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Hits of '42
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
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Nostalgia On Both Sides Of The Atlantic
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As with most of the other volumes in this massive Living Era series from ASV Ltd. of London, which first came out in 1996, many of the artists from year to year will be more familiar to British listeners. Even at that, there is no denying the consistent quality of both the sound reproduction and the performances, even if some are totally unfamiliar to North American audiences. Throw in two pages of informative liner notes written by Peter Gammond, author of The Oxford Companion To Popular Music (something you come to expect from CDs originating in the U.K) and you have volume worth having in your musical library, although now you can only get a copy through used sales as it seems ASV has been bought out by Universal Music Group which has reportedly discontinued all their many volumes.
Here, for the record, tracks 8, 19 and 16 were not hits in North America in 1942 by any artist, something you'll find with several cuts in each volume. But when it comes to the rest, all were hits over here that year (or close to it), although the diversity in artists involved shows how things differed in that respect on each side of the Atlantic during that turbulent war year, which saw the U.S. enter after being attacked at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
These, for example, were indeed hit songs in North America, but not by the artists presented here, nor necessarily in 1942 either (the hit versions are shown in brackets): Where In The World, originally from the film Josette (Hal Kemp & His Orchestra, with vocal by Bob Allen, had the only North American hit, and that was in 1938 when it reached # 7); Lamplighter's Serenade (Bing Crosby - # 23); Skylark (Dinah Shore - # 5); Who Wouldn't Love You? (Kay Kyser & His Orchestra with vocal by Trudy and Harry Babbitt - # 1); Without A Song (from the Broadway musical Great Day, the only hit version here was by Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra with vocal by Bing Crosby - # 6 back in 1930); Three Little Sisters (The Andrews Sisters - # 8); Jingle, Jangle, Jingle (from the film The Forest Rangers - Kay Kyser & His Orchestra with vocal by Julie Conway & Harry Babbitt - # 1 for 8 weeks); Green Eyes (Jimmy Dorsey & His Orchestra with vocal by Bob Eberly & Helen O'Connell - a # 1 for 4 weeks - but in summer 1941, not 1942); Always In My Heart (Glenn Miller & His Orchestra with vocal by Ray Eberle - # 10); A Zoot Suit [For My Sunday Girl] (Kay Kyser & His Orchestra with vocal by Sully Mason, "Trudy", Jack Martin & Max Williams - # 7 - Note: the version by Bob Crosby was the uncharted flip of his # 23 hit Barrelhouse Bessie From Basin Street); Someone's Rocking My Dreamboat (The Ink Spots - # 17, but in December 1941); and Miss You (Dinah Shore - # 8).
Those that were hits on both sides of the Atlantic for the artists presented here include: Moonlight Becomes You by Bing (# 1); You Made Me Love You - an instrumental by Harry James & His Orchestra which actually charted at # 5 in November 1941; Chattanooga Choo Choo by Glenn Miller & His Orchestra, with vocal by Tex Beneke, Paula Kelly & The Modernaires, which actually charted at # 1 in September 1941 and spent nine weeks at the top; Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree by The Andrews Sisters, which reached # 16, although the top # 1 was by the Glenn Miller orchestra; I Know Why, a # 18 in November 1941 for Glenn Miller, with vocal by Paula Kelly & The Four Modernaires (note: both this song and Chattanooga Choo Choo came from the film It Happened In Sun Valley); Deep In The Heart Of Texas , a # 3 for Bing, although the top # 1 belonged to Alvino Rey & His Orchestra; How About You?, a # 8 for Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra with vocal by Frank Sinatra; Pennsylvania Polka, a # 17 for The Andrews Sisters; and White Christmas, a # 1 for Bing."