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1. Songs That Got Us Through WW2
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2. Baseball's Greatest Hits
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3. The Charleston Era
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4. Circus Music from the Big Top
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5. Songs of the Civil War [Columbia]
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6. The Roaring Twenties [Pearl]
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7. Nipper's Greatest Hits - The 20's
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8. Great Records Of The Decade: 40's
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9. How to Succeed in Business Without
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10. 50th Anniversary Collection
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11. Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers
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12. White Christmas
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13. Steppin' Out: Astaire Sings
14. The Very Best of Al Jolson [Prism]
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15. The Carl Stalling Project: Music
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16. Sing For Freedom: The Story Of
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17. Easter Parade: Original Motion
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18. Best of Bing Crosby
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19. Who's on First: A Collection of
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20. Old Mill Stream: the 1991 Top

1. Songs That Got Us Through WW2
list price: $11.98
our price: $7.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000032SP
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 498
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

Here it is! I was just a little kid when the 2nd WW was going on, but our radio played at least 12 hours a day, and these songs are the ones I remember hearing all the time. The title is absolutely "right on". They are the songs that got us through.In my family we had 3 men in the service, including my father. So songs like the classic, I'll Be Seeing You by Sinatra & Dorsey, and Till Then, by The Mills Brothers were especially poignant for my mother & married sisters whose husbands were overseas. People in my age group and older who enjoy nostalgia, as I do will find themselves taken back to those "scary & yet exciting" days of what was hoped to be the final war. I'll be giving those memories to several people on my Christmas list this year.

5-0 out of 5 stars Music enjoyed by the boys overseas and the women back home
It hits you how long ago World War II was when you hear how young Frank Sinatra sounds singing "I'll Be Seeing You" with Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra. "Songs That Got Us Through WW2" actually begins with a song that came out at the start of 1941, "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" by the Andrews Sisters. The mix here is between songs that were obviously written for the war, such as "When the Lights Go On Again (All Over the World)", "(There'll Be Bluebirds Over) the White Cliffs of Cover" and "Comin' in on a Wing and a Prayer," and those that came to capture the emotions of the time, like "Sentimental Journey," "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive," and the aforementioned "I'll Be Seeing You." Most of us will recognize vocalists like Peggy Lee and Doris Day, but for me the pair that stand out in this collection are Johnny Mercer, who sings a couple of his own complications including "G.I. Jive" and Jo Stafford, a singer's singer that I have enjoyed discovering in various music collections from the Forties and Fifties. This album provides exactly what it promises, some of the most prominent songs the greatest generation listened to during the war years. There is a second volume of songs from this period, but this is the much stronger collection of the two, although that there is really no reason not to have both.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rhino does it again with memorable collection!
The mercurial Rhino Records label has done it again with this fabulous compilation of World War II-era songs. All of them are hits, and all of them are legendary. The themes accentuate the mood of the times like they were meant to be together, though quite disparate in places. The Johnny Mercer comic ode to servicemen, "G.I. Jive", ranks up there with "Der Fuehrer's Face" by Spike Jones on the chuckle meter. To make you cry, count on "Long Ago (And Far Away)" (Jo Stafford), "I'll Walk Alone" (Martha Tilton) and the irreplaceable Frank Sinatra oozing out "I'll Be Seeing You", with (who else) the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. The Song Spinners' amazing a cappella "Comin' In On a Wing and a Prayer" is a great tribute to the U.S. Air Force, and the surety of their vocals makes you forget there's no musical accompaniment. Of course, you may want to swing out too. Do so with Mercer's "Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Postive" and (hands down!) The Big One's best hit, "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" by the Andrews Sisters. And there are no better slow-dancing tunes like "I Don't Want to Walk Without You" (Helen Forrest) and "Till Then" (the awesome Mills Brothers). This is a collection that features just the top names in the business during the early '40's. You won't be disappointed in the sound either: Each song has been remastered the best it could be. The accompanying booklet has a paragraph of biographical info about the artists, and there's also listings of chart placements for each track. Rhino keeps giving the goods, and this 1990 entrie is one of their many triumphs.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well, GOOD NIGHT, NURSE!
My grandma's favourite expression of exasperation for my grandma's favourite music! No, I was not at all exasperated by this music and in fact found the entire collection to be enlightening in ways that are almost inexplicable. But I will try. First of all, the collection evokes nostalgia and sentimentality on the part of those alive during this generation (which I was not). I, however, went on a mad search for Johnny Mercer's "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive" several years ago when it was used on the much-missed, brilliant t.v. series Homefront. I found the song-- and many other gems-- on this collection. Definitely worth having the whole thing. (And Volume 2, for that matter). I had never heard many of these songs, and had heard of some only through other pop culture references or through my grandma who frequently walks around her house singing these tunes. Not a single wasted or dull moment on this collection. Highlight include, of course, the well-known "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", "I'll Be Seeing You", the sassy, fun "G.I. Jive", Louis Armstrong's gorgeous "I Wonder", and Jo Stafford's stunning "Long Ago and Far Away" (which inspired me to go find more Stafford stuff. I ended up with a boxset which was fantastic except for some of her last works, remaking songs like "I Am Woman (Hear Me Roar" and "Stayin'Alive"-- believe it or not. Her voice was simply not suited for that sort of garbage)). Another fascinating benefit of owning this album: it is not only a marker of time, documenting a time in history with the music of the period... but it is also an exposure to the social conventions and expectations of time. For example, in "Waitin'for the Train to Come In" Peggy Lee sings about waiting for her man to come home, waiting for her life to begin, implying that her life was nothing, that she in fact did nothing, until her man got home. In this way, the lyrics are dated. This, however, is a bonus not a liability. This is like a time capsule... and overall simply entertaining.

5-0 out of 5 stars A classic collection of 1940s gems
This is a lovely, nostalgic assortment of songs from the big-band era. I bought this CD for my parents (my dad is a World War II veteran), and all of us enjoy it -- for my folks, these familiar songs are a poignant reminder of their youth. While the Andrews Sisters and Johnny Mercer tunes are especially memorable, EVERYTHING on this CD is noteworthy. The only song I would add to this collection is Glenn Miller's "In The Mood" -- otherwise, it's a perfect musical representation of the World War II era. Highly recommended! ... Read more

2. Baseball's Greatest Hits
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Asin: B0000032LO
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 11658
Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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It would be impossible to capture all the things that make the game great--the drama, the humor, the roar of the crowd--on one album, but the folks behind this sprawling collection come pretty darn close to hitting for the cycle. Old-time faves like Les Brown's "Joltin' Joe DiMaggio" segue into modern tributes such as Bill Slayback's "Move Over Babe, Here Comes Henry," while such tangential yet groovy chestnuts like the Intruders' soul standard "Love Is Like a Baseball Game" and Rockin' Richie Ray's utterly unhinged "Baseball Card Lover" are guaranteed to make even nonfans cock an ear. Interspersed among the songs are spoken interludes, ranging from classic comedy bits like Abbott & Costello's "Who's on First" to moving memories such as Lou Gehrig's famed farewell speech. Baseball's Greatest Hits is a one-of-a-kind collection. --David Sprague ... Read more

Reviews (13)

4-0 out of 5 stars Puts me in the baseball mood
This is a great baseball CD.

True you probably would have to create a 10 CD box set to cover all the great songs of baseball, but this CD will get you started on a private collection.

I have an mp3 file of the Who's On First bit, but this version is 10 times better since it has been digitized.

Joltin' Joe, the Willie Mays Song, and D-O-D-G-E-R-S Song (Oh Really? No, O'Malley) are songs you'll find yourself singing along with.

My two favorites on this CD are Land of Wrigley and Dying Cub Fan's Last Request. Steve Goodman really makes last request a good listen. What a good singer.

Talkin' Baseball is also a song you'll be singing along with, and you'll be picturing baseball days of old.

The Lasorda recording is classic, and had me laughing the hardest.

Baseball Dreams is the kind of song I could picture putting behind a highlight film.

