CD Reviews

MusicWeb International

Webmaster: Len Mullenger

Reviewers: Tony Augarde, Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

[ Jazz index ] [Nostalgia index]  [ Classical MusicWeb ] [ Gerard Hoffnung ]

To gain a 10% discount, use the link below & the code MusicWeb10

Click on Add to Basket


Singin’ in the Rain: The Songs of Nacio Herb Brown

Retrospective RTR 4299





Singin’ In The Rain


His 27 Finest 1927-1951

  1. Singin’ In The Rain- Cliff “Ukelele Ike” Edwards (1929)

  2. When Buddha Smiles- Benny Goodman

  3. The Doll Dance- Nat Shilkret

  4. The Broadway Melody- Charles King

  5. You Were Meant for Me- Nat Shilkret

  6. The Wedding of the Painted Doll- Layton & Johnstone

  7. Pagan Love Song- James Melton

  8. Chant of The Jungle- Nat Shilkret

  9. Paradise- Russ Colombo

  10. Eadie Was A Lady- Sam Browne

  11. After Sundown- Bing Crosby

  12. Temptation- Bing Crosby

  13. All I Do Is Dream Of You- Connee Boswell

  14. Broadway Rhythm- Richard Himber

  15. You Are My Lucky Star- Frances Langford

  16. I’ve Got A Feelin’ You’re Foolin’- Carroll Gibbons

  17. Alone- Allan Jones

  18. Would You?- Gracie Fields

  19. Smoke Dreams- Mildred Bailey

  20. Everybody Sing- Judy Garland

  21. Je Cherche Un Millionaire- Mistinguett

  22. Good Morning- Bobby Hackett

  23. You Stepped Out Of A Dream- Tony Martin

  24. The Moon Is Low- Benny Carter

  25. Love Is Where You Find It- Kathryn Grayson

  26. Should I?- Frank Sinatra

  27. Singin’ In The Rain- Gene Kelly (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

  28. See also review by Bert Thompson

Return to Index

You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers: