Jackie Gleason & His Orchestra

Jackie Gleason Presents Music To Change Her Mind

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Yes, it's that Jackie Gleason credited as "presenting" the 15 lushly orchestrated pop melodies on the suggestively titled (if not directly intentioned) Music to Change Her Mind (1956). However, to what extent "The Great One" was actually involved with the creation and/or creative processes remains up for debate. By the time this long player began ascending the charts in early 1956 -- where it eventually landed in the Top Ten -- Gleason had already issued four consecutive long players that had been met with comparable popular acclaim. Although their names don't grace the original LP jacket, the efforts of top arrangers such as Pete King and George Williams, as well as the unmistakable smooth tones of lead instrumentalist Bobby Hackett (trumpet), are aurally evident. The latter's relationship with Gleason can be traced back to the 1942 film Orchestra Wives, where the pair became castmates. While comparatively anonymous, the success of the recordings resulted in Hackett being signed to an exclusivity deal by Gleason, thus preventing him from taking his talents elsewhere. The majority of this LP's material comes from a wide spectrum of standards that would most likely have been familiar to concurrent listeners. Conversely, "You're My Greatest Love" is a Gleason original carrying an additional mantle as the theme song to the landmark television series The Honeymooners, starring Gleason in the lead role of Ralph Kramden. This cozy and liberally orchestrated version is developed into a much more languid tune with Hackett's solo wafting atop the syrupy string section. The rest of the album is similarly scored with decelerated tempos and dramatically accentuated melodies. "It's the Talk of the Town," "All By Myself," and "Dancing in the Dark" stand out as strikingly different from more common renderings, as Gleason's "mood" is decidedly and overtly amorous. The 2004 CD boasts a whopping nine supplementary sides, seven of which have never been issued before. The other pair, "Autumn Leaves" and "Oo! What You Do to Me," were first available on a 1955 45 rpm single, credited to Jackie Gleason & His Orchestra.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:49
2 3:12
3 3:31
4 3:39
5 2:51
6 3:19
7 3:03
8 2:44
9 3:01
10 3:42
11 3:24
12 4:27
13 3:20
14 2:57
15 2:51
16 3:40
17
3:38
18 3:55
19 2:13
20 2:15
21 2:50
22
2:44
23 3:14
24 3:00
blue highlight denotes track pick