CD Reviews


Webmaster: Len Mullenger

[Jazz index][Purchase CDs][ Film MusicWeb][Classical MusicWeb][Gerard Hoffnung][MusicWeb Site Map]

Thanks for the Memory
25 original mono recordings from 1938-1952
With Bing Crosby, Shirley Ross, Dorothy Lamour, Margaret Whiting, Judy Garland, Jane Russell, Jimmy Wakely, Doris Day.
Compiled by David Lennick
Remastering and restoration by Martin Haskell
LIVING ERA CD AJA 5493 [76:30]



Crotchet Mid price

  1. Thanks for the Memory (with Shirley Ross)
  2. Two Sleepy People (with Shirley Ross)
  3. The Lady’s in Love with You (with Shirley Ross)
  4. Penthouse Serenade (with Shirley Ross)
  5. Bob Hope Broadcasts to the United States Army
  6. Put It There, Pal (with Bing Crosby)
  7. The Road to Morocco (with Bing Crosby)
  8. My Favorite Brunette (with Dorothy Lamour)
  9. Beside You (with Dorothy Lamour)
  10. Buttons and Bows (with the Clark Sisters)
  11. That’s Not the Knot (with the Clarke Sisters)
  12. Heinie’s and Moe’s (with Bing Crosby and Doris Day)
  13. Lucky Us (with Margaret Whiting)
  14. Ain’t We Got Fun? (with Margaret Whiting)
  15. Blind Date (with Margaret Whiting)
  16. Goodnight, Irene (with Bing Crosby and Judy Garland)
  17. Home on the Range (with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour)
  18. Wing Ding (with Jane Russell)
  19. Am I In Love (with Jane Russell)
  20. A Four-Legged Friend (with Jimmy Wakely)
  21. Hoot Mon (with Bing Crosby)
  22. Chicago Style (with Bing Crosby)
  23. The Road to Bali (with Bing Crosby)
  24. Merry-Go-Runaround (with Bing Crosby and Peggy Lee)
  25. Bob Hope broadcasts to the United States Coast Guard

Bob Hope, who this year celebrates his centenary, is an American icon, and perhaps the very last of a generation of classic entertainers the likes of which will never again appear in this country. Born in England in 1903, Leslie Townes Hope came to the United States with his family at an early age. Hope was among a group of performers who began in Vaudeville and successfully made the transition to radio, film and later television. Completely at home as comedians, dramatic actors, dancers, and as these recordings bear out, singers; Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Gene Kelly and of course, Bob Hope have left a legacy of quality that will likely never be surpassed. A household name in the U.S. for longer than many of us have been alive, Bob Hope has is the apex of what it means to be an American. A tireless patriot Hope’s wartime broadcasts and overseas tours have entertained millions of soldiers and sailors in every conflict from the WWII to the Viet Nam conflict, and in peacetime, Hope’s tours of military bases in this country are legendary.

Known primarily as a stand-up comic and movie star, Hope was equally at home in the recording studio. His clear and warm baritone voice was perfect for the sentimental love songs and snappy comedy numbers that he most often committed to wax. More often than not, a colleague accompanied his forays before the microphone. The majority of the performances on this disc are duets with some of his many famous co-stars. Bob Hope was the ideal collaborator. Always the perfect gentleman, he never overshadowed his partners, but neither was he subservient.

This Living Era collection is a string of pearls. To the greater extent, these are novelty numbers, filled with cute banter between Hope and his outstanding duet partners. His comedy is timeless. The hysterical Heinie’s and Moe’s, with Bing Crosby has not lost a thing in the fifty-three years since it was first broadcast. I found myself laughing out loud. What a treat to hear something truly funny and completely non-profane. Hope’s jabs at Crosby in other songs on this recording speak highly of their life-long friendship and frequent artistic collaboration.

Of course, no collection of Hope songs would be complete without a performance of his signature tune, Thanks for the Memory. This 1938 performance is completely charming, and it is interesting to hear this song with its original lyric. (Hope changed the words dozens of times over the years to compliment the show at hand.)

Of particular poignancy are the two broadcasts documented here that Hope made to soldiers during the Second World War. The comedy sketches are of course still funny, but the closing speeches in tribute to the ordinary soldiers who were off fighting are particularly touching and speak volumes of Hope’s love of country and dedication to the troops at war.

The transfers are outstanding. You could never tell that most of these performances were recorded half a century ago. Note on Hope’s life and career by Greg Gormick are excellent.

At 100 years old, Bob Hope has outlived all of his famous cohorts. We can wish him to be with us forever, but reality dictates that we will only have him for a short time more. Those of us who love music and comedy can only hope that there are younger performers who will be remembered as long as Bob Hope will, and that their material will remain as timeless and fresh as the songs and sketches presented here.

Kevin Sutton

Return to Index