In 1954, Kitty Kallen was voted the Most Popular Female singer in the U.S. by Billboard magazine and Variety polls, primarily on the strength of her one big hit, "Little Things Mean a Lot." Prior to that, she spent her time working in the big bands of Jimmy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, and, especially, Harry James where she followed Helen Forrest. This album is a selection of cuts from those big-band days where Kallen was strictly in the role of girl singer who came on in between the band's first and third choruses. A couple of tunes from her comeback in the early 1960s are also included. The first track is rather an oddity. From "The Dave Garroway Radio Show," Garroway has Kallen singing three different endings to "I've Got a Crush on You" to illustrate her ability to "improvise." Kallen had a sweet, girlish voice with a limited range, but her pretty voice fit well with such James recordings of that time like "I Wish I Knew." By the time the 1960s came along, the voice was lower and more sultry, sounding at times like Julie London. Her rendition of "Moonglow," using a Manny Albam arrangement, is one of her better efforts from this period of her career. Perhaps, however, Kallen is remembered most for being interrupted on a June 6, 1944, national radio broadcast from New York's Hotel Astor announcing the invasion of Europe by the Allied Forces. Appropriately, the tune she was singing at the time was named "In Times Like These," which is the last track on this compilation.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Nathan