The only two major downsides to this CD are the recording of We Are the Champions not being sung by the right group, and I just can't listen to Casy At the Bat more than once every so often. That reading really gets on my nerves.

Other than that this is a perfect CD to begin a collection of great baseball songs. Get this for playing in the car on your way to the next baseball game, or at your childs little league game.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best CD ever!
"Baseball's greatest hits" is a wonderful cd, My favorite all-time song is talkin' baseball by Terry Cashman. I allso like "Whos on first", "A dying Cubs..." and many more.On a 1-10 scale, I rank this cd a 15!

4-0 out of 5 stars I Don't Know! Third Base!!!
This is (obviously) a compilation of baseball related songs, sketches and what have you. The songs here cover a wide variety of styles, including bluegrass, big band, rhythm & blues, pop, jazz, novelty, country, rock, soul, a capella, folk, gospel and rap. Not all of the songs are good, but a majority of them are. Of course, one of the highlights is Abbott & Costello's classic routine "Who's On First". The classic poem "Casey at the Bat" is here, but the recitation by DeWolf Hopper is a bit too "hammy" for my taste. Not everything here will appeal to everyone, but like I said, there is more good than bad. Recommended for baseball fans.

4-0 out of 5 stars B"s GH
Fun to listen to, is it available in CD media.....jb

5-0 out of 5 stars Most of what you want on a Baseball album is on this one
the younger generation. Except for "We Are the Champions," which is covered by the Big Blue Wrecking Crew, you will not hear any songs likely to be played during a time out at a NBA basketball game. So this is an album for you and your dad, not you and your kid, but hopefully your kid will learn to appreciate the collection of baseball songs on this album. For your dad there are the classic baseball songs "Joltin' Joe DiMaggio," "Say Hey (The Willie Mays Song)," "Van Lingle Mungo," "Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?" For you there is Terry Cashman's folksy "Willie, Mickey & The Duke (Talkin' Baseball)" and Bruce Springsteen's rockin' "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." There are also a few choice pieces of baseball history with "Lou Gehrig's Farewell Speech" and "Bobby Thompson's Shot Heard 'Round the World." But what makes this collection earn five stars is that it also provides both a 1945 version of Abbott & Costello's famous "Who's On First?" routine and DeWolf Hopper's recitation of "Casey at the Bat." Yes, there are some minor efforts here (does history really need to preserve Tommy Larsoda's bleeping opinion on Dave Kingman?). On the flip side, who knew Mickey Mantle actually cut a record (sort of) and how can you not love "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request" by Steve Goodman. Besides, you have to like a baseball collection that gives you Count Basie and Danny Kaye. The main thing is that of the nine bits of baseball audio that need to be on any baseball collection are all here: the exception, "Centerfield" (although a case could also be made for the title theme from "The Natural"). For the record those nine would be tracks 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 13, 21 and 22. ... Read more

3. The Charleston Era
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Asin: B00004U9N0
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7508
Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Took me back in time
I love the 1920s and this was my first CD from that era. Geat music. Favorite track Anabelle Lee, so cute!!!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars CHARLESTON ERA

5-0 out of 5 stars The 1920s kid
Ever since I saw the movie Chicago I have been dancing the Charleston. My friends call me the 1920s kid because all the kids in my class think I am crazy for dancing the Charleston. Of coarse you don't see many 13 year olds dancing to it. I have been searching along time for a cd like this. It is sad to think that this great music has fadded out of American society. I would do anything to live in the 1920s it was such a great decade. I listened to one of the samples from the cd that they give. It was so cool, I must have listened to it ten times. This is definetly a cd to buy. And I thank for helping me locate this CD. Thanks amazon

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
It's not often that you find a CD with such a good selection of songs. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it highly.

5-0 out of 5 stars let's charleston!
really spunky original mono recordings from the 1920's. every song is a gem that'll make you want to get up and charleston! listen to the samples and fall in love yourself. ... Read more

4. Circus Music from the Big Top
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Asin: B000002NRK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 26823
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars Nice collection, but...
This collection of exciting arrangements wonderfully executed by professional players is unfortunately marred by old technology and carelessness. The short, twenty nine minute CD seems to be copied from an LP. The pops, clicks, distortion and glitches are all there. At one point you can even hear the annoying pitch wow commonly heard on LPs pressed out of round. The tone arm is obviously being dragged right and then left as the off center groove dictates the key.

Should Legacy International ever locate the master tapes and produce a cleaner version of "Circus Music from the Big Top," I will be first in line to buy. Frankly, Merle Evans deserves better--much better.

If you are adding to a collection of circus music, you do need these arrangements. However, if you are just beginning a circus music library, your first purchase should be "Screamers" from Frederick Fennell. It delivers over an hour of expertly performed circus marches recorded with precision.

5-0 out of 5 stars Merle at his best
Merle evans was the greatest since sousa. please come out with more of his albums. Harvey Esto ... Read more

5. Songs of the Civil War [Columbia]
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Asin: B00000283E
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6728
Average Customer Review: 4.77 out of 5 stars
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Prompted by the success Ken Burns's popular Civil War documentary (which spawned its own soundtrack), Songs of the Civil War presents an eclectic assortment of contemporary performers tackling period pieces that date back to the War Between the States. Here's Sweet Honey in the Rock tackling the slave lament "No More Auction Block for Me," Judy Collins singing "Battle Hymn of the Republic," and Kate and Anna McGarrigle essaying the lovely (and very suitable) "Hard Times Come Again No More." Between performances by name artists (Kathy Mattea, Waylon Jennings, and Richie Havens among them), instrumentals performed by the U.S. Military Academy Band provide a sense of time and place. --Steven Stolder ... Read more

Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful evocative collection
As I sit here writing this review the CD 'Songs of the Civil War' is playing in the background. There are two things, which surprise me; firstly that each time I listen to this collection I enjoy it that little bit more and secondly after playing it so much I'm surprised that the disc hasn't wore away to nothing! Ken Burns, the co-producer of this album and of course the producer of the spectacular TV series 'The Civil War' suggests that "Music, songs are a kind of glue that holds our history together and binds the present with the past to form our most important memories." Unlike the soundtrack to the series, which is mainly traditional music and instrumentals 'Songs of the Civil War', offers the listener a whole range of songs that capture the essence of the both the Civil War and the social and political philosophies that gave birth to it. There are songs from the perspective of both North and South, from the position of the soldier, from their families left behind, from the slaves on the auction block, ballads, foot stompers, humour and laments, they are all represented here and then there is Ashokan Farewell which still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up!

I highly recommend 'Songs of the Civil War' to you and encourage you add not only it but also the soundtrack to the series to your music collection.


5-0 out of 5 stars Kids Love It
I purchased this CD as part of an effort to further my 6-year old son's interest in music - following very little luck with more conventional children's songs. What a success story! He loved it from the first, both he and his younger sister play the songs nearly every day. They'll both dance around the house, sing the songs, or strum their air guitars as they listen. His favorites are "Marching through Georgia" and "Lincoln and Liberty Too". His sister prefers "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "When Johnny Comes Marching Home". But they enjoy them all - the words are very clear, the verses easy to remember, and the melodies have endured the test of time.

My son's interest has even extended to the precise words themselves - there have been many nights that we've read the words to the songs before bedtime. They've helped him to understand the concepts of freedom and courage, as well as the injustice and horrors of slavery, and the realities of war.

But please be advised - the "n" word is included in one of the songs - not in an intentionally derogatory manner, but it is included, none-the-less. And in typical child fashion, he noticed and picked up on it - we've discussed the terrible hurt the word inflicts and the importance of not using it. It is the single fault of an otherwise exceptional collection of songs.

