Various Artists

Hooray for Hollywood [Legacy]

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This entry in Legacy's series of Joe Franklin Presents... albums delves into the Sony archives (and particularly the Brunswick Records catalog) for 12 tracks tied to the movies, even though these are not soundtrack recordings. A chronological sampler covering 22 years from the 1930s to the '50s, the collection includes some much anthologized material from the likes of Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, and Judy Garland, along with performances not heard as often on compilations, such as Martha Raye's version of "You'll Have to Swing It (Mr. Paganini)." Raye actually introduced the song in Rhythm on the Range, but Ella Fitzgerald's scat-singing cover is much better remembered. Of course, 12 tracks hardly constitute a history of the golden era of movie musicals, but Franklin isn't after that. As he makes clear in the hidden 13th track while reminiscing about each of the performers, "The King of Nostalgia," as he calls himself, is interested in stirring pleasant memories for his listeners. And those who know the radio and TV host probably will be stirred by this modest collection.

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