Various Artists

Hit Parade 1946

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With Perry Como and Dinah Shore as the lead-off artists, this volume of Dynamic Entertainment's Hit Parade series is a reminder (to those too young to remember) that the swing era was over. Not that Shore, in particular, in the accompaniment on "You Keep Coming Back Like a Song," doesn't use some remnants of sweet band sounds of the previous decade. But with the exceptions of Stan Kenton and Alvino Ray, there's hardly a jazz outfit showcased on this CD, which is representative of its time -- big band was old hat, and bebop wasn't aiming for popularity. Les Brown, Xavier Cugat, Sammy Kaye, and Frankie Carle comprise the large ensembles here, with finely crafted dance music. And juxtaposed with top singing talent -- Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra were as big as ever -- the effect of this CD is as seductive as it is musically unambitious. "Diabolical" is how one may refer to this disc, for its sheer allure in the absence of any truly groundbreaking musical statements. It should also be noted that this is one of the "whitest" collections in this series, the only African-American performers represented being the Ink Spots and the Nat King Cole Trio. With the end of the Second World War, most of the public seemed to be looking for breathing room, in their music as with everything else, as the country sorted itself out and figured out where it was and people worked out where they wanted to be. Light pop and novelty tunes were the answer, and as this CD reminds us, there were plenty of artists who excelled at each, or both (as in the case of Dick Haymes and Helen Forrest with "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows"). The sound is excellent, and the graphics are cool, even if there is no annotation.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
3:27 Spotify
2:23 Spotify
3 2:51 Spotify
4 2:49 Spotify
2:59 Spotify
3:07 Spotify
8 2:52 Spotify
9 3:08 Spotify
3:05 Spotify
2:50 Spotify
3:03 Spotify
13 2:34 Spotify
2:45 Spotify
3:06 Spotify
16 3:08 Spotify
17 2:48 Spotify
2:40 Spotify
19 3:01 Spotify
2:57 Spotify
21 3:02 Spotify
22 3:03 Spotify
2:14 Spotify
24 3:10 Spotify
2:52 Spotify
blue highlight denotes track pick