'm So Used To You Now
13 The Boulevard Of Broken Dreams
14 You Were Never Lovelier
15 Jim
16 In A Moment Of Weakness
17 Let's Do It
18 Do I Worry
19 Wrap Yourself In Cotton Wool
20 That Lovely Weekend
21 Room Five Hundred And Four
22 Nagasaki
23 I Got Rhythm
24 Sweethearts