The second volume of 1940s material from the Victor vaults picks up America's pop music story right as World War II was coming to a close. The big bands had largely been decimated, but still ruled the roost with much greater emphasis on vocals than before. Of the 20 tracks used for this collection, only five (Erskine Hawkins' "Tippin' In," and Hal McIntyre's "Sentimental Journey," Tony Martin's "There's No Tomorrow," Tex Beneke's "St. Louis Blues March," and Dizzy Gillespie's "Night in Tunisia") are instrumentals. But the shift toward the singer (or singers) in the band brought a wide range of material to the pop charts, as exemplified by Desi Arnaz's "Babalu," Vaughn Monroe's "Ballerina," Louis Prima's "Civilization," Freddy Martin's "Managua, Nicaragua," Count Basie's take on "Open the Door, Richard," and Spike Jones' manic novelty featuring Red Ingle, "Chloe." The end of the war also brought the first inklings of crossover material onto the charts, most notably in the form of "Peg of My Heart" by the Three Suns and country singer Eddy Arnold's first hit, "Anytime." Although the rise of rock & roll was still a few years away from fruition, there was obviously a change underway in pop music as it opened its door to new sounds and styles.
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AllMusic Review by Cub Koda