Shirley Temple

America's Sweetheart, Vol. 2

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It is tempting to imagine that what little innocence the American people thought they possessed during the 1930s could have somehow been conserved and bottled for posterity, if only Shirley Temple could have been prevented from growing up. Scientific methodology could have stunted her growth with hormones and an austere diet while "get happy" songs would have continued to pour out of Tin Pan Alley like backwater through a ruptured levee. Instead, she befriended J. Edgar Hoover, gave up tap dancing, became an adolescent, grew a bosom, had children, and eventually served as U.S. ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia. What's left of her childhood is a fascinating if somewhat weird wealth of motion pictures and musical excerpts from their soundtracks which have been appearing and reappearing on various audio formats since the early '60s. The best Shirley Temple anthology to emerge during the CD era was America's Sweetheart, Vols. 1 & 2, hatched by Pearl Records in 1996. Like its predecessor, Vol. 2 presents the excerpts chronologically, here beginning with material dating from 1936 and ending with an MGM air trailer from Kathleen, a film released in 1941. Other flicks mined for this edition are Stowaway; Heidi; Little Miss Broadway (featuring "Be Optimistic and Smile"); Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm; Just Around the Corner; The Little Princess; Susannah of the Mounties; The Blue Bird, and Young People. While the phrase "America's Sweetheart" was first introduced by Mary Pickford and has since been applied to Betty White, Loretta Lynn, and Courtney Love, it also serves as an appropriately sweet tag for Temple. While generations of women have struggled with the psychological blowback from prolonged exposure to this tap-happy curly-headed archetype of cuteness, there is no denying young Shirley's amazing talent and resilient versatility during the years she was shackled to the motion picture industry. In a very real sense, whatever there ever was of her innocence and ours, either actual or ersatz, has been preserved in these sweet and sometimes nutty recordings. Try them on, they won't bite.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:16
2
feat: Alice Faye
2:51
3 2:05
4 3:36
5
feat: Choir
1:19
6
feat: Choir
1:49
7
1:27
8 1:02
9
3:02
10
1:03
11 1:35
12 8:15
13 1:34
14 2:51
15 3:41
16 3:30
17
3:16
18
3:05
19
1:55
20
1:14
21 1:03
22 3:33
23 2:00
24 1:03
25 3:15
26
14:48
blue highlight denotes track pick