Anita Bryant

As Long as He Needs Me

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Anita Bryant made almost all of her hits for Carlton Records between 1959-1961; she moved to Columbia in 1961 and the label recorded her for many years, which suggests that her albums were steady sellers even though they didn't chart. As Long as He Needs Me is middle of the road incarnate, with Bryant -- admittedly a solid vocalist -- singing the songs that were making the adult contemporary rounds at the time: "Days of Wine and Roses," "My Coloring Book," the vocal version of Mr. Acker Bilk's instrumental hit "Stranger on the Shore," etc. The emphasis is on old-fashioned pop and orchestral arrangements with a couple of Broadway tunes thrown in for good measure. The album was arranged and conducted by Robert Mersey, who acted in a similar capacity for other Columbia and Epic artists such as Johnny Mathis and Bobby Vinton. As Long as He Needs Me is the kind of album that gives easy listening a bad name -- it's all very well done but utterly bland and uninspired. In her defense, Bryant made much better music than this during her Columbia years.