Cole Porter

American Legends #6

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Two of the 13 tracks on this 36-minute discount-priced compilation, "Anything Goes" and "Be like the Bluebird," are performed by Cole Porter. The rest are by others, and those others include Lena Horne, Jo Stafford, Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, Dinah Shore, Ethel Merman, and Judy Garland with Gene Kelly. The sources of the songs range from the RCA, Sony, and PolyGram vaults to actual film soundtracks (though, despite the back-cover credits, few of the tracks are actually "from" cast albums or films). Sound quality is variable and the annotations are negligible, but some of the performances are marvelous. Sinatra's "Night and Day" comes from his debut solo recording session in 1942, for example, and he never bettered it despite several attempts. There's no comparison between this disc and a competitor like the Smithsonian's American Songbook Series volume on Porter, which is well-annotated and runs about twice as long, or even Capitol Records' 25-track Anything Goes: Capitol Sings Cole Porter. But then, this one should be considerably cheaper.

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