Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Lullaby of Broadway-Music of Harry Warren/Various
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Unsatisfying Collection from Great Forgotten Songwriter
Sheryl Katz | Chatsworth, CA USA | 06/19/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Harry Warren (born Salvatore Anthony Guaragna) was one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century. He wrote approximately 850 songs between 1922 and 1981 of which roughly 150 are now standards. In his lifetime there were 220 hit records of his songs, 42 of which were in the top 10, 21 of which were number 1 on Your Hit Parade.
He wrote the music for 42d Street, for the Goldigger movies, for the Harvey Girls, and Shangri-La, among many others. Among his great songs are "The More I See You", "Atchison Topeka and the Santa Fe", "Shadow Waltz", "At Last", "Chattanooga Choo Choo", "Lullaby of Broadway". There's no way to list all his great songs in this brief space.
Unfortunately, while Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, and George Gershwin receive numerous collections and books, Harry Warren seems to be forgotten. Many of his songs are still regularly recorded and performed, but if you put his name into the Amazon search engine, you'll find surprisingly few collections.
I bought this collection, because I love the music. Unfortunately, the songs on this CD are transfers from the old movies and the sound quality is terrible. The performances are also typical of old movie performances - they don't really showcase the music. I'm glad that there are at least a couple of collections like this one. I think Harry Warren should be remembered as a great popular song composer.
In the end I don't find this collection satisfying. If you are really interested in Harry Warren's music you don't have a lot of alternative choices except to pull the recordings from hundreds of other albums that have a few of his songs on them.
So far, the best Warren retrospective that I've heard is George Roumanis's "Swing Here and Now." However, the arrangements are very modern (I think they are good but modern) and the playing is lackluster. If you want more of Warren as traditionally performed you are stuck with CDs like this one of which there are all too few."
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 12/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Mention Harry Warren at a social gathering of music fans and you're likely to get a lot of blank stares. Unfortunately, although Warren was a prolific composer of music, he never got the recognition he was so worthy of receiving. One listen to this album and you'll be convinced that Harry Warren was a genius and one of the best writers of all time.
The CD has so many terrific numbers I scarcely know which ones to mention as true highlights! There are two very solid numbers with Carmen Miranda; she sings "I Yi, Yi, Yi, Yi, I Like You Very Much" with an excellent Latin style arrangement using the guitars, percussion and more; and Carmen does a great job singing "The Man With The Lollipop Song." I'm sure that you will enjoy these classic hits.
Other wildly popular numbers also come to mind. Listen for Bing Crosby to sing a sublime rendition of "I Found A Million Dollar Baby" that uses the brass well; and "September In The Rain" by Cyril Grantham with Geraldo and his Orchestra is simply stunning. I was particularly moved by the poignant beauty of "September In The Rain;" the strings and horns work wonders for this number.
Another huge plus for this album is that we get three private recordings of Al Jolson singing "I Only Have Eyes For You" with a beautiful orchestral accompaniment; "About A Quarter To Nine" and "She's A Latin From Manhattan." Awesome!
The liner notes are in a small booklet that has an informative essay by Tony Watts; and we get recording dates for each track, too.
My only complaint is that most of these tracks were recorded directly from old 78s and therefore we get a fair amount of surface noise on most of these tracks. I wish they had remastered at least some of these numbers. Sigh.
In short, Lullaby Of Broadway: The Music Of Harry Warren is an excellent retrospective album of just some of Harry Warren's greatest art. I highly recommend this for fans of music from the 1930s and 1940s; and fans of the movies these numbers come from will also enjoy this CD.