Original Soundtrack

Hollywood Canteen

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The cover of this unauthorized gray-market album containing recordings mastered directly from six movie soundtracks of the 1930s and ‘40s shows one, Hollywood Canteen, in much bigger print than the other five. That's appropriate, since the disc actually contains most of the music from that 1944 film, augmented with only one or two tracks from the others. Hollywood Canteen was an all-star extravaganza featuring a series of acts performing in the night spot created to entertain troops during World War II, and with Jimmy Dorsey & His Orchestra serving as house band for the most part, they include the Andrews Sisters, the Golden Gate Quartet, and Eddie Cantor. Roy Rogers introduces Cole Porter's "Don't Fence Me In," reprised by the Andrews Sisters, who subsequently had a hit recording of it. Some of the material is specially written to refer to the current circumstances, "Gettin' Corns for My Country" reflecting on the task of dancing with G.I.'s at the canteen and "You Can Always Tell a Yank" (lyrics by E.Y. "Yip" Harburg, music by Burton Lane) noting that a yank is someone who won't "heil a heel [i.e., Adolf Hitler]." The remaining tracks, culled from five different movies of the ‘30s, include the first performances of some standards, including "Too Marvelous for Words" and "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby." The slipshod nature of this unofficial collection, however, is indicated by the mistaken credit for "My Dancing Lady" from the film Dancing Lady. The track isn't that Jimmy McHugh/Dorothy Fields song at all; it's a combination of two songs written by Burton Lane and Harold Adamson for the picture: "Heigh-Ho, the Gang's All Here" and "Let's Go Bavarian."

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