Martha Tilton

And the Angel Sings

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Born in Corpus Christi, TX and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Martha Tilton was a charming interpreter of popular song whose simple yet stylish delivery placed her in the same pulchritudinous pantheon as Mildred Bailey, Evelyn Wright, Jo Stafford, Dinah Shore and Doris Day. Released about six months after she passed away in December 2006 at the age of 91, Living Era's And the Angel Sings pays respectful homage to Tilton by assembling 24 of her best performances recorded between September 1937 and August 1955. Opening with Ziggy Elman's "And the Angels Sing," a song she recorded at least four times with Benny Goodman, this pleasant retrospective trundles out a stack of hit records she cut for Victor with both Goodman and Artie Shaw; a swank offering involving the Gordon Jenkins Orchestra and brought out by Decca; and "Drum Boogie," a rowdy singalong film soundtrack featuring Gene Krupa. Tilton was among the first artists to sing for the Capitol record company; needless to say, both singer and label profited enormously from this collaboration, which lasted officially from 1942 to 1949. Her tenure with Capitol is represented here by a mesmerizing version of Harry Warren and Mack Gordon's "Serenade in Blue" with backing by an updated Paul Whiteman Orchestra; a gorgeous reading of "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?" with a string-laden ensemble led by Dean Elliott; and several numbers with accompaniments by the Paul Weston Orchestra, featuring saxophonist Eddie Miller and a Tilton duet with Capitol co-founder Johnny Mercer. Living Era includes a sparkling rendition of "Beyond the Blue Horizon" recorded for the Armed Forces V-Disc label in May 1945; a solemnly romantic take of "Lilli Marlene" with Lyn Murray's Orchestra & Chorus and a stunning "Misirlou" that scintillates with Les Paul-like electric guitar licks by Laurindo Almeida. It is entirely possible that this little taste of Tilton will cause some listeners to launch full tilt into search mode for more of her excellent work. Anyone suffering from this condition may turn to her complete Capitol recordings, reissued in 2000 by Collector's Choice Music; an album of Coral Treasures from the second half of the '50s compiled and released by Sepia in 2007 and a swell batch of Standard radio transcriptions made available to the public in 2000 by the Soundies label. For those who'd simply like to hear her at her best, this Living Era tribute to Martha Tilton will do the job all by itself.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:14
2 2:58
3 3:16
4 2:35
5 6:40
6 3:24
7 2:58
8 3:09
9 2:51
10 3:18
11 3:04
12 3:30
13 3:22
14 3:17
15 3:11
16 2:52
17 4:32
18 2:47
19 3:01
20 2:49
feat: Dean Elliott
22 2:50
23 3:09
24 2:55
blue highlight denotes track pick