A good album of 1930s hits geared toward the casual fan
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 06/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Billboard Pop Memories: The 1930s may not be the most complete collection of hits from the 1930s; but then again it doesn't purport to be a "greatest hits" package, either. The quality of the sound is pretty good considering the age of these recordings; and the artwork is very nicely done.
The CD starts with Artie Shaw and His Orchestra performing their huge hit entitled "Begin The Beguine." "Begin The Beguine" is a pretty melody that is also rather catchy and it was designed for people to want to hear it over and over again--as well they did! The brass and the other instruments work really well and Artie Shaw sure could conduct a band with finesse! Listen also for Larry Clinton And His Orchestra to perform a stunning, slow dance style rendition of "Deep Purple;" "Deep Purple" sounds great and I always liked this number even though I prefer it with a somewhat faster tempo.
"Sing, Sing, Sing (With A Swing)" is performed by Benny Goodman and His Orchestra; this "hot music" was big back in the day and after just one listen you'll certainly know why! Benny Goodman and His Orchestra perform this brilliantly and it's a pleasure to hear this done so very well. Listen also for Bing Crosby, one of the original crooners, to sing a sublime rendition of "Pennies From Heaven." "Pennies From Heaven" gets the royal treatment from Bing Crosby who sings this with all his heart and soul. I really like "Pennies From Heaven;" and I think that you will like it, too.
"Boo-Hoo" is a new tune to me; Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians play this with panache and I'm very impressed. It has that classic 1930s sound to it and the horns have a wonderful arrangement. Guy Lombardo has always been a favorite of mine--I have many of his albums. His music always was wonderful.
Leo Reisman and His Orchestra perform that classic Irving Berlin number entitled "Night And Day." I believe this was sung by Fred Astaire in a movie he did with Ginger Rogers. "Night And Day" is a prime example of Irving Berlin's genius and this is certainly a major highlight of this album. In addition, the immortal Judy Garland sings "Over The Rainbow." "Over The Rainbow" was one of Judy's two or three signature songs and she sings it absolutely flawlessly! This recording of "Over The Rainbow," however, is NOT from the soundtrack of the movie; this is an alternate version Judy recorded for Decca Records.
The album also ends well with "Moonlight Serenade" by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra. Glenn Miller and His Orchestra could take any tune and make it sound majestic; and this sublime rendition of "Moonlight Serenade" is timeless.
Overall, Billboard Pop Memories: The 1930s is a good starter CD for newcomers to this genre of music. Diehard fans may already have these numbers in their collections.
A small but great collection of big band and crooner hits
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 03/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is bad enough that on every one of these Billboard albums put out by Rhino that they draw the line at only 10 tracks when you are dealing with a particular year (e.g., 1956) and a particular music genre (rock, pop, R&B, etc.). But when they put together one CD to represent an entire decade as they do for the 1930s for this second volume in the "Billboard Pop Memories" series, this self-imposed 10 song limit can be absolutely maddening. In the 1930s the big bands were on the rise and crooners like Rudy Vallee and his "Stein Song" were being replaced by the velvet tones of Bing Crosby and the classic "Pennies from Heaven." Look at what you have on this album: Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington and Artie Shaw. Fred Astaire singing "Night and Day," backed by Leo Reisman And His Orchestra, and the "studio" version of Judy Garland's "Over the Rainbow." Out of these ten tracks there is only one that is less than stellar ("Deep Purple"), but the rest are gems. By the standard of these Billboard albums this is a great collection and hopefully at some point they will go back and offer up a second volume for the 1930s."