5-0 out of 5 stars Kate, come back!
I feel like I've owned this since just after Gettysburg. It's simply a wonderful CD, as the other reviewers here all happily attest. But the money track on this disc is Kate McGarrigle singing "Hard Times Come Again No More". This version of one of America's most moving songs is the best ever recorded. It made me cry like an onion salesman. If there's any justice in the world, those McGarrigle women will come out of whatever constitutes "retirement" for folk singers and do a whole CD full of Foster's most moving songs. Come on and sing, Kate. And bring along Anna. There's nothing good on TV anyway.

5-0 out of 5 stars a great collection of folk music
This album is absolutely wonderful. It's a great history lesson as well as just good music. Kathy Mattea has one of the most beautiful voices I've ever heard, and John Hartford was such a wonderful musician (I say "was" because he passed away in 2001). Sweet Honey in the Rock and Kate & Ann McGarrigle have beautiful harmonies, and the military pieces are great. Music is essential to understanding history, and this album is a history lesson in itself.

5-0 out of 5 stars SEQUEL, PLEASE!!
This is one of the most moving collections of music I've ever listened to, right up there with the Baez/Dylan collection "Any Day Now," John Stewart's "The Phoenix Concerts," Steve Earle's "The Mountain," the original discovery of the Robert Johnson recordings, and Mark Knopfler's "Ragpicker's Dream." The material is as powerful as the underlying subject, the performers are incredible, and they're perfectly suited to the material. It's impossible to listen to it too often. My kids (ages 11 and 13) can now sing a lot of the songs from beginning to end. I wish there were a sequel. If there were five "Rocky" movies, there should be at least one more volume of this material, by the same producing team.

I wish they could give Pulitzers for compilations like this.

Tim Oksman
Portsmouth, Virginia ... Read more

6. The Roaring Twenties [Pearl]
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our price: $14.99
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Asin: B00004TJB2
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 19732
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent compilation and restoration
I have been searching for the recording of Charles King singing, "Broadway melody" for years. Here it is - in an excellent restoration - with just the slightest (and soon unnoticed) hint of surface hiss. What a great performance. Gene Kelly imitated King's phrasing and style when he did the same number in "Singing in the rain." King introduced the song in, "Broadway Melody of 1929." He was a talented Broadway singer who hoped to follow Al Jolson's success in Hollywood. He was memorable in the movie but soon returned to Broadway, found plenty of work, and was eventually forgotten.
There are lots of great numbers here. Hooray to Pearl for bringing this one out.

This CD is technically great - NO hisses or surface noises unlike other 1920's compilations. The song selection includes all of the essentials: The Charleston, Black Bottom, Varsity Drag, Button Up Your Overcoat, Pasadena and Miss Annabelle Lee. Pasadena, Varsity Drag, Collegian and Black Bottom are terrific dance songs; the sounds are so clear the bands sound live. The song selection also includes a couple of stodgy songs performed by Paul Whiteman, a favorite punching bag of contemporary Jazz critics for daring to call himself the "King of Jazz". Overall a terrific CD for 20's fans and a good CD to give people something different to listen to besides Rap and Rock. ... Read more

7. Nipper's Greatest Hits - The 20's
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Asin: B000002W36
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 13496
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars The twenties were great
The music of the twenties was some of the most exciting music of the century. Jazz was being interpreted and filtered into dance and pop music for the young and middle class. Literally thousands of bands discovered that they could make a living going from town to town playing for people mad about the new dances of the charleston, the foxtrot, the bunny hop. This led to highly skilled musicians who became excellent players as a result of the long hours they spent playing and practicing. These guys and gals worked at their instruments every day for several hours a day (which is very unlike today's stars - many of who can't play any instrument or who rely on tape loops and rhythm tracks). Their livelihood depended on it.
In 1925 electrical recording took over from the much cruder acoustic recording (where musicians needed to hover around a large horn that was attached to a needle that literally carved the vibrations into wax or another mediium. Audio fidelity took a big leap forward as sound could now be balanced better and a more realistic recording was possible. The result was an explosion in demand for new music. This music was fun, sometimes very complex and innovative, very energetic with its two step and a breakneck pace that could go as fast as 240 beats per minute (this is the speed of modern "club mix" house music!). There were also crooners, male and female, who sang torch songs with pathos and deep sentiment - even when the lyrics were mushy and silly. The USA was delirious with prosperity and possibility. Women were boldly experimenting with new freedoms in dress, manners, and morals. Men were enjoying a prolonged adolescence as large numbers went to college and enjoyed the new lifestyle of the frat boy with raccoon coats, the new invention of the cheap automobile, and an easy to learn instrument called the ukulele (which was brought over from Hawaii by American tourists and which originally came from Portugal).
This album is a good introduction to this music. I only wish it was three albums and contained a wider survey of the great dance bands and crooners out there. Check out Ben Selvin, Ben Pollack, early Bing Crosby, Paul Whiteman, etc. There is a wealth of music form this period now available in good restored collecitons. this is cheerful, finger-snapping music. Enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars 10 STARS: WE NEED MORE LIKE THIS!!!
I was so glad when this CD came in the mail today. I love it! To be able to hear the **actual** recordings people were listening to 80 years ago is phenomenal. Sure the sound quality is not the greatest and the recordings abound with surface noise of all sorts. But that only adds to the pleasure of listening to this CD. Its just as if we were listening to the old victrola itself! (Remember, the 78's that we are familiar with hadn't even been perfected yet). Consider further that many of the recordings on this disc were made without the use of any electricity. They are all a lot nicer to listen to than most of the garbage that has come out of the record companies in the last 20-30 years.

Hats off to RCA for releasing a collection like this. Its so wonderful to hear what popular music was like so many years ago. We need more collections like this! Maybe some with even earlier recordings!?!

5-0 out of 5 stars vol.1-20's~Porters,et al
Excellent this music is totally awsome. It makes my blood rush

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Music
I truly enjoyed this CD - my grandfather had most of these that he played on his Victrola. I had so many precious memories of he and I sitting on his front porch in the Ozarks and listening to this music. A 5 star rating!

5-0 out of 5 stars This is the BEE'S KNEES!
23 skidoo to the checkout button and shimmy away with this one kiddy! All the flappers are shakin their gams to this one! All you need is a speakeasy and some hooch and you'll be the bee's knees too! The opening track "Let's Misbehave" got me hooked on this CD. "Collegiate" makes a girl bob her hair and a guy grab his Racoon coat. "Charleston" will have you knocking your knees in notime. About half of the tracks are acoustical recordings (imagine that -- no electricity involved whatsoever! It's made by the impact of their voices on the record ALONE!) and the other half are "electrical" made after about 1925. I bought this when it hit the market several years ago and it remains one of my favorites. ... Read more

8. Great Records Of The Decade: 40's Hits, Vol. 1
list price: $9.98
our price: $9.98
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Asin: B000000CVK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4924
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Some classics and some really fun songs from the Forties
When you listen to Volume 1 of the "40's Hits" you might think the dominant artists of the decade were Johnny Mercer and Margaret Whiting. Each has three songs in this collection, including their famous duet of "Baby It's Cold Outside." Bing Crosby gets too songs, a solo on "Swinging on a Star" (this version is not the one from the film "Going My Way") and backed by the Andrews Sisters on "Don't Fence Me In." The girls go solo on "Rum and Coca-Cola," where they do some interesting Trinidad lingo. There are a couple of other fun songs on this album from Peggy Lee and Tex Williams. You also get Nat "King" Cole's "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons" and Judy Garland's "The Trolley Song." You will have no problems looking over these songs and finding at least five tracks you do not have in your music collection and need to add. The packaging is bare minimum, but the songs are first rate.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Records of the Decade: 40's Hits
I originally bought this cd to use in a history unit I teach on the war years. The students enjoyed the music so much they ask to have it on during writing time. My parents, in their 70's, have told some fun stories after listening to this music. It will take you back to big band days and swing music. The beat is toe-tapping and if you are not too young you will recognize all the songs. A great addition to your library. ... Read more

9. How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Deluxe Edition) (1961 Original Broadway Cast)
list price: $18.98
our price: $14.99
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Asin: B0000DZ3ID
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6790
Average Customer Review: 4.29 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (17)

4-0 out of 5 stars It's irresistable -- get the original!
Sure, the new recording with Matthew Broderick has jazzy orchestrations and more numbers, but the original with Robert Morse, Bonnie Scott and Rudy Vallee is still the way to go.

