Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
I Hear Music
Genres: Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
A GREAT FRANKIE LAINE SAMPLER
Michael Pendragon | New York, NY United States | 05/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album consists of a highly electic selection of Frankie Laine songs from his heyday at Columbia in the 1950s, and demonstrates the scope of FL's talent. Pretty much everything is included here: solos, duets, jazz, country/folk-influenced, gospel, novelty, ballads ... there's even a number in Italian (from his FOREIGN AFFAIR album).THE GIRL IN THE WOODS (FL solo) and LET'S GO FISHIN' (FL and Jimmy Boyd) were both written by Terry Gilkyson (of The Easyriders), who wrote several great FL songs including CRY OF THE WILD GOOSE (which is not on this album). Both of these songs are in a similar, folk-influenced style and have an almost mythic feel to them. The first describes the chance encounter of a boy and a (wood nymph-lamia) beautiful woman, while the second is a delightful piece of Huck Finn-style Americana about a boy and his father sneaking off to go fishing.UP ABOVE MY HEAD (the album takes its title from a line in this song) is a rousing gospel number featuring Laine and Johnnie Ray (one of the only other singers with anything near to FL's vocal power). Hearing these two giants together is a priceless treat. AIN'T IT A PITY AND A SHAME is a much slower-paced gospel number featuring FL and the Four Lads. Laine and the Lads cut a total number 10 gospel songs on their album together (and it ROCKS!!!), but this track is the weakest of the batch. Even so it's worth listening to just to hear Frankie hold the final note for well over half a minute then, just at the point when ordinary mortals would faint from lack of oxygen, raise the pitch up a couple of notes.I'M JUST A POOR BACHELOR has been one of my favorite songs since I first heard it, nearly 30 years ago, on an already antique 78. It features FL backed by an all-male chorus, and gets my vote for the quintessential drinking song ("Drink to the girl that I never did find..."). It's still one of my all-time favorites.WE'LL BE TOGETHER AGAIN is a jazz standard that Laine wrote the lyrics to (music by his partner, the late Carl Fischer), that has been recorded by over 100 artists (recently by Rod Stewart). This is the best of several versions that FL recorded, and gets my vote for the *definitive* version of the song.HUMMINGBIRD is a wonderful, country-flavored tune about a fickle woman, and is another wonderful example of the timeless, universal-though-uniquely-American, mythic-feeling tunes that Mitch Miller was fostering at Columbia during this period. Les Paul & Mary Ford also had a hit with this, but the Laine version is the classic.THAT'S GOOD! THAT'S BAD! and HOW LOVELY COOKS THE MEAT are two fun (and funny) novelty tunes (another genre Miller helped to foster), the first featuring FL and Jo Stafford, the second featuring FL and Doris Day. Laine and Stafford cut about a dozen or so tunes together, often featuring a country or New Orleans style. This tune isn't quite on a par with some of their best (like SETTIN' THE WOODS ON FIRE, CHRISTMAS ROSES, etc.), being more a collection of jokes set to music than a song, but Frankie and Jo sound great together, and the song remains enjoyable even when you already know the jokes. HOW LOVELY COOKS THE MEET was the flip side to SUGARBUSH, and contains one of the funniest lines ever sung: brimming with thinly disguised sexual symbolism, the song contrasts a man's obsession (even lust) for a promised steak dinner with his wife's unsuccessful attempt to cook it. At the song's climax, when the wife serves her husband the burnt dinner, she sweetly croons to him "Oh my dear, your teeth are strong..."TOO YOUNG (a hit in English for Nat "King" Cole) is the one FL sings in Italian (mostly Italian, switching to English for the final stanza) proving that it's a beautiful song in any language. Technically, the recordings are flawless -- they sound brand new. The album has a budget price, ... and the only drawback is that there are only 10 songs on it."