My first encounter with the music of Rosemary Clooney was as a 14 year old teenager in 1966 playing one of my aunts scratchy old LP's. That collection of early 1950's pre rock and roll hits included Rosemary Clooney's #1 smash "Come On A My House". "How silly..." I thought. "and adults think our music is stupid." My first impression of Rosemary Clooney would stay with me for a good many years. It was not until the 1980's that I really began to appreciate just what an incredibly gifted singer she was.
"The Essential Rosemary Clooney" features 16 of her very finest recordings. Sure you will find all of her big hits from the early 50's including "Half As Much", "This Old House", "Hey There" and of course "Come On A My House". But you will also be treated to a dozen other great tracks including Rosemary's first hit from 1947 "You Started Something" recorded during her stint as lead vocalist with Tony Pastor and his Orchestra. Next, enjoy her swinging rendition of "The Lady Is A Tramp" from the Broadway musical "Babes in Arms". Also featured is "Blue Rose', a rare collaboration with the legendary Duke Ellington. I would also recommend to you a pair of other tunes. "In The Cool, Cool, Cool of The Evening" is a fabulous Hoagy Carmicheal/Johnny Mercer tune which Rosemary recorded with Harry James back in 1952. Outstanding. Finally, you are sure to enjoy Clooney's rendition of the great standard "Tenderly".
Sad to say we lost the great Rosemary Clooney on June 29, 2002 from lung cancer. She was still making memorable records. "The Essential Rosemary Clooney" reminds us just how great a singer she was. Although Mitch Miller and the folks at Columbia records insisted she release a good many novelty tunes that became wildly successful hit singles Rosemary Clooney preferred to sing sad ballads. Happily, she got to do a lot more of what she enjoyed most in her later years. "The Essential Rosemary Clooney" is a "must have" for fans of classic pop. The remastering job is absolutely superb and will greatly enhance your enjoyment of this marvelous collection. Highly recommended!
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Paul Tognetti (drifter51)
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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The rub concerning Rosemary Clooney is that, like Kay Starr, she was an excellent jazz singer who was unfortunately chained to novelty material that, equally unfortunately, became popular and branded her as such in the eyes of the listening public. Given the chance, she excelled at any role given her: a big-band singer initially, a pop industry flag-bearer, and finally, a jazz vocalist with impeccable chops and great taste. The Essential Rosemary Clooney, though it focuses on the hits, does allow for the occasional glimpse of Clooney the artist during the late '50s. The hits "Come On-A My House," "Hey There," "Half As Much," and "This Ole House" don't inevitably lead to sound-alikes and inferior material; they lead to a collaboration with Duke Ellington (on "Blue Rose") and sharp readings of standards ("The Lady Is a Tramp," "From This Moment On"). Giving listeners only 16 tracks to hear what made Clooney special is definitely short shrift, but The Essential Rosemary Clooney does allow them to hear the many facets of an excellent artist without paying much for it. John Bush, All Music Guide