Pearl Bailey

It's a Great Feeling

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Now, here's an oddity. Pearl Bailey made a series of recordings for Columbia Records during the second half of the 1940s, then didn't record for the label again until 1966, when she cut only three songs -- "If My Friends Could See Me Now" and "Big Spender" from the then-current Broadway musical Sweet Charity and the title song from another show of the day, Mame. This ten-song budget compilation resurrects seven cuts from the '40s sessions -- including little-known compositions by such noted songwriters as Sammy Cahn and Saul Chaplin, Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz, and Johnny Mercer; played by orchestras led by Mitchell Ayres and Gil Evans; and featuring such duet partners as Hot Lips Page and Tony Pastor -- and combines them with those three '60s show tunes. It doesn't make a lot of sense as an album, of course, but at least Bailey is her usual entertaining, showboating self.

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