In 1962, flush with the success of Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Ray Charles signed one of his favorite singers, Little Jimmy Scott, to his Tangerine label with the purpose of supervising an album of ballads. He hired a pair of genial arrangers, Gerald Wilson and Marty Paich (both of whom had recently written charts for Charles), and requested them to aim for the soft strings and muted horns of classic Frank Sinatra performances recorded with ballad masters Axel Stordahl or Gordon Jenkins. With Charles himself offering sensitive interplay on his piano, Falling in Love Is Wonderful is Scott's best single LP -- charming in its earnest feeling, deeply pained as a set of torch songs -- and ranks with his "Everybody Plays the Fool" single as the best work of his career. Nothing here gets in the way of Scott's pure, angelic voice; he captures, like none other than Sinatra himself, a range of love-struck emotions, from the sheepish depression of "Why Try to Change Me" to the restrained hopefulness of "Someone to Watch Over Me." He's in the best voice of his career, holding his tight vibrato perfectly for as long as needed and making either his high or low register sound like the only natural choice on every occasion. In one of the great tragedies of recorded music, however, his former boss, Herman Lubinsky of Savoy, claimed that he still owned Scott's contract, and under threat of legal suit, the record was removed from the shelves less than a month after release. A prime collector's item for over 40 years, Falling in Love Is Wonderful finally earned a limited re-release in 2003 thanks to the boutique label Rhino Handmade.
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AllMusic Review by John Bush