Gertrude Lawrence

Gertie

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AllMusic Review by

Naxos' out of copyright Gertrude Lawrence collection, Gertie, appears to have been constructed out of whatever 78s the label was able to round up; it's a random batch of her recordings for HMV and Decca Records in the '30s, plus one track, George Gershwin's "Maybe," for the British Columbia label in 1927. Apparently aware of the absence of some of Lawrence's best-known numbers, the compilers begin and end the set with the two parts of a medley of her "song successes" she made in 1936, including "A Cup of Coffee, a Sandwich and You" and "Someone to Watch over Me." But such signature songs as "Poor Little Rich Girl," "Parisian Pierrot," and "The Physician" are missing entirely, not to mention songs from Lady in the Dark and The King and I, which came later, in the '40s and '50s. Lawrence's acting abilities are on display in the extensive excerpts from Noël Coward's plays Private Lives and Tonight at 8:30, which also feature him. And several of Lawrence's best recorded performances are included, among them Coward's "Someday I'll Find You" and "Mad About the Boy," and Cole Porter's "Experiment." But this is more a Lawrence miscellany than a Lawrence best-of, and since the tracks are drawn from old records instead of the original masters, there is considerable surface noise, despite the "digital restoration" performed on them.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 4:30
2
feat: Claude Ivy
1:44
3 2:52
4 3:10
5
3:12
6 3:20
7
feat: Claude Ivy
3:17
8 4:50
9 4:27
10 3:04
11 2:42
12 8:56
13 4:43
14
3:02
15
3:10
16
4:02
17 4:07
blue highlight denotes track pick