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Bing Crosby

Bing Crosby - Swinging on a Star

  • 1. Swinging On A Star (Burke, Van Heusen) [2'27"]
  • (Rec. 7/2/44: Mat. L 3307: Brunswick 03534); with the Williams Brothers Quartet and John Scott Trotter and his Orchestra.
  • 2. San Fernando Valley (Jenkins) [3' 10"]
  • (Rec. 29/12/43: Mat. 1. 3275: Brunswick 03528); with John Scott Trotter and his Orchestra.
  • 3. Day Dreaming (Kern, Kahn) [3' 04""]
  • (Rec. 14/7/41: Mat. DLA 2539: Brunswick 03300); with Victor Young and his Orchestra.
  • 4. Mine (G. & 1. Gershwin) [2'38""] (Rec. 31/7/44: Mat. L 3486: Decca Y 6106); with Judy Garland and Orchestra conducted by Joseph Lilley. 5. Maybe (G. & 1. Gershwin) [2'43""] (Rec. 13/6/39: Mat. DLA 1776: Brunswick 02986); with Victor Young and his Orchestra.
  • 6. 1 Ain't Got Nobody (Williams, Graham) [3'00"] (Rec. 30/7/41: Mat. DLA 2600: Brunswick 03663); with Woody Herman and his Woodchoppers.
  • 7. Don't Fence Me In (Porter) [3'051 (Rec. 25/7/44: Mat. t. 3475: Brunswick 03565); with the Andrews Sisters and Vic Schoen and his Orchestra.
  • 8. Begin The Beguine (Porter) [3'32""]
  • (Rec. 3/5/44: Mat. L 3411: Brunswick 04110); with John Scott Trotter and his Orchestra.
  • 9. Sunday, Monday or Always (Burke, Van Heusen) V34"]
  • (Rec. 2/7/43: Mat. L 3172: Brunswick 03485); with the Ken Darby Singers.
  • 10. When My Dreamboat Comes Home (Friend, Franklin) [2'23"] (Rec. 27/5/42: Mat. DLA 2998: Brunswick 04113); with Bob Crosby's Bob Cats.
  • 11. Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive (Arlen, Mercer) [2'40"]
  • (Rec. 8/12/44: Mat. L 3685: Brunswick 03569); with the Andrews Sisters and Vie Schoen and his Orchestra.
  • 12. I'd Know You Anywhere (McHugh, Mercer) [1’50-]
  • (Rec. 3/12/40: Mat. DLA 2254: Brunswick 03142); with John Scott Trotter and his Orchestra.
  • 13. My Buddy (Donaldson, Kahn) [3'07"]
  • (Rec. 30/12/40: Mat. DLA 2315: Brunswick 04740); with Victor Young and his Orchestra.
  • 14. Put It There Pal (Burke, Van Heusen) [2'19"]
  • (Rec. 8/12/44: Mat. L 3686: Decca Y 5937); with Bob Hope and Vic Schoen and his Orchestra.
  • 15. Is You Is, or Is You Ain't (My Baby)? (Jordan, Austin) [2'55"] (Rec. 30/6/44: Mat. L 3450: Brunswick 03539); with the Andrews Sisters and Vic Schoen and his Orchestra.
  • 16. Somebody Loves me (G. Gershwin, De Sylva, MacDonald) [2'42"] (Rec. 13/6/39: Mat. DLA 1777: Brunswick 02986); with Victor Young and his Orchestra.
  • 17. Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup (Sosenko) 13'11"]
  • (Rec. 14/7/41: Mat. DLA 2540: Brunswick 04121); with Victor Young and his Orchestra.
  • 18. There's A Fella Waiting In Poughkeepsie (Arlen, Mercer) [2'47"]
  • (Rec. 8/12/44: Mat. L 3684: Brunswick 03569); with the Andrews Sisters and Vic Schoen and his Orchestra.
  • 19. Lullaby (Brahms) [2'44""]
  • (Rec. 23/5/41: Mat DLA 2399: Brunswick 03874); with John Scott Trotter and his Orchestra.
  • 20. Pistol Packin' Mama (Dexter) 13'00"]
  • (Rec. 27/9/43: Mat. L 3198: Brunswick 03494); with the Andrews Sisters and Vic Schoen and his Orchestra.
  • 21. Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral (Shannon) [3'12""]
  • (Rec. 7/7/44: Mat. L 3456: Brunswick 03554); with John Scott Trotter and his Orchestra.
