Judy Canova

Time for Judy Canova: The Rare Recordings 1928-1962

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Judy Canova was a star of radio, movies, vaudeville, Broadway, and Las Vegas from the mid-'20s into the '70s, though her glory days were in the '40s, when her act as a man-crazy country bumpkin earned Canova her own weekly radio show. While she was an all-around entertainer who could act, dance, and do comedy, she was a particularly good singer, and enjoyed a long career as a recording artist. Time for Judy Canova is a collection that brings together six hard-to-find sides she recorded with the trio the Three Georgia Crackers, as well as another 21 tunes she cut as a solo act. Given the hillbilly persona that was a major part of Canova's appeal, it's no great surprise that several of these songs are country-leaning novelty numbers leavened with steel guitars, fiddles, and accordions, and the set also includes several patriotic numbers in support of World War II, including "Tiny Little Voice (In a Tiny Little Prayer)" and "Stars and Stripes on Iwo Jima." However, plenty of these numbers show Canova was a gifted pop vocalist who didn't need to rely on gimmicks to sell a song, and was comfortable with polished romantic pieces like "It Couldn't Be True (Or Could It)" as well as playful novelty numbers like "Apple on a Stick," "I Ain't Got Nobody," and "Bananas Ain't Got No Bonies," where she played up her comic skills. Given how little of Judy Canova's body of recorded work has made it to CD, the notion of a selection of a Canova "rarities" set seems a bit like a practical joke, but folks who remember her heyday will enjoy Time for Judy Canova, which documents her gift for laughter as well as her genuine talent as a vocalist.

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