Wartime Heart-throbs helped to keep the home fires burning through the dark
days of World War II and this compilation is a vivid reminder of their talents.
The tunes here were nostalgic and often a little sad. Who could top Frankie
and Bing for they were inimitable; and included on this disc I particularly
liked Sinatra's 'I'll Never Smile Again' (smoochy and romantic) and from
Bing I just loved 'I'll be Seeing You' (warmly nostalgic for parted couples.
Then there are the great Eberle Brothers' swing numbers: Ray Eberle's 'Skylark'
and Bob Eberle's 1941 No.1 hit, 'Blue Champagne'. Both brothers were nice
dreamy crooners. I would also just mention: Nat King Cole singing, 'Embraceable
You', Dick Haymes' 'You'll Never Know' and Fred Astaire's 'Dearly Beloved'
- another very popular wartime melody.
Oran Thaddeus Page, known as 'Hot Lips' Page, delivered jazz at its
popular best. Upbeat, his music really gets your feet tapping. Page was a
natural - you can hear the passion and warmth in his music. He is best remembered
for 'Uncle Sam's Blues' - what a routine - really laid back jazz but with
trumpet at its hottest, with excellent rhythm. This is a live concert and
the spontaneous joy of the musician's exptemporising is rawly communicated.
22 numbers are included on this generously filled album including 'Jamming
the Boogie' (it swings superbly and there is great ensemble playing to jam
this all together); 'Blues in the Groove' (nice and moody); and of course
who could forget 'The Sheik of Araby'.
Hits of '49 is another attractive compilation bringing back vivid memories
from that post-war era when things began to seem brighter and the tunes
correspondingly more upbeat. The tone is set right at the beginning with
the ebullient Evelyn Knight and the Stardusters in 'A Little Bird Told Me'.
The songs from this 25 number collection that impressed me the most were:
'Les Brown singing 'I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm' with its great swing
instrumental introduction; Doris Day's softly romantic 'Again' that led you
to wish that she was 'the girl next door'; another atmospheric (and
draughty) swing number, 'Baby, It's Cold Outside beautifully sung by Dinah
Shore and Buddy Clark. Then Perry Como enchants 'Some Enchanting Evening'
(from South Pacific) with Como and orchestra perfectly complimenting
each other; the wonderful country style of Frankie Laine in 'That Lucky Old
Sun' (No.1 hit for eight weeks) and 'Mule Train', another big hit; and the
infectious rhythms of Mel Tormé's 'Careless Hands'.
Rating for all three albums