  • 22. I'll Be Seeing You (Fain, Kahal)
  • [2'49""]
  • (Rec. 17/2/44: Mat. L 3318: Brunswick 03533); with John Scott Trotter and his Orchestra.
  • Total playing time: 64' 22"
  • Compilation and production: Tony Watts and Colin Brown.
  • Bing Crosby - vocal

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Bing Crosby - ktoś zaryzykował odważne twierdzenie, że był pierwszym wokalistą prawdziwie jazzowym. Jego nagrania i płyty z lat trzydziestych znajdują się w czołówce pionierów tego gatunku muzyki. Wpływ Crosby'ego na styl jego współczesnych i nastepców jest niekwestionowany. Ta płyta jest antologią najważniejszych osiągnięć epoki swingu, a co za tym idzie - Binga Crosby'ego. When a singer recorded as much material as Bing Crosby, over a period of fifty years, it is fascinating to look at the range of the repertoire covered. What are now great standards form an important part of the list; they have reached that status through the advocacy of Bing as well as other artists of the time like Fred Astaire and Frank Sinatra. A Gershwin or Kern number so familiar today was, in all probability, excitingly new when they first sang it, just as pop songs today achieve acceptance by massive repetition. Lucky the singers of that era to have had the greatest songwriters in history to compose for them! The other side of the coin was the vast amount of second-rate material recorded; hundreds and hundreds of songs, only moderately successful at the time which would have passed into well-deserved oblivion but for their preservation on record. To take just a few examples from Crosby's own recorded repertoire; would anyone, bar the specialists, remember numbers such as Jack Yellen and Dan Dougherty's You're Still In My Heart, the Harry Barris and Ralph Freed song of the Depression Let's Spend An Evening At Home or even an all-but-forgotten part of Irving Berlin's magnificent, massive output I'm Playing With Fire had they not been committed to disc by one of the century's major singers? Inevitably many collections of Crosby's recordings concentrate on the better-known songs, the big hits; the present compilation is no exception, with the accent on discs he made in the early to middle 'forties when he was at the very peak of his fame. Many of Bing's songs of the time were written by lyricist Johnny Burke and composer Jimmy Van Heusen, particularly noted for their joint film work. Burke had previously collaborated fruitfully with both Arthur Johnston and Jimmy Monaco before joining forces with Van Heusen in 1939. Swinging On A Star (Track 1) was featured in Bing's 1944 Oscar winning movie `Going My Way' in which he donned a dog collar for the first time to play priest Father O'Malley. His co-stars included old Irish leprechaun Barry Fitzgerald as well as the Metropolitan Opera's star mezzo Rise Stevens. The record was a multi-million seller, while the song itself has remained a firm favourite ever since. The fine songwriter/arranger/conductor Gordon Jenkins contributed San Fernando Valley (Track 2) to the Crosby songbook in 1943. `The Old Groaner' always showed a liking for country-style songs; this was one of his biggest successes in that field. Two veterans, Jerome Kern and Gus Kahn, combined to write Day Dreaming (Track 3) in 1941, the year of the lyricist's death. The melody is a typically Kern inspiration which suits Bing's relaxed style to perfection. Mine (Track 4) and Maybe (Track 5) had their origins in George and Ira Gershwin stage musicals. The first, sung here in duet with Judy Garland, came from one of the brothers' rare flops. That brilliant satire on politics and the American Presidential electoral system `Of Thee I Sing' was one of the longest running Broadway shows of the 'thirties whereas the sequel `Let 'Em Eat Cake' only ran for a matter of weeks. The scores for both were superb, but the later show had a rather bitter edge that failed to appeal to Depression-hit audiences. Maybewas introduced by Gertrude Lawrence in the 1927 production, `Oh Kay!' Bing looked back to 1928 for Sam Lewis's colloquial classic IAin't GotNobody(Track 6). The engagingly swinging Dixieland performance is greatly enhanced by the presence of Woody Herman's Woodchoppers, the small group he formed from within his big band. This is one of many examples of Bing's affinity with and feeling for jazz. Had he not concentrated on a different style of material, he could have been one of the greatest of all jazz vocalists (see PAST CD 9739). Crosby next sings two Cole Porter numbers, one a typical, the other entirely characteristic. Far removed from his usual witty, urbane style, Don't Fence Me In (Track 7) was written as a country spoof for an unproduced film `Adios Argentina' in 1934. A decade later it was recorded by Roy Rogers, was then included in the film `Hollywood Canteen', sung by the Andrews Sisters who made a hit recording of it with Bing Crosby. Begin The Beguine (Track 8), on the other hand, is an archetypal Porter song written in his favourite dance rhythm. It was almost overlooked during the run of his show Jubilee' not becoming a hit until it was recorded by Artie Shaw a year or so after the musical had closed. It was just the sort of romantic ballad which always brought the best out of Bing. Sunday, Monday or Always (Track 9) is another Burke-Van Heusen written Crosby movie hit, this time from the film `Dixie'. It was recorded in 1943 during the American union ban on bands making discs, which accounts for the choral, rather than orchestral, accompaniment. In the catchy Wben My Dreamboat Comes Home (Track 10), Bing is accompanied by brother Bob's small group the Bob Cats. Bob Crosby was a popular handleader for many years, benefiting from the great revival of interest in Dixieland music in the 'forties. Surprisingly the brothers did not often record together, but the few occasions they did produced particularly happy results. A further Crosby sibling, Everett, acted as Bing's business manager for a long spell. Two lyrics can serve to demonstrate the versatility of that peerless lyric writer Johnny Mercer. The ever popular Ac-Cent-TcbuAte The Positive (Track 11), with music by Harold Arlen, is another of Bing's wonderful collaborations with the Andrews Sisters. Totally different, the lovely, poignant ballad I'd Know You Anywhere (Track 12); is a tender tale of lost love with the velvety Crosby tones at their mellowest. Another flashback to the roaring 'twenties for a piece of honest-togoodness sentiment in the form of Walter Donaldson's My Buddy (Track 13), a song which these days would, no doubt, be said to refer to `male bonding'. Donaldson's long list of credits included How Ya Gonna Keep Em Down On The Farm?, My Mammy, I Won-der Where My Baby Is Tonight, My Blue Heaven, Makin' Whoopee and MyBabyJust CaresForMein a thirty year career. One of Bing's most enduring screen alliances was with Bob Hope. The duo really struck sparks off each other during their long series of 'Road' pictures. Burke and Van Heusen provided the humorous Put It There Pal (Track 14) for them to joke their quickwitted way through in 'The Road To Utopia'. Recently Louis Jordan's music has been celebrated in the joyous stage musical 'Five Guys Named Mo'. When he first came to public attention in the early 'forties there was a rush of artists anxious to cover his songs. One of his most famous numbers was a masterpiece of the scatological, Is You Is or Is You Ain't (My Baby)?(Track 15) ideally suited to Bing and the Andrews Sisters at their bouncy best. One of George Gershwin's earliest Somebody Loves me (Track 16) was written for the 1924 edition of 'George White's Scandals'. interestingly enough the words were not written by Ira Gershwin, but by Buddy De Sylva with help from Ballard MacDonald. Bing imparts a beautifully dreamy quality to the song. A similar quality pervades Darling Je VousAimeBeaucoup (Track 17) an oft-recorded love song given extra distinction by Crosby. Two top partnerships are celebrated again in There's A Fella Waiting In Poughkeepsie (Track 18); those of Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer together with Bing and the Andrews Sisters. The song, relegated to a 'B' side was not a hit, although it is a quintessential Crosby-Andrews number. The music of Johannes Brahms is, perhaps, not quite what you would expect to find on a Crosby album, but the composer's famous Lullaby or `Cradle Song' (Track 19) has long been a favourite with singers of every possible persuasion. The English words may border on the mawkish, however the glorious melody is given its full value by the singer. From Brahms to the rather less cerebral Pistol Packin' Mama (Track 20) is a rather big jump, but Bing encompasses the leap with all the dexterity of an Olympic athlete. The three Andrews girls are once again in attendance; the consequence was yet another big hit record. There is a change of mood for the final brace of titles, both of them major successes for Bing. The lullaby Too-Ra-Loo-Ra Loo -Ra l(Track 21) was just one of the Irish (or pseudo-Irish) titles that he performed regularly. By the time of this recording his voice was a fullyfledged bass, as is shown by his frequent descents below the ledger line; here his tone seems as deep as the Irish sea itself. Finally I'll Be Seeing You (Track 22) a Sammy Fain-Irving Kahal confection irrevocably linked with the Second World War. It was one of many songs which, through reflecting the agony of being parted from a loved one, struck a real chord with millions of people who were enduring just the sadness the lyric so touchingly expresses. © 1995 TONY WATTS