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KITTY KALLEN

Little Things Mean A Lot - Her 26 finest 1940-1962

RETROSPECTIVE RTR4290 [78:17]

 

 

 

 

1. Little Things Mean A Lot

2. Love for Sale

3. You, You Darlin’

4. The Moon And The Willow Tree

5. Besame Mucho (with Bob Eberly)

6. Star Eyes (with Bob Eberly)

7. They’re Either Too Young Or Too Old

8. When They Ask About You

9. I’m Beginning To See The Light

10. Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry

11. I Don’t Care Who Knows It

12. 11:60 PM

13. Yah-Ta-Ta, Yah-Ta-Ta, Talk, Talk, Talk

14. I’ll Buy That Dream

15. It’s Been A Long, long Time

16. The Wonder Of You

17. Waitin’ For The Train To Come In

18. Shoud I Tell You I Love You?

19. My Heart Belongs To Daddy

20. Juke Box Annie

21. To Be Loved By You

22. When I Dream I Always Dream Of You

23. Heartless heart

24. In the Chapel In The Moonlight

25. I Want You All To Myself

26. My Colouring Book

Jack Pleis and Orchestra; 1, 23-25

Jack Teagarden and his Orchestra; 2-4

Jimmy Dorsey and his Orchestra; 5-8

Harry James and his Orchestra; 9-17, 21, 22

Sonny Burke and his Orchestra; 18

Artie Shaw and his Orchestra; 19

Harry Geller and his Orchestra; 20

Ray Ellis and his Orchestra; 26

 

Katie “Kitty” Kallen holds the distinction of being the only girl singer featured with five of the famous Big Bands; Harry James, Artie Shaw, both Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, and Jack Teagarden. Born in Philadelphia, Kitty began singing professionally in 1935 at the age of 14 with the Jan Savitt band on KYW-CBS radio station. In 1940 jazz trombonist Jack Teagarden recruited her to join his Orchestra, calling it “Sixteen Men and a Girl”. Three numbers from their 1940 Varsity recording session in New York are on this disc, including an easy swing version of “The Moon and the Willow Tree”, a Victor Schertzinger-Joe Burke composition, which was introduced by Dorothy Lamour in the Bob Hope-Bing Crosby film Road To Singapore. Kitty sang with a sweet, swinging style that reflected her personality, which seems to come out in nearly every song she sang. By 1943 she and singer Bob Eberly had joined Jimmy Dorsey’s Orchestra, and Bob and Kitty have a great duet with “Star Eyes”, originally recorded on the Decca label. In 1944 she began performing with Harry James and his Orchestra after Helen Forrest left Harry’s band. Harry and Kitty’s collaboration on “I’m Beginning to See the Light” became a No.1 hit, as well as one of the all-time great swing standards. The version heard here was recorded on Columbia Records during a November, 1944 session in Los Angeles. From another Columbia session in January, 1945 comes the Jule-Styne-Sammy Cahn classic “Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry” with a sweet, edgy Harry James trumpet introduction followed by Kitty’s wistful longing verse, accompanied by a 16 string section and the band. The song “11:60 PM”, one of my favorites from this session, is a Harry James composition in which Kitty appears to sing eight bars without taking a breath. Some of her biggest hits came later in her career; “Little Things Mean A Lot” was a million selling No.1 hit recorded by Decca in 1953 with Jack Pleis and Orchestra, and “My Colouring Book”, recorded on RCA in 1962 with Ray Ellis and his Orchestra. Both numbers highlight her transition from the Big Bands to a more individual pop singing style to move with the times.

This CD is a great addition to the Retrospective series. The 12-page booklet has interesting liner notes by Peter Dempsey. Ray Crick compiled the music, and Martin Haskell handled the audio restoration and remastering. Highly recommended for Kitty Kallen fans.

Bruce McCollum



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