1) Some Enchanted Evening
2) I Wonder Whoís Kissing Her Now
3) I Dream of You
4) Iím Confessiní
6) Iíve Got a Feeling Iím Falling
7) Girl of My Dreams
8) Blue Skies
9) When You Were Sweet Sixteen
10) You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby
11) If You Were The Only Girl In The World
13) Two Loves Have I
14) Give Me Your Hand
15) Please Believe Me
16) Bali Haíi
17) Chi-Baba, Chi-Baba
Luck can play such an important
part in peopleís lives. All the riches in
the world are useless without it and it must
have played a part in the life of Perry Como
even though he had great talent. He started
out with nothing. He was born Pierino Roland
Como in Canonsburg, Philadelphia 1912, the
seventh of thirteen children. His parents
were immigrant Italians, his father a badly
paid steel worker. From the age of eleven
Pierino worked as a barberís assistant. By
fourteen he was a skilled barber who serenaded
his clients for amusement. He subsequently
built up his own hairdressing business but
went on singing. That same year he won an
amateur contest and at twenty-one auditioned
for Freddy Carloneís touring band. He didnít
enjoy touring because it took him away from
his family, but as "Nick Perido"
he stuck to his new career and toured with
Carlone until 1936 when, as luck would have
it, he was heard singing in an Ohio casino
by bandleader Ted Weems who fronted a band
in Chicago. Weems took his novice under his
wing and featured him as a soloist on radio
until the band broke up in 1942 when Ted joined
the armed forces. Their 1939 recording of
"I Wonder Whoís Kissing Her Now"
became a hit in 1947 and Perry held his own
from then on among the top singers of post-war
America. He became known as "the man
who invented casual", renowned for his
amiable, relaxed delivery, crooning melodiously
from success to success, always paying special
attention on the lyrics of his songs. Dark
and handsome, he had strong and determined
features and was once star of his own TV series
and was "Crooning King of the Christmas
After "I Wonder Whoís
Kissing Her Now" came "I Dream Of
You" made in 1944. I must say that I
wasnít really impressed with this, even though
itís a pleasant song and one sang in Perryís
usual casual way. But I still donít feel it
does him justice. The same applies to the
next song "Iím Confessing (That I Love
You)". The next is the ever-popular "Temptation"
recorded in March 1945. I have heard this
in many versions and Perry makes it sound
just as it should. This is followed by Irving
Berlinís "Blue Skies", a great song
and also much more suited to Perryís style.
"Girl Of My Dreams", recorded at
the same time and with the same Orchestra,
is a real romantic serenade. perfectly suited
to the Como style. How beautifully he croons
this and you can imagine him singing this
softly to someone as they dance cheek to cheek.
If Perry sang in that way and that song to
a girl she would fall at his feet, surely.
After this comes "If
You Were The Only Girl In The World"
from March 1946. I have heard this old song
so many times and in so many ways, but this
is the only time I have heard it sung in this
very romantic and tender way. At the same
session he recorded "You Must Have Been
A Beautiful Baby" where he slightly emphasises
the lyrics but still keeps that charming tone
he has by now made his own.
I would need to go back a
long time to remember the first time I heard
"When You Were Sweet Sixteen" made
in 1947. I wondered how it would sound with
the Perry Comoís treatment and was not disappointed.
Itís a lovely old song, of course, and not
having heard it for a long time I can only
think no one would sing it like Perry Como
has. "Chi-Baba,Chi-Baba" is a strange
title, and in fact is an Italian lullaby.
I had never heard this before and wondered
how Perry would sound. He sings it well and
you hear his voice change every now and again
as though he is really singing a lullaby to
a baby, sweetly and lovingly as you would
expect. In October of that year he recorded
"Iíve Got A Feeling Iím Falling".
If it hadnít been for the backing group harmonising
at the end I would have thought this was definitely
not one of Perryís best numbers. I felt much
the same about the next recording from the
same time also. This is "Two Loves Have
I". Although Perry sings it in his usual
way I had the impression of coldness which
is unusual for Perry. But perhaps it is the
number itself thatís a little boring.
The next four songs were
all recorded in 1949. First is "Some
Enchanted Evening" from "South Pacific".
Perry extracts all he can from this, and you
hear how beautifully every note that he sings
seems to have a different sound to it. He
is on top form here. Also from "South
Pacific" is "Bali Ha'i" . This
needs someone with a voice like Comoís and
the song certainly benefits. Next is "Give
Me Your Hand", a simple, cosy love song.
Perry has the voice, and the ability to know
how to use it, and this is one of those songs
which he can sing straight and with no embellishment.
The last of these four songs is "Please
Believe Me". Not perhaps everyoneís choice,
but I liked it very much. Itís Perry singing
one of his tender romantic love songs where
he is pleading with someone to believe him.
This last song so typifies
Perry Comoís art as represented on this disc.
Itís amazing how his voice can change so easily
from one type of number to another. That is
the kind of magic his crooning, sleepy voice
has all of the time and this is why you can
well understand what made him so popular for
so many years. I like his voice and itís my
opinion he is as good as any of the other
well known crooners who had in their different
ways become popular figures.
For admirers of Perry Como
and admirers of good romantic singing. The
transfers are all excellent.