Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Cream of Helen Forrest
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Helen Forrest was every man's girl during the war...
a | 06/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Millions of G.I.'s during the 2nd World War, thought of Helen Forrest as their girl waiting for them back home, when they returned from the war. When Helen's voice came over the air, in radio broadcasts, all the GI's were listening. Helen's honey sweet voice represented the voice of every girl. Forrest represented the homefront, since many of the GI's were just kids themselves, alone and afraid, Helen represented the Soda Fountians where they would hang out, the girl next door who wore her hair in braids, On the other hand she represented the glitter and glamour of dancing to the sound of the swing bands in The Hollwood Canteen. Forrest had some beautiful chops, and she sure used them to a minimal(as apposed to Barbara Streisand who just belts it out as loud as she can, but with no feeling at all((the only thing Forrest ever had in common with Streisand was a big nose, but Helen quickly had that fixed in the early 40's, with some fine plastic surgury)) to create the most emotional effects. Here in this very fine compilation we get a glimpse of the later jazz singer Helen Forrest would become(40 years later with the 80's revival of swing), she honed her talent with the big bands of Harry James(who at the time she was madly in love with and engaged to, till he met Betty Grable, and it was all over), Artie Shaw, and Benny Goodman(who Helen admired as an artist, but despised as a human being). When Forrest sings she can make you laugh, she can make you cry, she can make you snap you're fingers, or she can take you and wrap you around her little finger and make you do whatever it is her heart desires you to do. Helen Forrest is without a doubt the most talented singer to ever have come out of the big band era, yet unlike Kay Starr(also a big band singer of the 40's) who in the 50's had million seller hits like "Wheel Of Fortine," and "Boneparte's Retreat," or Dinah Shore who went into Radio, and eventually television with big hits like "Buttons & Bows" and "Dear Hearts and Gentle People," and Doris Day who made it big in musicals on the silver screen which led to million seller hits like "Que Sera Sera," all of these ladies started out as jazz singers, canaries who perched and chirped with all of the major 40's big bands and sold out to commercialism in the 50's, Helen never sold out therefore she never really made it into the 50's, unfortionately for us we'll never know what a 50's Nelson Riddle/Helen Forrest collaboration would have sounded like. We would have to wait until the 80's for a delightful jam session with The Hank Jones Trio. Here Helen sings a wide variety of tunes from opener vamp "Day-In Day Out" to the hard swingin "(Down, Down, Down) What A Song," to everything inbeteen like Jerome Kern's "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" and her biggest hit with James "I've Heard That Song Before"(which I'm sure Helen often said to James, when he made excuses for being out late, as Helen said in her autobiography "He'd sleep with anything with a pulse, even if he'd have to put a paper bag over her head." Many people don't realize how many songs from the popular American songbook Forrest introduced(just like Fred Astaire), Forrest has definately made her contibution to the popular American songbook, most of the songs she introduced would later become jazz standards for the likes of Miles Davis countless other jazz musicians and singer(Ella Fitzgerald to name one) would use as a point to improvise off of. This is a definitive set of Helen Forrest's 40's recordins. She truly was a uncomperable singer. It's a shame that Columbia Records won't reach into it's vaults and re-issue all of of her recordings, so we wouldn't be forced to search out import CD's like this just to get a small taste of the wonderful artist that Helen was. This CD is highly recommended."
Cream of Helen Forrest
a | 01/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Excellent recording of Helen.....Some tracks aren't of the quality I would like, yet others are almost perfect an excellent choice for Forrest fans.This girl has it all..."