Debbie Reynolds

Debbie [Hallmark]

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The British Hallmark label takes advantage of the 50-year limit on copyrights for recordings with its 2010 unlicensed reissue of Debbie Reynolds' debut solo album Debbie, originally released by Dot Records in the U.S. in 1959. Although this was Reynolds' first LP as such, she was no stranger to recording, having scored a Top Five hit with "Aba Daba Honeymoon," a duet with Carleton Carpenter, in 1951, and topped the charts on her own with "Tammy" in 1957, both songs taken from the soundtracks of films in which she appeared. In signing her to a recording contract, Dot hoped to capitalize on her movie stardom, and this first album was aimed at the adult music market, as the singer addressed a series of Tin Pan Alley and classic pop evergreens over typically sweet late-‘50s string arrangements. Only occasionally exhibiting her acting chops by adopting something of a character (notably in the pixie-like "I Like the Likes of You"), Reynolds otherwise sang the songs straightforwardly, often including the introductory verses most pop singers eschewed. She proved herself a competent, if not really distinctive interpreter and, at least here, didn't sound like she was going to be much competition to, say, Judy Garland or Peggy Lee, even if, as in her films, she projected a gamin charm. The Hallmark reissue is a bare-bones affair with no annotations beyond the legally required songwriting credits, which are not entirely accurate. (Moose Charlap, composer of "Here I Am in Love Again," gets his name misspelled.) The sound quality is just OK, typical for a disc mastered from an old vinyl LP.

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