Doris Day

Doris Day's Sentimental Journey

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Probably nobody knew when Columbia Records released Doris Day's Sentimental Journey in 1965 that it would be her last album of new material (not counting The Love Album, which she recorded in 1967 but which went unreleased until 1995). The singer was only in her early forties, after all, and if she hadn't sold many records lately, she remained a big movie star and her record contract had a while to run. Nevertheless, if she had to have a swan song, this was the right one. Day began her career as a big band singer with Les Brown in the 1940s, and this collection brought her full circle, presenting 11 songs copyrighted between 1940 and 1945 that were hits either for Brown or his competitors. Day, of course, knew the material backwards and forwards, and she sang it with complete assurance, as well as with a mature sensibility that savored the dreamy sentiments and the long-lined melodies. She seemed to take particular pleasure in claiming songs associated with other female singers of the era, making her own such standards as "I Had the Craziest Dream," "I Don't Want to Walk Without You," and "I Remember You" (all of which were hits for Harry James as sung by Helen Forrest), as well as "I'm Beginning to See the Light" and "It's Been a Long, Long Time" (James hits sung by Kitty Kallen) and "It Could Happen to You" (a hit for Jo Stafford). No doubt she had occasion to perform many of these songs on the Brown bandstand. The proceedings ended appropriately with her big Brown hit, "Sentimental Journey," the song that really launched her career and that, here, essentially closed out one aspect of it.

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