Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Bette Midler Sings The Rosemary Clooney Songbook
Genres: Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
It's nice to see Bette Midler putting her spin on an American classic after less-than-convincing detours through adult-contemporary cheese. This tribute focuses on Rosemary Clooney in the early to mid-1950s--so we don't ge... more »
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It's nice to see Bette Midler putting her spin on an American classic after less-than-convincing detours through adult-contemporary cheese. This tribute focuses on Rosemary Clooney in the early to mid-1950s--so we don't get any of the fabulous Nelson Riddle material--but it's a fairly strong offering. It was produced and arranged by Midler's old musical director, Barry Manilow--who actually dueted with Clooney on a couple of songs in the 1990s and here replaces Bing Crosby on the duet "On a Slow Boat to China." Mostly, the CD is about hits: "Hey There" and "White Christmas" are done in straightforward manner, while Linda Ronstadt fills in for Rosemary's actual sister Betty on a slinky version of "Sisters." Happily, Midler plays "Come On-A My House" down instead of up (the old Bette would have milked its comic aspect) but the singer lets loose on "Mambo Italiano." That's pretty much the only time the Divine Miss M peeks out from behind Clooney's elegant persona, and it's a delight. --Elisabeth Vincentelli
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Member CD Reviews
Renee K. from JAX BCH, FL
Reviewed on 9/26/2010...
The Divine One quite divine singing the Clooney catalog. Really good.
Bette Midler's enjoyable tribute album to Rosemary Clooney
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 10/01/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When Rosemary Clooney passed away last year I did not think that she received the consideration due her musical career. Maybe it was because her initial reputation was made on the strength of recordings that were clearly novelty songs. But in terms of female jazz singers from that period, and I would maintain that ultimately Clooney was a jazz vocalist, she was a superb lyrical interpreter, whose phrasing displayed an intelligence that few of her contemporaries could match. One result of this tribute album from Bette Midler and producer Barry Manilow is that a lot of people are going to be inspired to go back and listen to Rosemary Clooney's original recordings; that is certainly the effect it had on me."Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook" is Midler's tribute to the late singer and those expecting to hear the Divine Miss M here might face some disappointment. I have seen Midler in concert and for my money there is no performer on the face of the earth that puts on a show like she does. However, few songs in the Clooney "songbook" play to Midler's best known strengths ("Mambo Italiano" would be the exception that proves the rule in this case). That is why the key track on this album is "Come On-A My House," which represents the best example of what Middler is trying to do on this album, with "Hey There" and "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening" in a similar vein. Picking Linda Ronstadt for the duet of "Sisters" is an interesting choice, but that song is always going to be fun. The net result is a pleasant mix of tunes and a fitting tribute to Clooney. Few of Midler's fans will consider this her best album, but it a much stronger effort than we have seen recently and quite enjoyable."
Bette and Barry remember this is a tribute...
"A" is for... | Yorba Linda, CA United States | 10/01/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A charming album. Bette and Barry have crafted a loving tribute to one of their favorite singers, the amazing Rosemary Clooney.
Bette plays it straight - the Divine Miss M is not in sight, but that's appropriate because Clooney didn't need to showboat to show off her chops, either. Great arrangements create a stylish bed for Bette's vocals, which are better and more focused than they've been in years. Nice duet with Linda Ronstadt on "Sisters." I agree that the CD is a little short, but that's showbiz - leave them wanting more! A fine effort from all concerned, and very respectful of Clooney's legacy, yet the artists involved allow their own personality to shine thru. A worthy addition to anyone's library of standards."