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CENTENARY TRIBUTE – Their 26 Finest 1938-1943







Bob Eberly sings with Jimmy Dorsey and his Orchestra on the odd-numbered tracks.

Ray Eberle sings with Glenn Miller and his Orchestra on the even-numbered tracks.

  1. Change Partners (Bob) [3:04]

  2. Wishing Will Make It So (Ray) [2:48]

  3. Deep Purple (Bob) [3:13]

  4. Stairway To The Stars (Ray) [2:49]

  5. The Breeze And I (Bob) [2:55]

  6. Moon Love (Ray) [2:51]

  7. I Hear A Rhapsody (Bob) [2:57]

  8. Over The Rainbow (Ray) [2:25]

  9. High On A Windy Hill (Bob) [3:11]

  10. My Prayer (Ray) [3:14]

  11. Amapola (Bob with Helen O’Connell) [3:24]

  12. Imagination (Ray) [2:47]

  13. Yours (Bob with Helen O’Connell) [3:06]

  14. Say It Over And Over Again (Ray) [2:43]

  15. Maria Elena (Bob) [2:59]

  16. Fools Rush In (Ray) [2:31]

  17. Green Eyes (Bob with Helen O’Connell) [3:14]

  18. Blueberry Hill (Ray) [2:50]

  19. Blue Champagne (Bob) [3:09]

  20. A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square (Ray) [3:40]

  21. Tangerine (Bob with Helen O’Connell) [3:10]

  22. Elmer’s Tune (Ray with the Modernaires) [3:03]

  23. Beseme Mucho (Bob with Kitty Kallen) [2:58]

  24. Moonlight Cocktail (Ray with the Modernaires) [3:17]

  25. Star Eyes (Bob with Kitty Kallen) [3:01]

  26. Serenade In Blue (Ray with the Modernaires) [3:24]

    Bob Eberly (1916-1981) and his younger brother Ray Eberle (1919-1979) were born and raised in Mechanicville, New York. Both of them were talented baritones, and each became famous as a big band singer. Bob got his start in 1934 by performing in local talent contests, clubs and radio shows. Along the way he changed the spelling of his last name to make it easier for announcers to remember how to pronounce it. In 1935 he was hired by Jimmy Dorsey to replace Bob Crosby as vocalist for Jimmy’s band. Bob stayed with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra for the next eight years, finally leaving when he was drafted in 1943. Glenn Miller was also performing with the Dorsey Orchestra during that time, and when Glenn left in 1938 to start his own band, he asked Bob if he knew of any other good singers around. Bob recommended his brother Ray, and Ray subsequently became the voice of the Glenn Miller Orchestra. This disc is a collection of Bob and Ray’s hit tunes during their big band years. Bob recorded The Breeze and I in April 1940 on the Decca label. The song was written by Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona and originally entitled Andalucia. Tutti Camarata provides a bold and sparkling arrangement which begins with a marching band rhythm showcasing the brass section, and ends with Bob’s vocals highlighted by Jimmy accompanying on clarinet. Helen O’Connell joined Jimmy Dorsey’s band in 1939, and Tutti arranged a number of songs for Helen and Bob to sing together. Tangerine was composed by Victor Schertzinger and Johnny Mercer and appeared in the 1942 film The Fleet’s In. Bob opens the song with a ballad chorus, then after an instrumental interlude, Helen picks up the tempo and swings a hot chorus with the band. This was a typical style of song arranging for Bob since he much preferred the slower ballads. Ray Eberle recorded the Jimmy Van Heusen-Johnny Burke song Imagination in February 1940 on the Bluebird record label. The song became a No.1 hit for Glenn Miller. Ray singing voice was not as deep as his brothers’, but it was relaxed and easy to listen to, and Ray’s voice had a higher range. Some of Ray’s best songs were his recordings with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and the Modernaires, a five member vocal group that recorded with many of the big bands, including Charlie Barnet, Fred Waring, Ted Fio Rito, Ozzie Nelson and Paul Whiteman. Moonlight Cocktail has a full, rich arrangement with the Modernaires providing Ray with gorgeous vocal back-up harmonies.

    The classic Harry Warren-Mack Gordon tune Serenade In Blue is another fine example of just how talented the Modernaires were, blending their sound seamlessly with Ray and the orchestra.

    This disc comes with a 12-page booklet with notes by Ray Crick, including the names of the band members for each band. Ray also compiled the music. Final audio restoration and remastering was performed by Alan Bunting. The sound quality is excellent.

    Bruce McCollum

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