Bob Hope was a credible crooner in addition to being the favorite comic of several U.S. presidents, and Thanks for the Memories compiles his Decca recordings from 1938-1957. All are duets that tie in with his motion pictures, with the exception of "Penthouse Serenade," a stand-alone duet with his frequent co-star, Shirley Ross. Ross and Bing Crosby are Hope's singing partners on every track except "The Boys with the Proboscis," a duet with Jimmy Durante that pokes fun at the two comedians' most distinctive facial feature. Peggy Lee, too, pops up with Hope and Crosby on "Merry-Go-Runaround." "Two Sleepy People" and "Road to Morocco" were charting pop hits, and "Thanks for the Memories" served as Hope's personal theme song. As a rule, Hope's duets with Shirley Ross are romantic tunes on which he croons straightforwardly, while his efforts with Bing Crosby are humorous songs full of playful banter and spoken asides. Most of the songs are taken from Hope and Crosby's popular road movies, and previously unreleased alternate takes of "Put It There Pal" and "Road to Morocco" pad out what would otherwise be less than 30 minutes of material. The latter performance finds Crosby and Hope catching a case of the giggles in the middle but soldiering through to the end. It's hard to imagine Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis -- or even Red Foley and Ernest Tubb -- having recorded their classic comedy songs without the precedent of Hope and Crosby.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Adams