Original Soundtracks

Cover Girl/You Were Never Lovelier

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In his brief liner notes to this unlicensed collection of music from two movie soundtracks, Alan Eichler justifies their combination on a single disc well. Of Cover Girl (1944) and You Were Never Lovelier (1942), Eichler writes, "Both were produced by Columbia Pictures, both boasted original scores by Jerome Kern, both starred Rita Hayworth, and, between them, both showcased Rita with the greatest dancers of the silver screen -- Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly." As to why Curtain Calls (which issued it on LP) and Hollywood Soundstage (which reissued it on CD) took the initiative to press up the recording to begin with, that was because both films appeared before the era when soundtrack albums regularly accompanied movie releases, and previous to this, the musical performances could only be heard while viewing the films. From that point of view, the album is welcome to fans of show music, especially because the Kern scores, written late in the composer's career, are excellent, boasting such songs as "Dearly Beloved," a pop hit when You Were Never Lovelier was in theaters, and "Long Ago and Far Away," which became a standard after being introduced in Cover Girl. Unfortunately, the album itself suffers from the sort of flaws typical of gray-market releases. The sound quality is often only fair, with much surface noise and editing problems. And the annotations are full of errors. Eichler is mistaken, for example, when he claims that "Rita's singing voice for both films was skillfully dubbed by Nan Wynn." Actually, the skillful dubbing of the Cover Girl songs was done by Martha Mears. Nevertheless, until a more legitimate audio version of this material is assembled, this album will be of value to movie-music collectors.

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