In addition to being an omnipresence during the golden age of television in the early '50s, Jackie Gleason also released a string of best selling albums featuring lush and romantically titled easy listening instrumentals for Capitol Records. On this CD version of the number five charting Jackie Gleason Presents Music to Remember Her, the original 16-track long-player is augmented with five additional songs including tracks from a rare 45, as well as one which remained previously unreleased. The ambiguous "presents" from the title might indicate the extent to which "the great one" had with the actual sounds on this release. However, the original album jacket -- which is reproduced inside the four-panel liner notes booklet -- proclaims "Gleason a gifted songwriter and conductor." Indeed, his composition "Marilyn" is included among the album's motif of songs named after girls. As so far as his skills with a baton, we'll just have to take their word for it. On a musical level, "Dinah," "Stella By Starlight," and "Tangerine" are actually quite sensitive, and are by far the least pretentious sounds on this disc. However, some tracks -- "Sweet Sue, Just You" and "Charmaine" -- end up sounding dated and overtly campy in the process, which could be one of the influences accounting for the unpredicted resurgence in the popularity of easy listening music from the '50s and early '60s, especially among those who were not even alive at the time. The bonus material includes "Mickey" and "It Happened In Monterey" -- leftovers from the Collectors' Choice Music reissue of Music for Lovers Only. "Mystery Street" and "Golden Violins" were initially issued on a single dating back to November of 1953. The final bonus track -- "If You Were The Only Girl" -- has never been issued anywhere before.
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AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer