Eddie Fisher

Makin' Whoopee

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Nowhere in the packaging of this CD, released by the British reissue label Jasmine Records, is the source of the material revealed, other than to state that Eddie Fisher is presented "live" "in performance." So, it is left to the reviewer to point out that the disc consists of audio excerpts drawn from Fisher's 1950s television series Coke Time, circa 1956. The show was a 15-minute program usually broadcast live twice a week, in which Fisher would trade banter with sidekick Freddy Robbins (as he does here, though Robbins' name is not mentioned in the credits) as a means of introducing some thematic selection of familiar song standards that he would sing over the accompaniment of Axel Stordahl & His Orchestra, followed by applause from the studio audience. Here, for example, on tracks eight, nine, and ten, as a run-up to the 1955 Academy Awards ceremony (which took placed on March 21, 1956), he sings all of the nominees for best song, an appropriate follow-up to his 1955 LP Eddie Fisher Sings Academy Award Winning Songs. In fact, the entire disc could be called an appropriate follow-up in the sense that Fisher did not release a new LP in 1956, and this collection helps fill that gap. He also does a clutch of songs relating to the weather (tracks 15-18), allowing him to cover "Blue Skies" and "Stormy Weather," among others. What he does not do, for the most part, is sing his hits, although the disc begins with "Lady of Spain" and includes "Heart." Rather, this is the sound of Eddie Fisher attempting to move beyond his teen idol days to become more of a well-rounded musical entertainer in the Sinatra mold. That he did not succeed entirely may be put down, at least in part, to changing times; his rendition of "I Don't Care If the Sun Don't Shine" in the weather medley inevitably calls to mind Elvis Presley, who succeeded him as a teen idol and as the flagship artist on RCA Victor Records with a very different style, as reflected in his version of the same song, recorded around the same time. In terms of musical style (if not always copyright date), these 1956 recordings could have been made in 1945; Fisher looked backward to an earlier time just as the future was arriving, even on TV.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:21
2 2:12
3 1:57
4 1:51
5 3:13
6 2:27
7 2:56
8 2:09
9 4:55
10 4:46
11 1:57
12 1:55
13 1:42
14 2:32
15 1:38
16 4:27
17 2:35
18 2:20
19 2:03
20 2:12
21 1:29
22 2:06
23 1:44
24 2:52
25 3:18
26 1:44
blue highlight denotes track pick