And somewhere over the rainbow is where you might find another collection of musical highlights from the silver screen that's this good! Here are 42 classic, original performances from the 1935-1965 golden age of musicals- Singin' in the Rain Gene Kelly; Cheek to Cheek Fred Astaire; As Time Goes By Dooley Wilson; A Kiss to Build a Dream On Louis Armstrong; Gigi Louis Jourdan; Wunderbar Kathryn Grayson & Howard Keel; The Best Things in Life Are Free June Allyson & Peter Lawford; Stranger in Paradise Ann Blyth & Vic Damone; Baby, It's Cold Outside Esther Williams & Ricardo Montalban; Bless Yore Beautiful Hide Howard Keel; Going Hollywood Bing Crosby; Put 'em in a Box Doris Day & the Page Cavanaugh Trio; Embraceable You Connie Francis; There's No Business Like Show Business Betty Hutton, Howard Keel, Keenan Wynn & Louis Calhern; Puttin' on the Ritz Clark Gable & Co.; It's a Most Unusual Day Jane Powell; Over the Rainbow Judy Garland; The Lady Is a Tramp Lena Horne, and more. Every song a classic great notes, too!
The "Golden Age" referred to here spans The Jazz Singer
and the advent of the talkies to the death throes of the old studio system in the 1960s. So vast was the era's musical landscape that even this 42-track, double-disc anthology can't encompass all its peaks. Not surprisingly, the bulk of this collection originated with the Tiffany's of the screen musical, M-G-M, a body of work whose riches here encompass both pop-cultural bedrock ("Over the Rainbow," "Singin' in the Rain," "There's No Business Like Show Business," etc.) and some less familiar, if equally delightful star turns: Clark Gable gamely "Puttin' On the Ritz"; the sassy, 1948 original of "The Lady Is a Tramp" by Lena Horne; and a loopy duet of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" by Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalban. Fred Astaire's elegant, epochal reign at RKO and M-G-M is represented by "Night and Day," "Let's Face the Music and Dance," and three others, while Metro mainstays Gene Kelly and Judy Garland share equal time and billing. It's not perfect--Cagney's "Yankee Doodle Boy" and/or some Sinatra
seem more logical choices than the odd "bonus" duet of Casablanca
's "As Time Goes By" and "Lara's Theme" from Dr. Zhivago
that close out disc one--but it's a stunning, surprisingly comprehensive primer on the Hollywood film musical nonetheless. --Jerry McCulley