Search - Harry Richman, Gene Austin, Rudy Vallée :: They Called It Crooning

They Called It Crooning
Harry Richman, Gene Austin, Rudy Vallée
They Called It Crooning
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Soundtracks, Classic Rock, Broadway & Vocalists
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1


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Lullabyes of Broadway/Drury Lane
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 07/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Missing from British label ASV's fine CD, THEY CALLED IT CROONING is girl radio singer Vaughn De Leath. In the early 1920s De Leath pioneered the laid-back vocal delivery that later became known as crooning.

Audio engineering and condition of these original 1928-32 sides is outstanding. The tiniest touch of echo floats behind vocalists, with no filtering apparent or needed. Two pages of notes comment on some artists and tracks.

All the big American male vocal stars of the early '30s are here: Bing Crosby, his competitor Russ Colombo, Rudy Vallee (sans megaphone) and 'Whispering' Jack Smith. Gene Austin, composer of pop hits "When My Sugar Walks Down the Street" and "How Come You Do Me Like You Do?" here warbles a Fats Waller number. (Austin sold over 80 million platters for RCA Victor.)

Cliff Edwards, who in the Roaring 20s was known as Ukulele Ike, abandons both his uke and jazzy scat-style for a mellow number from "Hollywood Revue of 1929." Texas-born Smith Ballew was in the '30s a singing cowboy. Here he delivers a standard ("Am I Blue?"). Sam Coslow, heard with the Victor Orchestra, penned lyrics for "Just One More Chance," "Learn to Croon," "Cocktails for Two" and "My Old Flame."

Also included are British recording artists Pat O'Malley (with Jack Hylton's band); Harry Shalson and a small group; Sam Browne singing with the Ambrose ensemble; Al Bowlly, who waxed over 1000 records between 1927 and '41, and Crosby-clone Val Rosing (doing one of Bing's hits).

"They Called it Crooning" is a delightful collection of exquisitely-preserved 78s.
Highest recommendation!