Less experienced listeners may have their heads turned by big orchestration changes and recognizable movie star names on the marquee, but the original recording boasts Tony winners Robert Morse and Charles Nelson Reilly (a riot!). Then there's Bonnie Scott, whose portrayal of Rosemary has a more appealing sound than that of the revival. Plus, for all the extra numbers included in the 1995 recording, they cut the original Act 2 opener, "Cinderella Darling."

The bottom line? This original recording is truer to the creators' intent and more in keeping with the integrity of Frank Loesser's (my favorite "golden age" Broadway composer) fabulous score. Broderick is good (also a Tony winner!), but Morse and company give the definitive performances. I mean please, would you buy a "Hello, Dolly!" without Carol Channing? I didn't think so. It's much the same with Morse, Reilly, Scott and Vallee. Stick with the original.

5-0 out of 5 stars Buy This One
I know some people prefer the reorchestrating and revamping that was done on this show (one of the best and funniest musical comedies of all time) in the 1995 revival. But the original orchestrations of Robert Ginzler (Jonathan Tunick's mentor) are witty and cheeky in a way that really brings out the wit of Loesser's score, and puts the heavier-handed 1995 orchestrations to shame. And this album also includes the funny/sad song "Cinderella Darling," cut in 1995. The performances of Robert Morse and Rudy Vallee might be considered "old-fashioned" by some, though I've no idea what "old-fashioned" means in this context. I do know that their performances are hilarious--and maybe humor is, after all, getting "old-fashioned" as far as musicals are concerned. Get this recording and go back to a time when musicals could be funny and satirical--before POTO and PC.

5-0 out of 5 stars A real life fairy tale...
Many people have come into contact with and grown to love Frank Loesser's work through his most famous musical, the wonderful Guys and Dolls, but in my opinion this is infinitly superior and no broadway collection can be said to be complete without it. I immediately fell in love with this musical, but at first I was unable to see wherein the charm actually lay. The music, while catchy and fun to listen to, is not extraordinary, and, while Loesser's lyrics are clever and creative, he is certainly not my favorite lyricsist. The cast is excellent and perfectly suited to the piece, but that is the case in many of the original cast recordings of the best broadway musicals. And yet, despite not being overwhelmed by it, I could not stop listening to it. At length, I concluded that it is the story and the nonchalant, carefree feeling of the piece that captivates me. Each character is somehow endearing, in every song it is possible to relate to their emotions and desires, and yet, at the same time, it is so light and funny; at times it is as if nothing could shatter the playful frolicing world Loesser has created. Musicals are usually built around unusual events or are set in unusual places; it is the very simplicity that makes this recording so endearing, the idea is such a basic one, a young man trying to make his way in the world, and yet he goes about it in such an unorthadox fashion that the audience is instantly charmed and sucked into the story. From the first moment that he appears on stage we want him to succeed. That is the mark of a good musical. This down to earth, innocent style is especially well embodied by Robert Morse and his Rosemary, Bonnie Scott. It is impossible to listen to Happy to Keep His Dinner Warm or I Believe in You without a smile coming to your lips. And there are many other wonderful moments on this CD. M personal favorite is The Company Way, but I cannot resist the charming Been a Long Day, the electricfying Paris Original, the lovely Rosemary or the wonderful climatic moment that is Brotherhood of Man. Buy this recording, dont even think abut buying the revival cast first, (i mean, come on, how could they leave out Cinderella, Darling? It's one of the catchiest moments on the whole CD) or better still buy the Deluxe Edition if you can. But whatever you do, dont hesitate to buy it at the earliest oppurtunity. Even if you dont believe me, take a look at the facts, 1,417 performances, every possible award for best musical in its season, a Pulitzer Prize, (if nothing else sways you that should, I mean, only two other musical won one) productions all over the world, a successful revival, a reasonably successful film...I could go on and on. Please, just do me a favour and invest in something that you will enjoy for the rest of your life.

5-0 out of 5 stars It Succeeds!
Whether you saw the film or not, get the CD and nod your head, stamp your feet, pucker up and smile. Great Music!

5-0 out of 5 stars How to Enjoy The Brotherhood of Man
Listening to How to Succeed makes you ask "How to Sing Along". I got all the words, sing along and smile. This show, like "Joseph and Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" of decades letter, just makes you feel good. Nice music to listen to. ... Read more

10. 50th Anniversary Collection
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Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars This is one of my very favorite CD's
If you don't alreay own this. You have no idea what you are missing. A couple of my favorites on this cd are 'Beat me Daddy 8 to the Bar' and 'Corns for my Country' two songs I had never heard until I bought this cd. I bought the cd for 'Dont Sit Under the Apple Tree' and 'Boogie Woodgie Bugle Boy'. Those 4 songs are great. Another great song on this cd is 'Rum and Coca-Cola'.

5-0 out of 5 stars Patty, LaVerne and Maxine sing away the blues
With their toothy smiles and pompadours the Andrews Sisters personified the decade of the 1940's, including yeomen's work during World War II entertaining the troops. Actually, "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" was recorded in January of 1941 for the Abbott & Costello movie "Buck Privates," well before Pearl Harbor, but certainly "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree (With Anyone Else But Me)" is the quintessential WWII song. The Andrews Sisters burst on the scene in 1937 when they turned "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen," a Yiddish musical song, into the most popular song in the country. Over the years they proved them were as strong with a ballad, like "I Can Dream Cant I" as they were with novelty songs like "Rum and Coca-Cola" (where the sisters do Jamaican one-liners). No, I have no idea when LaVerne or Maxine are singing lead instead of Patty and I certainly cannot explain the difference between Vic Schoen & His Orchestra versus Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra. All I know is the Andrews Sisters set the bar for female sibling trios and outperformed the McGuire Sisters and Fontane Sisters put together. This album features a dozen of their biggest hits from 1937 to 1949, although it is missing a few choice songs ("I Wanna Be Loved" comes to mind), including those recorded with Bing Crosby ("Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive" being the biggie), although those are certainly available elsewhere. I think America's love affair with vocal harmonies pretty much begins with the Andrews Sisters, who are like the fairy godmothers for the Everyly Brothers, The Mamas & The Papas, and anybody else who comes to mind.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Collection
I first encountered The Andrews Sisters in Abbott and Costello's "BUCK PRIVATES", which featured the energetic BOOGIE WOOGIE BUGLE BOY and BOUNCE ME BROTHER WITH A SOLID FOUR, both of which are included in this sparkling must-have CD.
The Andrews Sisters managed to be so unswervingly upbeat through such an uncertain period in American history. Their joyful enthusiasm shines in this collection of some of their most popular songs. It is no wonder they were wildly popular with American servicemen, and their positive energy is so relevant now at this period in our history.
I cannot listen to this collection without tapping my feet, moving my torso and singing along! If you are in the mood for a good, fun listening experience, this CD is for you!

