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Still waiting for a comprehensive Dick Haymes compilation

  • Mar 22, 2009
When I think of the "sound" of the 1940's three names immediately come to mind--The Andrews Sisters, The Mills Brothers and Dick Haymes.  For a good many years now I have been searching in vain for a single disc collection of Dick Haymes biggest and best.  Given the fact that most of Dick's most successful records were in the 2 to 3 minute range and given his status as one of the most popular and prolific artists of that decade, it is not unreasonable to expect that at some point a comprehensive 20 to 25 track single disc collection of his charted hits would be available.  But alas, this is not the case.  And believe me I have been searching for just such a collection for more than a decade now.
In a moment of weakness I purchased "Dick Haymes: Cocktail Hour".  I don't know what I was drinking but I am usually a lot more particular about the CD's I choose to add to my collection.
While "Cocktail Hour" may be marginally acceptable for casual fans or the curious, I definitely would not recommend this bogus 2 disc set to collectors.  For one thing, there is absolutely no reason why all of the material contained on these discs could not have been put onto a single CD.  There is scarcely an hours worth of music here.  Secondly, while this package does include a few of Dick Haymes biggest hit records including "You'll Never Know" and "It's Magic", it is far more notable for the tunes it does not offer.  Big hits like "The More I See You", "Little White Lies" and "Till The End of Time" are simply nowhere to be found.  In addition, Allegro records has sprinkled the disc with "live" recordings.  Many of these tracks are less than 2 minutes long.  The liner notes read like the gossip page of a tabloid with seemingly more information about Dick's six marriages than on his music.  This is just one of those cases where I will chalk just have to chalk it  up to experience and make do with the darn thing for the time being.  In the meantime my search for the perfect Dick Haymes collection continues. Extremely disappointing!
Dick Haymes

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Paul Tognetti ()
Ranked #2
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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Dick Haymes was one of the most splendid ballad singers of his era, the near-equal of Crosby and Sinatra on classics of the form like "It Can't Be Wrong," "Till the End of Time" and "It Might as Well Be Spring." Though he was unable to cash in during the '50s golden era of adult-pop (due to alcoholism, troubles with the government, and a few tempestuous relationships), Haymes continued performing and recording until his death in 1980.

Born in Buenos Aires in 1918, Haymes was the son of British parents, who at the time were living on the cattle ranch they owned in Argentina. After they separated, he was reared by his mother in Paris before the Depression crippled their finances. He spent the rest of his formative years in the United States, where his mother performed as a singer. Haymes made his own professional debut at the age of 15, singing with a hotel band in New Jersey while on summer vacation. He left school in 1933 to move to Hollywood, and worked as a stuntman or extra on several films during the mid-'30s. After writing a few songs in 1939, he approached Harry James with hopes the bandleader would buy them; though James wasn't very impressed with his songwriting skills, he hired Haymes one year later, to replace Frank Sinatra as his leading male singer.

During 1941-42, Dick Haymes recorded a few hits with James, including "A Sinner Kissed an Angel" and "The Devil Sat Down and Cried." (His biggest hit with James, "I'll Get By (As Long as I Have You)," hit number one in ...

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Label: Columbia River
Genre: 1940's
Release Date: January 9, 2001

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