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GEORGIA GIBBS THE KISS OF FIRE

Her 29 Finest 1942-1955

RETROSPECTIVE RTR 4375 [79:48]

 

1. The Kiss Of Fire (2:24)

2. Absent-Minded Moon (3:20)

3. If I Knew You Were Cominí Iíd Have Baked A Cake (2:45)

4. I Donít Care If The Sun Donít Shine (2:46)

5. Play A Simple Melody (2:38)

6. Red Hot Mama (2:51)

7. While You Danced, Danced, Danced (2:59)

8. Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White (2:29)

9. Cry (2:49)

10. My Old Flame (2:59)

11. My Favourite Song (2:39)

12. The Photograph On The Piano (2:11)

13. Say It Isnít So (2:56)

14. Seven Lonely Days (2:09)

15. Heís Funny That Way (3:23)

16. Baubles, Bangles And Beads (3:02)

17. Under Paris Skies (2:44)

18. I Love Paris (2:36)

19. Somebody Bad Stole De Wedding Bell (2:23)

20. Itís The Talk Of The Town (4:14)

21. My Sin (2:07)

22. Whistle And Iíll Dance (2:30)

23. The Man That Got Away (2:51)

24. Balliní The Jack (2:53)

25. Tweedle Dee (2:27)

26. Dance With Me, Henry (2:17)

27. Sweet And Gentle (2:29)

28. I Want You To Be My Baby (2:28)

29. Kiss Me Another (2:14)

Georgia Gibbs (1918-2006) was an extremely versatile and talented singer who began her career with the big bands in the 1930ís and successfully adjusted with the changing music scene by switching to rock and roll, pop numbers, ballads, rhythm and blues, and country-western tunes through the 1950ís. Born Frieda Lipschitz in Worcester, Massachusetts, Georgia was raised in a Jewish orphanage and developing her singing talent in local variety shows. She had a warm and beautiful alto voice and could easily master any music style or song arrangement. In 1936 she was discovered by song-writers Will Hudson and Eddie DeLange and soon joined their swing band, the Hudson-DeLange Orchestra, touring the greater New York area. Georgia performed under the pseudonym Fredda Gibson with Frankie Trumbauerís Orchestra in 1940 and also with Artie Shaw in 1942 when she recorded the earliest song in this collection, Absent-Minded Moon, for the Victor label. Her big band experience also included performing with Tommy Dorsey and Hal Kempís big band. In 1943 she changed her name to Georgia Gibbs and went on to a successful solo career as a cross-over artist, singing covers of other performers as well as her own hits. This disc from Retrospective showcases 29 of her recordings between 1942 and 1955. Four of these songs were recorded in 1950 for Coral Records, including I Donít Care If the Sun Donít Shine, featuring jazz bassist Bob Haggart and his Orchestra. After a slow and bluesy introduction, Georgia and the band pick up the tempo and swing through a fine arrangement of the Mack David number. The remaining tunes on this disc were recorded for the Mercury label between 1951 and 1956. Georgia recorded two of her biggest hits, The Kiss of Fire and Tweedle Dee, with Glenn Osser and his Orchestra. The two songs demonstrate Georgiaís versatility; the first, an Argentinian tango, and the second, a rock and roll novelty number. Both were million selling hits, along with Dance With Me, Henry, recorded in 1955 with Hugo Peretti and his Orchestra. The song was previously a big R&B hit for Etta James named The Wallflower. My favorite song in this collection is I Want You To Be My Baby, written by Jon Hendricks and recorded in 1955 with Hugo Peretti. Previously recorded by Louis Jordan in 1953, Georgia really shines on this rock and roll number with her high energy vocals and explosive scat singing.

A 12-page booklet is included with the disc, with interesting background information and comments by Peter Dempsey. The music was compiled by Ray Crick, and restored and remastered by Martin Haskell. The sound quality is excellent.

Bruce McCollum