5-0 out of 5 stars No one like them
For a good 30 years it was impossible to find anything by the Andrews Sisters in record stores. Then MCA did an anthology and POW what an explosion. Now, 50 years after the Andrews' heydey, virtually every record store has an Andrews Sisters SECTION. In their years with Decca, Patty, Maxene and Laverne recorded every kind of song imaginable and it's amazing how well it all holds up. Their records percolate, carbonate, sparkle. Their musicianship and blend was amazing--they worked very hard on every vocal arrangement they ever did--and their arranger Vic Shoen was brilliant in fashioning accompaniments which actually let the Sisters perform a capella with instrumental accents between the lines (on ballads the usual accompanying orchestrations were used). Patty Andrews has one of the best voices of all time in pop music and actually Maxene and Laverne were lead singers, too, but the wise decision was to establish and nurture a distinctive, consistent sound for the public to indentify. Patty recorded excellent solos, very different from the group's fare, mostly serious, deep ballads. Maxene recorded an excellent solo album and Laverne could have done one. This collection serves as a great introduction to a body of work unsurpassed and still thoroughly enjoyable. ... Read more

11. Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers At RKO: Motion Picture Soundtrack Anthology
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Asin: B00000346B
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 14736
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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During the "talkies'" first decade, Hollywood quickly rivalledBroadway as a major platform for the best pop music, and no franchise underlinedthis potential better than the Astaire/Rogers musicals released by RKO Pictures.Ironically, that golden age of musicals preceded the introduction of LPs, soit's been left until now for the release of this comprehensive two-CD anthology,which extracts classic vocal performances of classics from Irving Berlin and theGershwins, among others, slighter but no less charming novelty songs, and briefdialogue excerpts.For fans, it's the mother lode, but even more casuallisteners will be reminded of Astaire's deceptively plain yet indelible voice,and Rogers' own warm, engaging style. --Sam Sutherland ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Screen team Ever!
If you love the films, you will love this double CD soundtrack.

This includes most of the songs from the classic Fred and Ginger RKO series, including some from Fred's solo films too "A Damsel in Distress" and "The Skys the Limit".

These have been taken straight from film and have been on - some tracks - slightly edited to miss some dialogue. "Pick Yourself Up" for example. The editing however has been very well done in my opinion, and only on tracks that it needs to be done to aswell.

These are all digitally remastered and sound great!

You also get a very well written little booklet inside along with it all too.

However, it is missing some songs. "Music Makes Me" for one example. But you get mainly all the songs. And in my opinion, nobody sings them better than Fred Astaire. One of the most under-rated singers there is.

Very, very highly recommended for Fred and Ginger fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars The "Best of Fred & Ginger"! Sing along & tap your toes!
Isn't it a lovely day to be with Ginger and Fred! They will lift the gloomiest of spirits and give you a song for the day, the week, the year! Those catchy songs from "Swing Time" and "Shall We Dance" are the best of the bunch. Try the cut of the lovely waltz in swing time the next time you are driving--it will shorten the miles and broaden your smiles! Many of the songs are introduced by several lines of dialogue from the films; so you can visualize the scene as the song begins. Fred's rendition of "Things are Looking Up" is so joyous it alone is worth the price of the set. Ditto "Slap that Bass"--every selection will remind you why these two are the best musical couple ever. The notes that accompany this CD are outstanding. They are illustrated with the posters from the films, some great photos, and new tidbits even for Fred and Ginger's biggest fans. It'll sweep you off your feet!

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Choice for Fans of the Astaire/Rogers Films
I was thrilled to find out this CD set was available. Previously, I had been looking for Fred Astaire albums that included the songs, but some of them were a little different from the versions I was familiar with in the movies (some people may not have noticed, but it bugged me!). Then, I rented this from my local library and loved it so much I'm buying my own copy. Obviously, these are identical song versions to the movies, since most are taken right from the movies. I know that some have put down the audio quality as "poor". Granted, this recording in not up to par with the audio on brand new CDs of today. However, it's important to remember these recordings are from the 1930s. It's only natural that they won't have the same kind of audio quality and crispness we're used to now. With that in mind, I was satisfied with the recordings.

One of the great things about this set is the dialogue from the movies that is included with some of the songs. I was pleasantly surprised by it and, as someone else mentioned, it really does conjure up the movie scenes again in your mind. I also think it should be mentioned that the "liner notes" included here are much more than a simple song list. It is a 39 page booklet with pictures, a history of both Astaire's and Rogers's life and career (including a history of their romantic relationship, which I was surprised to read), as well as information on the movies and their creation. For a fan, having this booklet including is a wonderful added bonus.

I rated this CD package 4 stars because 4 1/2 wasn't available. The reason I demoted it that 1/2 a star is because: [1] Some people may be put off by the audio quality, but if you keep in mind that these recordings are very old and not from a modern day recording studio, I think you should be all right with it. [2] There are a couple of songs from the movies that weren't included, namely "The Piccolino" from TOP HAT, and the reprise of "A Fine Romance/The Way You Look Tonight" from the end of SWING TIME. Admittedly, the latter may not be considered a full song, since it is quite short - but it's a nice little ending that I personally enjoy. However, "The Piccolino" is a major number from TOP HAT, and I'm not sure why it wasn't included. Still, because of what is included, I think this is well worth purchasing for any Astaire/Rogers fans. [I also recommend the 2-disk CD set "Fred Astaire at MGM", if you'd like to own the songs from "THE BARKELYS OF BROADWAY", his final film with Ginger Rogers.]

5-0 out of 5 stars My Homage to Mr. Jerome Kern
I'm giggling as I'm writing this, because my musical knowledge comes no where near my literary knowledge, or my knowledge of film. (I never in a million years thought I'd write anything other than a book or video review.)

But, as I said in my title, I want to pay homage to dear Mr. Kern. I bought this CD because after I saw Fred & Ginger's movie "Swing Time," I fell head-over-heels in love with the Jerome Kern score, and Mr. Kern immediately became my favorite composer (though all the other greats of the first half of the 20th century are very close seconds: Berlin, Porter, R & H, Gershwin, etc.).

This CD is worth the price (heck, MORE than worth the price) just for the breathtakingly beautiful score of "Swing Time" (Disc 2, Songs 1-6). As far as I know, the original score to "Swing Time" is not, by itself, on CD (don't quote me on that). So buy this CD, for it is simply unthinkable that any fan of American standards (pre-1950) not experience the magic of this music. (Yes, MAGIC; it motivated me to buy this CD, and I only own, including this one, THREE CDs!!!)

Well, now I'm off, because writing this has made me want to listen to it...for the HUNDREDTH time!!!

1-0 out of 5 stars Astaire fan
This CD is a disappointment. Some tracks obviously were lifted straight from a copy of the film. A waste of money for this one. There are better Astaire compilations available ... Read more

12. White Christmas
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Asin: B000002QWD
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 103
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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Try to forget the fact that Bing Crosby probably never had to record another song in his life after he immortalized "White Christmas." If you can do that, you'll find plenty more to like in this crooning Christmas collection. There's the Romantic Bing, charming the tinsel right off the tree with "The Christmas Song," and that cure for cabin fever, "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" There's the Reverent Bing, solemnly singing "Adeste Fideles." And of course, there's Bing the Showman, belting out "Good King Wenceslas" with a bit of that ole vaudeville shine. But no matter what you're told, "White Christmas" will be the number one reason for sticking this one in your stocking. And who can blame you? It's as timeless now as it was way back when. --Steve Gdula ... Read more

Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Granddaddy of All Christmas Albums!
This is it! The start of it all. If you're a lover or hater of Christmas albums this is the album to praise/blame for them. Bing Crosby's album originally called "Merry Christmas," now retitled to take advantage of one of the most popular songs of all time, "White Christmas," is what popularized Christmas music as a commercial commodity. As another reviewer stated this is the standard by which all other Christmas music albums are measured.

That being said "White Christmas" features some of Der Bingle's most famous songs- "Mele Kalikimaka" was used in Chevy Chase's movie "Christmas Vacation;" "Jingle Bells," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," and "Silent Night" can be heard in the movie "A Christmas Story;" and if you have not heard Bing's version of "White Christmas" then chances are you're probably not from planet Earth. This collection contains songs recorded in the 40's and as such reflects that period with backup being provided by the Andrews Sisters and Carol Richards. Also the quality of the recordings is not great, but that is understandable considering their age. However, Bing Crosby was THE voice of Christmas for decades and any Christmas collection without this album would have to be called incomplete.

On a side note: I'm an Irish-American Catholic just like old Bing, but I can't stand "Christmas in Killarney."

