Only three years elapsed between the releases of the movie musicals Cover Girl (1944) and Good News (1947), soundtrack music from which has been combined on this unlicensed Italian CD. But a crucial development occurred in between: the introduction of the "original soundtrack" album by MGM Records in 1946. Thus, Good News, an MGM release, had its own four-disc, 78 rpm set to go along with the appearance of the film, and it went on to peak at number two in the Billboard album chart. It sounds like the compilers of this album may have used those 78s, or a subsequent LP reissue, to master the eight tracks from Good News at the start of this CD. On the other hand, all they had for Cover Girl was the actual soundtrack of the film, so the rest of the CD features dialogue (quickly faded out) and somewhat sketchier sound. Much of the Good News score actually predates that of Cover Girl, penned by the songwriting team of DeSylva, Brown & Henderson for the 1927 Broadway musical; in fact, this is the second movie version. But it has been revised by the team at MGM, including composer Roger Edens and lyricists Comden & Green and Martin & Blane. It represents one of June Allyson's better musical appearances on film, and surely Peter Lawford's best ever. Cover Girl, an original movie musical with songs (mostly) by Jerome Kern and Ira Gershwin, boasts the standard "Long Ago and Far Away," some period novelty material referring to the then-raging World War II (handled by comedian Phil Silvers), and a lot of dance music. A downside of the grey-market nature of a release such as this is an inattention to details. The scant annotations state incorrectly that Rita Hayworth's voice has been dubbed by Nan Wynn. Wynn did dub Hayworth on occasion, notably in You Were Never Lovelier, but here the ghost singer is actually Martha Mears. Also, the songwriting credits fail to note that E.Y. Harburg co-wrote the lyrics to "Make Way for Tomorrow" with Gershwin, and that "Poor John" is an interpolation written by Fred W. Leigh and Henry E. Pether.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann