Doris Day

Day by Night

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Doris Day had considerable success for a non-film project with Day by Day, an album of interwar ballads conducted by Paul Weston, in 1957. Naturally enough, she re-teamed with Weston for the following year's Day by Night, another thematic album, this one a "program of night songs," as the liner notes put it. Day and Weston were mostly concerned with night as it was discussed in the lyrics of the 1930s, when nine of the 12 songs were copyrighted. Instead of the small-band arrangements that had characterized Day by Day, Weston this time used horns and reeds for a big band accompaniment, as in the 1932 hit "Close Your Eyes," or more often employed a full string section. The focus always remained on Day, however, and she turned in typically knowing, conversational performances. The dreamy theme was just right for a singer who had come up in the warm-but-not-too-warm style of 1940s band singing; Day was able to bring these songs a sense of familiarity that never threatened to break through to real feeling. She was just right for "The Night We Called It a Day," a song introduced by the young Frank Sinatra in 1942 long before he turned serious, and she also made a good distaff alternative to the nonchalance of Bing Crosby on "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams (And Dream Your Troubles Away)." Unfortunately, her chaste approach may have been out of step for the album market of the late '50s; while her movie career continued to go great guns and she even scored a Top Ten single with the near-rock of "Everybody Loves a Lover," Day by Night did not sell well enough to reach the charts.

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