5-0 out of 5 stars Crosby Croons Classic Christmas Carols
Bing Crosby's single of "White Christmas" sold more than 30 million copies worldwide and was the best-selling single in any music category for more than 50 years until 1998 when Elton John's tribute to Princess Diana, "Candle in the Wind," overtook it in a matter of months. However, this does not take into account all those millions of copies of the song that were sold as part of albums such as this 1949 classical collection of Christmas songs from der Bingle. The song was written by Irving Berlin for the Bing Crosby-Fred Astaire film "Holiday Inn," and was first performed by Crosby on his Christmas Day radio show in 1941. Crosby recorded the single in May 1941, "Holiday Inn" came out in August, and on Halloween the song hit #1 and stayed there for 11 weeks. However, the version on this Christmas album was, I believe, recorded in 1947 when Crosby had to return to the studio because the original master had been damaged because of so much use ("White Christmas" made it back into the Top 30 sixteen times, hitting #1 again in both 1945 and 1947).

Of course, there are eleven other songs on this album once you get past the title song, which is, surprisingly, the second track on the album. The other songs cover the entire musical spectrum in terms of Christmas songs. There is "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" for the kids and "I'll Be Home for Christmas" for the parents. There are religious songs like "Silent Night" and "Adeste Fideles," and secular classics including "Jingle Bells" and "Silver Bells." Crosby even goes ethnic with "Christmas in Killarney" and "Mele Kalikimaka." All of them reflect Crosby's crooning at his best, at a time when his vocal maturity matched his reputation as the premier vocalist of his day. This has been one of the premier Christmas collections for over half-a-century, with good reason.

5-0 out of 5 stars What is Christmas without Bing?
Bing was an eclectic singer who dabbled extensively in many genres of music: Hawaiian, Irish, cowboy songs and of course, Christmas music, which is showcased here. This is an excellent introduction for those who don't have other Crosby CD's in your collection or who want to hear his "holiday" side. It contains his standard hits which have been recycled time and again on other anthologies. Most Bing-ologists will have all these songs in their collection, some of them many times over. But if you are new to Crosby, this is an acceptable choice and I guarantee that you will become hooked on Bing's magnificent voice. It's quite weak on his earlier work and it does contain some curious omissions, but then again, Bing didn't sing Christmas music much until the early 1940's. Yet there are some stellar songs included as well, like one of personal favorites, "I'll Be Home For Christmas," One of his greatest recordings.

For the novice Crosby-Christmas fan, this set is perfect for several reasons: not only does it give you a fine overview of Bing's career, the sound quality is exceptional. The packaging of the set is excellent and it even includes some nicely written liner notes with a synopsis of Bing's Christmas songs and musical style, as well as an explanation of his tremendous musical impact upon the 20th century.

Other reviewers have complained about the sound quality on this set. I am puzzled at this criticism. I have most of these songs on casette, vinyl and some even on their original 78 and 45 issues. The sound quality here is quite acceptable and good on most tracks. This set will give you many hours of enjoyable listening and help you branch off into other Crosby CD's which includes his lesser-known vocals. Hopefully this collection will convince you that Bing's vocal mastery was unparalled. Then you can sample his earlier, jazz-influenced work during his Columbia years in the early 30's and branch off into his 20's work with the Rhythm Boys. But for the beginning Crosby listener, this is as good a choice as any. I highly recommend this set. Enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Truly Wonderful Christmas Album!
I absolutely love listening to Christmas music and I like Bing Crosby and when I listened to someone's Bing Crosby Christmas album which was a 33' vinyl recored I liked it so much I decided I wanted to go and buy it for my collection of Christmas music so I went out and found the CD version of this delightful Christmas album and I love it, all the songs are wonderful but my personal favorites are White Christmas, Christmas in Killarney, and Mele Kalikimaka, I have loved that song ever since hearing it for the first time in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation starring Chevy Chase. I very greatly recommend this Christmas CD, it very much belongs in a Christmas music collection along with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Perry Como, Andy Williams, etc!

5-0 out of 5 stars Bingle Bells
This is a retitled version of Bing Crosby's classic album "Merry Christmas". The songs are in a different order than on the original release, for some reason. But whatever order the songs are in, they are all classics. It doesn't get much better around Christmas time than hearing Der Bingle sing "Silent Night", "Adeste Fideles" and "White Christmas". The CD also includes three duets with the legendary Andrews Sisters, and one duet with the forgotten Carole Richards. One thing I have to question is the inclusion of "Faith of Our Fathers". It's a good song, but it's not a Christmas song. Regardless of that, I highly recommend this CD. ... Read more

13. Steppin' Out: Astaire Sings
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Asin: B0000046V0
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 8017
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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In 1952 Fred Astaire joined Oscar Peterson and some of Verve's best sidemen to lay down jazzy, laid-back versions of songs he had made famous in his Broadway and film career. Those 38 tracks, originally entitled The Astaire Story, have been condensed into this collection, Steppin' Out: Fred Astaire Sings. While Astaire was not blessed with great vocal chops, the best American songwriters including George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin, and Cole Porter loved him for his unerring sense of rhythm and sympathetic treatment of lyrics, qualities that are well displayed here. Tony Bennett hit the pop mainstream with his 1994 album of jazzy Astaire standards. Here's the original. --David Horiuchi ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars They can't take that away from me...
All of the other good reviews speak of the outstanding quality and musicianship of this album: Fred's amazingly subtle and expressive voice, the finest words and music by America's greatest composers, and the exceptionally hip and hot Oscar Peterson Ensemble. But there is more to it than that, there's the way this music makes you feel. For those of us who missed the Golden Age of Hollywood Musicals and the Golden Age of Jazz, it is a total treat. Musicals--especially those starring Fred Astaire--and jazz, are the two most important and uniquely American contributions to the arts. This album reminds us of that fact once again. Listening to these songs conjures up a time when America was so very different. A time when we didn't need to be titilated, grossed out, or offended to be entertained. The attitudes, manners, and mores that defined early and mid-twentieth century America can be heard in the music and the lyrics found in this collection. I prefer romance to raunch, glamour to grunge, and class to corruption. Listening to Astaire sing these songs makes me feel happy, and proud of America's past. I am grateful it's been preserved on film and on this disc.

5-0 out of 5 stars At the top of his game - incredible
If you want to see Fred Astaire dance, watch the movies. If you want to hear him sing -- this album (or the much pricier "The Astaire Story" 2-disc set from which these songs were selected) gives Fred the chance to match his many years of experience on stage and screen with just about the greatest jazz backup band in existence at the time. Oscar Peterson on piano, Ray Brown on bass, Barney Kessel on guitar, etc. This is an all-star jazz band who give their utmost to back up a singing star they respect, and Astaire, with his inimitable stylism, is obviously "in heaven" because he sings better than I've ever heard him sing. There is a palpable sense of mutual love and joy and respect between the musicians who made this album.

To hear it is to love it. Not to knock the big band and orchestra arrangements over which Astaire sang many of these songs in his musical films, but this modest-sized jazz ensemble is obviously more suited to Astaire's singing, in my opinion. It is warm, intimate, and thoroughly enjoyable. Of course, if you like bombast, look elsewhere. If you love subtlety and the highest levels of technical improvisational musicianship, this is it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fred Astaire and Six Great Musicians Having Fun
This is my all-time favorite album, bought 10 years ago with the thought that it might contain the movie versions of the songs.
Instead, I'd say these are the "musical versions," with the Berlin, Gershwin, Porter, Kern melodies clearly intact, but expressed with such genuine feeling through Astaire's perfect timing and the musicians' obvious comraderie that it's hard to believe there were earlier versions (my apologies to Ginger Rogers). Flip Philips' mellow sax solo on S'Wonderful, guitarist Barney Kessel's wonderfully sweet introduction to They Can't Take that Away from Me, Charlie Shavers' point/counterpoint trumpet "talking" on Nice Work if You Can Get It, Ray Brown's understated bass work on all (That's why he was so good!), Alvin Stoller's drums and of course the great Oscar Peterson on piano as he brings the unexpected swing to Just the Way You look Tonight moves the "steppin" out of the ordinary and into the sublime. A thousand times heard -- easily standing the test of time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Elegant Simplicity Provides Perfection
With the opening phrase of "Steppin' Out with My Baby" I was stunned by the quality of this recording... and remained stunned through the final bars of "Cheek to Cheek." Though recorded more than 50 years ago, the recording is clean and full... sublime.

