Peter Marshall

Boy Singer

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Although he has been singing for more than 50 years, Peter Marshall's voice has lost none of its vigor as he continues to sing with a deep-throated baritone that floats expressively over the lyrics. Although probably best known as the longtime host for TV's Hollywood Squares, Marshall has a resumé chock-full of roles in films, stage appearances, and guest shots on TV productions. His musical credentials include singing with such big bands as Les Brown's and Tex Beneke's. The song list is dominated by romantic songs from the World War II period, an especially fruitful period for the tunes that became classic standards. There's some more recent pieces such as the 1970 "For the Good Times." Marshall is backed by a huge orchestra with a large string section. But the strings stay shiny and avoid being maudlin as they are wont to become. This is due in no small part to the conductors assembled for the session who rotate on the podium. Two of them, Ray Ellis and Sammy Nestico, bring an unimpeachable set of arranging credentials to the table -- Ellis as conductor on one of Billie Holiday's last studio recordings and Nestico with Count Basie. Despite the presence of strings which help to create the romantic, sometimes melancholy moods, matters can get jazzy from time to time. Willie Nelson's "Night Life" is taken over by the brass section populated by some of the top studio horn players. Marshall shows solid swinging credentials on "I Thought About You." But it's the sentimental material that will grab the ear of most as the orchestra simply shimmers behind Marshall's impeccable vocalizing. This album is the stuff that good male vocalizing in the tradition of Bing Crosby, Dick Haymes, and Frank Sinatra is made of.

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