Dick Haymes

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This Audiophile CD combines two Dick Haymes sessions made under the direction of Loonis McGlohon. The first was done in October 1976 and the second in May 1978 when Haymes was almost 60. (The latter turned out to be his final visit to a recording studio before his death in 1980.) And unlikely as it seems, his voice was at its strongest on the later date. The 1978 session was one of the most fulfilling of a recording career which started in the 1940s with Harry James when he replaced Frank Sinatra, who had moved to Tommy Dorsey's band. Along with Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, he was one of the most popular male crooners of the 1940s and 1950s. Recurring public personal difficulties eventually became a drag on his career. This album features songs that Haymes was associated with over that career, plus songs he just felt he wanted to do for this album. There's "Little White Lies," added to a Decca record in 1947 as an afterthought and which became one of Haymes' biggest hits. The album also offers a medley of songs from the movie State Fair, including "It Might as Well Be Spring" and "That's for Me." While these were big sellers for Haymes, he did not introduce them in that 1945 film. The former was dubbed by Louanne Hogan for Jeanne Crain. Vivian Blaine sang the second. The second category of melodies is represented by "That's All," written by Dick's brother Bob Haymes and the memorable Jimmy Van Heusen/Johnny Burke tune "Here's that Rainy Day." The length of each performance reflects Haymes' professional roots in the 78-rpm days. Most of the tunes are done in under 2½ minutes. Bravo! There are some current-day male singers who would do well to emulate this time-management technique. Arguably the finest singer of ballads to grace the popular song scene, with the possible exception of Johnny Hartman, this album is a testimonial to a very unique talent and to a singing style that has practically become extinct.

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