Though his voice is often considered a weakness, Astaire's singing is the perfect match for these classics from The Great American Songbook, allowing the songs themselves to become the center of attention throughout his performances. And the precise, elegant, and intelligent piano playing of Oscar Peterson -- and the work of the other sidemen as well -- perfectly matches Astaire's stylish performances.

Though I expected -- and would have accepted -- recording quality well below today's standards, I was amazed that these recordings could not only stand alongside most of today's recordings but, in many ways, rises above them.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great American Songbook
In an album that contains many of the finest songs ever written by Berlin, Porter, Gershwin and others, Fred Astaire proves that it phrasing and timing, and not voice, that make a great singer. This is a truly remarkable CD in all aspects. The sound quality, considering it was recorded in 1952, is superb. Astaire is in incomparable form, with the songs sounding much better than some of his earlier versions. And the sextet supporting Astaire, including the marvelous Oscar Peterson at the keyboard, is as fine as any. Not to be missed for anyone who loves this genre. There is also a 2 CD, complete recording of this session on called The Astaire Story. ... Read more

14. The Very Best of Al Jolson [Prism]
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Asin: B000003TG4
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 13932
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15. The Carl Stalling Project: Music From Warner Bros. Cartoons, 1936-1958
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Asin: B000002LJE
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 9426
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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For fans of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, et al., this is the essential cartoon soundtrack as well as a monument to surrealism. During his 22 years as a composer for Warner Bros. animated shorts, Stalling invented the musical vocabulary of cartoons. Producer Hal Willner has lovingly assembled a sonic collage that showcases Stalling's compositional genius and uncanny ability to borrow a tune. It's a whirling collection of random moments, chock full of music you never knew you knew, from Bugs Bunny's theme from "Rabbit Fire" to Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse" to Stalling's own "Woo! Woo!" Also included in the mix: outtakes from recording sessions, and several complete scores. --Heidi MacDonald ... Read more

Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars You KNOW this music, you just don't realize you know it
Carl Stalling is the composer you KNOW, even if you don't recognize his name. He wrote the soundtrack for many of our young lives as the composer for Warner Bros.' "Merrie Melodies" and "Looney Tunes" cartoons from 1936 to 1958. Hal Willner has compiled this CD that for the first time lets you hear the music on its own, and lets you realize just how much of the cartoons' impact came from Stalling's music. It's more than coincidence that the cartoons had a big drop-off in quality right around the time Stalling retired. The arrangements twist and turn in a millisecond, the clever orchestrations include some sophisticated early use of electric guitars as sound effects, and the quotes from popular songs (and from the canon of eccentric jazz composer Raymond Scott) were so influential that today we know the standard "Arkansas Traveler" primarily as "I'm Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee" and Mendelssohn's "Fingal's Cave" as the theme song for the Mynah Bird.

But that's not why you need to buy this CD. You need it because it is IMPOSSIBLE to maintain a bad mood when this CD is playing. You need this to listen to as a stress reducer on those tough days. You need this because it is chilhood in a disc.

Willner sifted through hundreds of cartoons to choose about 40 with the most significant music. He presents the music in a variety of formats. A few tracks provide the soundtrack for a single entire cartoon. Others are medlies from a certain period in Stalling's career or pieces that set a particular mood (such as the "Anxiety Montage"). There are also tapes from recording sessions for 1951's "Putty Tat Trouble" that give insight on how this music was recorded. I couldn't recommend this CD any more highly. (After you've given it a listen, check out a Raymond Scott "best of" album like "Reckless Nights and Turkish Twilights" to see just how many of its tracks are familiar from various cartoons.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Warner Brother's King of Music
Even if you do not recognize his name, Carl Stalling is a very familiar composer. He wrote the soundtrack for many of our young lives as the composer for Warner Bros.' "Merrie Melodies" and "Looney Tunes" cartoons from late 1930's to late 1970's. Hal Willner has compiled this CD that for the first time lets you hear the music on its own, and lets you realize just how much of the cartoons' impact came from Stalling's music.

Willner sifted through hundreds of cartoons to choose about 40 with the most significant music. He presents the music in a variety of formats. A few tracks provide the soundtrack for a single entire cartoon. Others are medlies from a certain period in Stalling's career or pieces that set a particular mood (such as the "Anxiety Montage"). There are also tapes from recording sessions for 1951's "Putty Tat Trouble" that give insight on how this music was recorded. I couldn't recommend this CD any more highly. (After you've given it a listen, check out a Raymond Scott "best of" album like "Reckless Nights and Turkish Twilights" to see just how many of its tracks are familiar from various cartoons.)

Stalling's music, instead of following the traditional rules of musical structure (exposition, development, theme, variations, etc.), was written to follow the rapid action of cartoons. Stalling would not compromise on this, even if it meant having the 50-piece orchestra play fortissimo for five seconds and then having only one piccolo playing the next four seconds. To ensure a perfect correspondence between the sound and the image, Stalling and the cartoon's directors would agree on a few sketches and on the timing of the action. This enabled Stalling to compose and record the music without even seeing the movie. Carl Stalling was also a master at telling a story through music, with gestures so clear, that there is never any doubt as to his intentions.

Stalling once said, "One problem with cartoons today is that they have so much dialogue the music doesn't mean much." Unfortunately, this statement rings true as we move into 2004. But keeping Carl Stalling from rolling in his grave is not why you need to buy this CD. You need it because it is IMPOSSIBLE to maintain a bad mood while this CD is playing. You need this to listen to as a stress reducer on those tough days. You need this because it is complete childhood in a disc.

I challenge you to turn on your television and watch some Looney Tunes. Turn up the volume and listen while doing something else (wash dishes, write a paper perhaps.) I guarantee you will know exactly what is happening, and to whom. This was the comedic skill and genius talent of Carl Stalling.

As Porky Pig would say: "abieh-abieh-abieh... That's All Folks!"

5-0 out of 5 stars one of the best avant-garde albums I've heard.
To truly appreciate this music, remember that it follows the action of the cartoons. Musically, it has no conventional sense of rhythm, time, or progression. Very quirky, fun, and enlightening. Essential stuff.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Few Favorites
This CD is for anyone who enjoyed the music from the old Warner Bros cartoons."Powerhouse" was my favorite one as a kid. This is primarily the background music only. If you want some of the songs, you might consider Bugs Bunny On Broadway.

I'm not a music expert so I can't really comment on musical styles. I do pay attention to background music often, and Carl Stalling wrote some of the best music for the old, classic cartoons.

5-0 out of 5 stars GUARANTEED
Although I was familiar with most or all of the music on this CD, I'd never heard of Carl Stalling. Well, to my delight, he turns out to be one of the most important composers ever to write movie scores, right up there with Maurice Jaubert and Nino Rota and John Williams, as far as I am concerned. He was a true original. He wrote the scores for the Warner Brothers cartoons from 1936 to 1958.

This CD is not only a tribute to Stalling, it is also the most entertaining, endearing, smile-engendering, memory-invoking, guffaw-getting album you'll hear in quite a while. I postively guarantee that you will love this album if you were EVER a child--if you EVER joined your friends to sneak into a Saturday matinee and cheer when our hero Bugs Bunny foiled the villain--if you EVER laughed uncontrollably when you heard, "I taught I taw a Puddy-tat"--if you EVER felt forlorn when you heard our pal Porky stutter "Th-th-that's all, F-f-folks!" Stalling wrote the perfect music that we heard in "our subconscious" while we watched those "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies."

