Rosemary Clooney / Bing Crosby

That Travelin' Two-Beat

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Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, and arranger/conductor Billy May reconvened six years after their sessions for the first Crosby-Clooney duo album, Fancy Meeting You Here, to record a follow-up session in August and December 1964. Once again, the basic idea was to perform a collection of international songs. But the real creative force behind the record was the popular songwriting team of Jay Livingston and Ray Evans ("Mona Lisa," "Whatever Will Be, Will Be [Que Sera, Sera]"). The two were credited for "conception, new music and lyrics" on an album that contained, as proclaimed on the back cover, "Favorite songs from around the world in Dixieland!" It was an odd conception, to be sure, in which, for example, Carlos Fernandez's "Cielito Lindo," a Spanish standard, is turned into "Adios SeƱorita," with Crosby and Clooney trading romantic witticisms over a souped-up Dixieland arrangement that moves Basin Street to Madrid. If the resulting cultural mish-mash isn't as disturbing as it sounds, that's only because the singers remain a winning combination; they spark each other, making this the liveliest Crosby album in some time, with Clooney good-naturedly keeping up her end and May only further goosing the two. This is not the place to look for great singers handling great material, but it is an entertaining date with a couple of singers who have never lacked for personality having a good time together.

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