Further to my post of 18/3/21 (“The Fox Blondes.) regarding the release of these 2 CD sets of Betty Grable and Alice Faye, I’ve now had a chance to listen to them, courtesy of Richard Tay of Sepia Records in London.
Betty Grable’s 2 CD set covers the period 1940 ( when she joined Twentieth Century Fox) up to 1944.
Alice Faye’s set is from the years 1934 to 1939.
There is just so much to listen to – around 60 tracks for each set – including many of Betty and Alice’s co-stars .
The terrific numbers are by some of the best songsmiths in Hollywood – HarryWarren/Mack Gordon; Irving Berlin; Ralph Grainger/Leo Robin.
So many highlights.
There’s a great version of “Are You Kiddin’ by Betty ,followed by a superb orchestral arrangement of the song , with the Fox studio orchestra .
I could listen indefinitely to Harry James’ trumpet in ‘You Made Me Love You’ ( by James V. Monaco and Joe McCarthy).
’Down Argentine Way’ is another catchy number by Betty.
Jack Haley and Charlotte Greenwood duet on ‘Is That Good’.
I don’t know why Jack Haley was dubbed by Buddy Clark in WAKE UP AND LIVE, but Clark does well with ‘Never in a Million Years’ – which became one of Alice’s biggest hits when she recorded it on the Brunswick label. ( heaven knows why she didn’t sing it in the movie.)
We also hear a version of ‘Never in a Million Years ‘ by Ann Sothern and Don Ameche from ‘ Fifty Roads to Town’. ( Would love to see this film.)
One of my favourites is Betty’s ‘My Heart Tells Me’ from SWEET ROSIE O’GRADY.
Good too to hear Betty’s song , cut from I WAKE UP SCREAMING – ‘Daddy.’ ( this number can be seen on You Tube.)
Other stars featured include Joan Davis, Phil Silvers, Carmen Miranda , John Payne, Phil Regan, Dick Powell, Tony Martin, Jimmy Durante.
Not featured on Alice’s set – ALEXANDER’S RAGTIME BAND and ROSE OF WASHINGTON SQUARE , as their soundtracks have been featured in previous recordings.
- it’s great to hear the Twentieth Century Fox orchestra under the direction of composers Alfred Newman and Emil Newman , Louis Silvers, David Buttolph.
Irving Berlin wrote some dazzlers for ON THE AVENUE, and they are all featured – Alice and Dick Powell doing ‘I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm’ – Alice’s ‘This Year’s Kisses’, ‘He Ain’t Got Rhythm’ and ‘Slumming On Park Avenue’.
Another rarety is a song cut from one of Alice’s few non-musicals, BARRICADE, called ‘There’ll be Other Nights’. (This film is rarely seen. I saw it many moons ago but don’t recall anything about it, except Alice and Warner Baxter were a surprising combination.)
‘You Turned the Tables on Me’, from SING BABY SING.
Love this number, ‘Slumming on Park Avenue’ from ON THE AVENUE.
Cries out for colour.
‘There’s a Lull in My Life’ from WAKE UP AND LIVE.
SEPIA RECORDS website: http://www.sepiarecords.com
Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Each set is £10.99 in the U.K./ £12.99 in Europe / £13.99 in USA ( post included).
Hopefully, the planned Volume two for Alice and Betty will go ahead, covering later years for both singers.
Thanks are due to Bryan Cooper who produced the CDs and provides informative liner notes, and sound engineer Robin Cherry for remastering these rare recordings for Sepia.
This is a bumper crop of magical musical moments. I just want to watch every one of the Faye and Grable musicals again!
I couldn’t resist adding a few video clips.
Great review. These CDs should be in any self-respecting musical fans collection. So good to hear these vintage classic songs restored using today’s technology and sounding better than ever. And using playback and studio discs makes these sets even more collectible. Roll on the next in the series.
I agree they are very collectible . The effort, research and enthusiasm put into these sets is to be commended.
“Barricade” – https://ok.ru/video/381194406402
Thanks for link, Bob
It’s not a bad picture, but suffered from censor cuts because, in a deleted scene, Alice kills an Asian character in self defence. That whole subplot has been cut along with the nightclub scene featuring her song. I don’t know why you feel surprised about the teaming with Baxter as they had already worked together in King Of Burlesque.
Vienna: Thank you for sending me these pictures over the many years I really enjoy them. I attend the Toronto Film Society’s festivals at Innis College winter and summer each year. TFS shows classic movies on the big screen.
Thanks, Donna. The TFS has some great programmes.
I am so enjoying these CDs. Not only Alice and Betty’s recordings but to include other rarities made my day. Great vocalists like Buddy Clark, Tony Martin and the irrepressible Charlotte Greenwood fill out and add variety to these sets. Can’t wait to see what the next volumes contain. Great work, Sepia.
I do so agree. We are lucky to have a company like Sepia and people like Bryan Cooper putting together these rare recordings.