Just the titles of the various selections will put you in the right mood: "Gorilla My Dreams" and "I Got Plenty Of Mutton" and "Puss 'N' Booty" and "To Itch His Own" (Stalling's last score- 1958) to name just four.

As Hal Wilner writes in his introduction to Stalling and the CD, "It (the CD) contains some soundtracks by one of the greatest film composers/arrangers from some of the finest films ever made."

Buy this album and I dare you to play it just once. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. ... Read more

16. Sing For Freedom: The Story Of The Civil Rights Movement Through Its Songs
list price: $16.98
our price: $16.98
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Asin: B000001DHL
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 55277
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Very nice...
If you're interested in Black History, then you'll love this CD.

5-0 out of 5 stars Songs and Speeches of hope and Inspiration
If you ever need an emotional and spiritual pick-up, then this CD is for you. So much unknownn talent here. The Birmingham Freedom Choir would certainly give Kirk Franklin and Walter Hawkins a run for the money and the Montgomery Movement Singers have a singing style that's haunting in its simplicity. Like Brother Stack (BTW, I'm also a native of Spartanburg, SC, let's hang out and chat about this CD when I'm in town again), I've used this CD in my classes and my students have been moved by MLK's brief address ("If you can't run-WALK, and if you can't run-CRAWL, just KEEP MOVING ON!"). Raplh Abernathy's address is also surprisingly good and while the martyred legend Medgar Evers was not a spellbinding speaker, his sincerity comes through. The beauty of this CD is the courage the speakers and singers had in the danger of what they faced. This will inspire listeners to similar courage in the problems they may face today.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sing For Freedom
I simple love this CD and all of the 26 songs. There is not one throw away song or segment on the CD recording. The CD chronicles the modern day civil rights movement through song from 1955 Montgomery bus boycott, to 1960 and the student lead demonstrations in Nashville, Tenn. to the 1963 Birmingham Mass Meetings. The artist are regional and have a wonderful quality to the singing. A must have...... I play this CD to my high school students every year and they are mesmerized. I play the CD in the teacher's lounge and they all want copies. I used some of the songs on the CD in a talk at my local Unitarian Universalist Church and got a standing ovation. I never tire of listening to the richness of the songs. ... Read more

17. Easter Parade: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
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our price: $11.98
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Asin: B0000033JD
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 58108
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great
Made me want to see the video again for the up-teenth time.

5-0 out of 5 stars The great American musical
Reservations about the recording quality are inevitable, and of course when Astaire was involved the songs are always better when you can watch him dance and hear his tapping, but that said, there is no greater American musical in my opinion than this one. The title song, simple as it is, is so evocative of New York and the 40s and the hope of a new season that I almost cry every time I hear it. To me, it is the best song Berlin ever wrote and one of the very few best American songs ever written. The rest of the disc is one great number after another, with Judy Garland in top form and Fred Astaire constantly revealing that it is phrasing and timing more than a great voice that make a great singer, which he undoubtedly is. Indispensible music.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect for any season
This is one of the first MGM films to receive the full soundtrack treatment from Turner/Rhino. All of the songs and underscoring are included, plus two outtakes and an extended version of one track. The results are wonderful and with the exception of a couple of tracks the sound is very good. Unfortunately the original multi-miked recordings did not survive, resulting in the inablility to mix the music to true stereo as has been done with so many of the subsequent MGM soundtrack releases. The only surviving recordings are the monaural mix down tracks of the orchestral parts and a separate vocal track. Fortunately these tracks do not include the dialogue, tapping, and foley of the final film soundtrack elements. There is a noticable lack of fidelity on "A Couple of Swells" due to the fact that a recording disc was all that survived. No version of "I Want to Go Back to Michigan" could be found, so the version heard here is straight from the film soundtrack and includes the applause at the end of the song. No dialogue or other distractions were used in the sequence, thank goodness, so the result is fine. "Mr. Monotony" and the extended "Better Luck Next Time" will thrill the Garland fans out there.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Treat for Astaire/Garland Fans
Easter Parade, one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) musical ever produced, has it all! The wonderful songs of the inimitable Irving Berlin and of course, the classic performances of its stars, the great Fred Astaire and the enchanting Judy Garland. The music continues to thrill and entertain audiences decades later. The songs are as fresh as when the film made its debut. Everyone knows that Fred Astaire is synonymous with dance, but this was the first time I had the opportunity to actually really listen to his singing, and I was impressed. You'll enjoy this soundtrack.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply Excellent!
What a great CD. It is just so good. It is full of wonderful Irving Berlin songs sung by brilliant stars such as Judy Garland, Fred Astaire and Ann Miller. Song highlights include Judy's outtake of 'Mr. Monotony',and 'When The Choo Choo Leaves For Alabam'', Fred Astaire's 'Steppin' Out With My Baby' and Ann Miller singing (and tapping) to 'Shakin' The Blues Away'. This CD has a wonderful array of songs that will keep you singing them for hours. (I did) All in all, an absolutely excellent CD! ... Read more

18. Best of Bing Crosby
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Asin: B0000088LQ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5194
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Album Details

Tracks Include: Straight Down the Middle, Love is the Sweetest Thing, Unchained Melody, Ain't Misbehavin', the Lady is a Tramp, Don't Blame Me, Papa Loves Mambo, True Love, I've Got a Crush on You, You're Sensational and More. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good sampling of the mature Bing
I would quibble that this CD represents "the best" of Bing Crosby, even though the material covered here is pretty darn good. All of these standards were recorded long past Crosby's vocal heyday, which would have been the 1932-45 era, but if you're a fan of the mature Bing, then this is right up your alley. This is a pleasing introduction for those who don't have other Crosby CD's in your collection or who are weak in the post-1950 period of his career. It contains his standard hits like "True Love" which have been recycled time and again on other anthologies, but it also contains some little-known gems.

Another reviewer complained about the sound quality on this set. I am puzzled at this criticism. I have most of these songs on casette, vinyl and some even on their original 78 and 45 issues. The sound quality here is quite acceptable and good on most tracks. Hopefully this collection will convince you that Bing's vocal mastery was unparalled, even when he was in his 50's, as he was when these songs were recorded. Then you can sample his earlier, jazz-influenced work during his Columbia years in the early 30's and branch off into his 20's work with the Rhythm Boys. But for the beginning Crosby listener, this set will give you many hours of enjoyable listening and help you branch off into other Crosby CD's which includes his early, stellar work. I highly recommend this set. Enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Bing-O!
I ordered this album based on the glowing reviews of it from this site. I concur. Buy this CD if you want to hear great arrangements and performances by Bing at his mature stage when his voice was much deeper and resonant. Rarely do quality and quantity (50 songs)come together this well. You will find this a very satisfying listening experience.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of Bing's Best Collections -- Ever!
This is one of the best Bing Crosby collections you are going to find -- and at this price, it's even more unbelievable. Bing recorded 225 songs from 1954-60 with the Buddy Cole Trio for his radio show. After Bing's death in 1977, Brits Ken Barnes and Pete Moore selected a large number and added full stereo orchestral and choral accompaniment. This gives us Bing in prime voice, but with more modern arrangement. This 2-CD set contains 50 of these songs. The fidelity is great. Top quality, from the great work Barnes and Moore did in their painstaking labor of love, to the great-sounding disc remastering, to the fantastic price for the 2-CD set. What I also like is that these selections are fresh, and not the same old songs that are standard to Bing that every other collection includes. If you buy this, you are getting something new and different. You can't beat this great set! ... Read more

19. Who's on First: A Collection of Classic Routines
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Asin: B000002XSA
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7346
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars The funniest comedy team ever.
People today laugh at Seinfeld, Sinbad and others. If they want to hear true comedy, listen to these two. Abbott And Costello simply can't be beat. And who can forget "Who's On First! " That is to comedy like "Stairway To Heaven" is to classic rock. This disc will leave you in stitches and wanting more. ... Read more

20. Old Mill Stream: the 1991 Top Twenty Barbershop Quartets
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Asin: B000000C9H
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 12467
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