Debbie Reynolds

And Then I Sang

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"All new studio recordings," proclaims a legend in small print on the back cover of this album, and that is an important point since, from the front cover, featuring photographs from Debbie Reynolds' film career and the banner "starring in That's Entertainment" (but not the actual album title), it would be easy to assume that the LP was a compilation of old recordings; it is not. Rather, it is Reynolds' first new solo album in 15 years, on which she has re-recorded songs associated with her, mostly from her films, performed in new arrangements by producer Emory Gordy, Jr. Gordy has given appropriately campy treatments to "Aba Daba Honeymoon" (the 1914 copyright that became a 1951 hit after being featured in the movie Two Weeks with Love) and "I Wanna Be Loved by You" (the Helen Kane signature song used in the 1950 movie Three Little Words, in which Reynolds appeared to sing it, although Kane's voice was coming out of her mouth), and Reynolds hams it up in singing them. She is more sincere, naturally, in re-creating her second million-seller, "Tammy." Gordy, a Nashville stalwart, brings his country music expertise to a reimagining of Reynolds' non-movie hit "Am I That Easy to Forget." In its original hit rendition, it found the singer trying to emulate Connie Francis; here, accompanied by a weeping steel guitar, she seems to be trying for Patsy Cline. "All I Do Is Dream of You," one of several songs featured in the 1952 film classic Singin' in the Rain, is also given a country arrangement. And Reynolds gets a chance to put her stamp on that film's title song, which she did not in the movie, when it was memorably handled by Gene Kelly. Along with songs from other Reynolds films such as The Unsinkable Molly Brown ("I'll Never Say No") and How the West Was Won ("Home in the Meadow"), this short album gives a good sense of the music Reynolds has been performing in her stage act for many years and that, in her mid-forties, she still performs well.

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