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Nacio Herb Brown
Singin’ In The Rain: His 27 Finest
rec. 1927-1951

Nacio Herb Brown was born in Deming, New Mexico in 1896. He grew up in the Los Angeles, California area where he learned to play the piano. After short stints working in the tailoring industry and the real estate business, Nacio became a full-time composer in Hollywood, where he wrote film scores for MGM.

Singin’ In The Rain was his biggest hit song, and the tune is featured twice in this collection. Cliff Edwards’ version was recorded in May 1929 in Los Angeles for Columbia records, featuring Cliff playing ukulele and singing along with an unidentified orchestra. The song appeared in the film Hollywood Revue of 1929. Gene Kelly sings his version with Lennie Hayton & The MGM Studio Orchestra for a June 1951 for MGM, which appears in the film Singin’ In The Rain, starring Gene Kelly, Donald O’Conner, and Debbie Reynolds. The Wedding of the Painted Doll features the talented singing duo of Turner Layton and Clarence Johnstone. The gentlemen harmonize the jolly tune accompanied by Turner on piano and by Rudy Starita performing on the dulcitone, a keyboard instrument originally designed in 1860, similar to a piano but using tuning forks to produce tones.

Mistinguett (born Jeanne Florentine Bourgeois) was a popular French singer and actress, and was at one time the highest paid female entertainer in the world. Beautiful and captivating, she insured her legs in 1919 for half a million francs. Here she sings an off-key, care-free French version of I’m Feeling Like A Million ( Je Cherche Un Millionaire), with Leo Kok, accompanied by Marcel Pagnoul & L’Orchestre du Casino de Paris. The song was recorded for Columbia in January 1938 in Paris. Good Morning appeared in the 1939 film Babes In Arms and features cornetist Bobby Hackett performing with Horace Heidt and his Musical Knights, along with the mixed vocal group The Heidt-Lights. The song was originally recorded in September 1939 for Columbia Records. Henry Russell also performs on this number playing the incredible Novachord, the world’s first polyphonic synthesizer.

Carroll Gibbons was an American bandleader, pianist and composer who lived and worked primarily in England, notably as bandleader for the New Mayfair Orchestra. He was also leader of the Savoy Hotel Orpheans, and they perform I’ve Got A Feelin’ You’re Foolin’, with vocalists Brian Lawerence and Anne Lenner singing a lovely duet. Nathaniel Shilkret was a prolific composer, musician and conductor and made thousands of recordings during his career. Nat conducts the Victor Orchestra performing You Were Meant For Me, Chant Of The Jungle, and the charming The Doll Dance, featuring pianists Jack Shilkret and Milt Rettenberg, recorded in March 1927 for the Victor recording label.

Nacio Herb Brown was a unique and talented composer, and these songs represent the many sides to his musical ingenuity. A 12-page booklet is included with the disc. The music was compiled by Ray Crick, who also supplied liner notes and comments. Martin Haskell performed the audio restoration. The sound quality is good, although some original background noise and static was carried over and appears on several songs.

Bruce McCollum

Singin’ In The Rain- Cliff “Ukelele Ike” Edwards (1929)
When Buddha Smiles- Benny Goodman
The Doll Dance- Nat Shilkret
The Broadway Melody- Charles King
You Were Meant for Me- Nat Shilkret
The Wedding of the Painted Doll- Layton & Johnstone
Pagan Love Song- James Melton
Chant of The Jungle- Nat Shilkret
Paradise- Russ Colombo
Eadie Was A Lady- Sam Browne
After Sundown- Bing Crosby
Temptation- Bing Crosby
All I Do Is Dream Of You- Connee Boswell
Broadway Rhythm- Richard Himber
You Are My Lucky Star- Frances Langford
I’ve Got A Feelin’ You’re Foolin’- Carroll Gibbons
Alone- Allan Jones
Would You?- Gracie Fields
Smoke Dreams- Mildred Bailey
Everybody Sing- Judy Garland
Je Cherche Un Millionaire- Mistinguett
Good Morning- Bobby Hackett
You Stepped Out Of A Dream- Tony Martin
The Moon Is Low- Benny Carter
Love Is Where You Find It- Kathryn Grayson
Should I?- Frank Sinatra
Singin’ In The Rain- Gene Kelly (1951)



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