Joanie Sommers

Come Alive! The Complete Columbia Recordings

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She was young and pretty and looked like the girl next door, and she was just 18 when she signed with Warner Bros. in 1959, who quickly paired her on a couple of singles with teen favorite Edd "Kookie" Byrnes of the then-popular television series 77 Sunset Strip, but Joanie Sommers was no teen idol, although her biggest hit and signature tune, "Johnny Get Angry," from 1962, certainly fell into that market. Sommers could really sing, and her strengths fell to Broadway tunes and jazz. Ironically, her biggest claim to fame all these years later is a series of commercials she did for Pepsi-Cola in the early '60s, when her voice and look made her "the voice of a generation," at least on television, where she was a guest on countless talk and entertainment shows. She left Warner Bros. and signed with Columbia Records in 1966, releasing one album, Come Alive! (the title came from one of her successful jingles for Pepsi), and a handful of singles for the label before she stepped back from the business and concentrated on her family and children, only recording on occasion after that. This set collects that lone Columbia album and her subsequent non-album singles from that period (including one of her Pepsi jingles), and it's mostly covers of popular show tunes of the day. The real standout is her wonderful version of Hal David and Burt Bacharach's "Alfie," which was a Top Ten hit in 1966 even with stiff competition from Cher and Dionne Warwick, who also released charting versions.

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