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HELEN FORREST Iíve Heard That Song Before

Centenary Tribute- Her 25 Finest 1938-1945

RETROSPECTIVE RTR 4302

 

 

Artie Shaw & his Orchestra

  1. Thanks For Everything [3:19]

  2. Deep In A Dream [3:18]

  3. They Say [2:45]

  4. I Poured My Heart Into A Song [3:31]

  5. Comes Love [3:13]

  6. Melancholy Mood [3:15]

  7. All The Things You Are [3:10]

    Benny Goodman & his Orchestra

  8. How High The Moon [2:56]

  9. I Canít Love You Any More [2:42]

  10. Taking A Chance On Love [3:08]

    Harry James & his Orchestra

  11. I Donít Want To Walk Without You [2:50]

  12. Heís My Guy [3:19]

  13. I Heard You Cried Last Night [2:57]

  14. Manhattan Serenade [2:48]

  15. I Had The Craziest Dream [3:27]

  16. Mister Five-By-Five [2:53]

  17. Iíve Heard That Song Before [2:58]

    Duets with Dick Haymes- 18, 20-25

    Toots Camarata & his Orchestra

  18. Long Ago And Far Away [3:22]

  19. Time Waits For No One [3:16]

    Victor Young & his Orchestra

  20. It Had To Be You [3:10]

  21. Together [3:05]

  22. Iíll Buy That Dream [2:57]

  23. Some Sunday Morning [2:35]

    Earle Hagen & his Orchestra

  24. Iím Always Chasing Rainbows [2:58]

  25. Oh,What it Seemed To Be! [2:55]

    TOTAL PLAYING TIME: [78:20]

    Helen Forrest, regarded by many as the best female vocalist of the swing era, was born Helen Fogel in 1918 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. She began singing in her brotherís band at the age of ten. Helen performed on radio stations in New York as a teenager, and was discovered and hired in 1938 by Artie Shaw, who already had Billie Holiday performing with his orchestra. Artie used both singers until Billie left the band later that year. Helen took over the vocal spotlight and recorded 38 singles with Artie Shaw before the band broke up in November 1939. Benny Goodmanís band was in a period of transition after vocalist Martha Tilton left his group, and after briefly trying several temporary replacements, including Louise Tobin and Mildred Bailey, Benny quickly hired Helen when she became available. Helen recorded 55 singles with Benny Goodman and his Orchestra before leaving the band in August 1941. She joined Harry James and his band later that year, where she was an immediate hit. Harry re-wrote the bandís arrangements to feature Helenís voice and his own trumpet solos, and they were so successful that Helen was voted the best female vocalist in the U.S. in 1942 and 1943. Helen left Harryís band in late 1943 and recorded duets with Dick Haymes for the Decca label until 1947, while also appearing and acting in several movies. She continued performing in clubs, shows and on television for the next 30 years, and released her final album in 1983.

    All The Things You Are, written by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II, was one of Artie Shawís favorite tunes. The songís unique structure allows for endless improvisation, making it a favorite of jazz players. Artie leads his orchestra in a beautiful swing arrangement, playing a sweet clarinet solo followed by Helenís warm verse, perfectly settled within a lush brass section. The song was recorded in Los Angeles in October, 1939 for the Bluebird label. How High The Moon was recorded in New York in February 1940 by Benny Goodman and his Orchestra for Columbia Records. Helenís friendly, expressive voice shines and sparkles in a nice arrangement featuring trumpeters Ziggy Elman, Jimmy Maxwell, and Irving Goodman. Jule Styne and Frank Loesser composed I Donít Want To Walk Without You, recorded by Helen with Harry James & his Orchestra in the Columbia studios in New York in December, 1941. The tune appeared in the 1942 film Sweater Girl, where it was sung by radio crooner Johnny Johnstone. Helen and Harryís version became a huge wartime hit, with Harryís sonorous trumpet solo and a gorgeous arrangement specifically created to present Helenís lovely voice at its finest. Harry Warren and Mack Gordon combined their talents and wrote I Had The Craziest Dream, which became a million-seller for Harry James and Helen in 1942. Helen sings the tune, one of her very best, with exquisite grace and timing. The song appeared in the Twentieth Century-Fox movie Springtime in the Rockies starring Betty Grable, and became Helenís theme song, as well as the title of her 1982 autobiography. Helen teamed up with Dick Haymes and Earle Hagen and his Orchestra in November 1945 and recorded Oh, What It Seems to Be! , written by Frankie Carle, George Weiss and Bennie Benjamin and featuring one of Earleís romantic string arrangements. Earle worked in Hollywood for many years and composed hundreds of scores and soundtracks for television shows. He even supplied the whistling for the recording of his famous Andy Griffith Show theme song.

    This music was compiled by Ray Crick, and Martin Haskell performed the audio restoration and remastering. A 12-page booklet is included with song details, credits, and notes by Peter Dempsey. The sound quality is excellent.

    Bruce McCollum





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