Dick Haymes

On the Air, Vol. 4

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The fourth volume of the Dick Haymes Society's series of aircheck recordings finds the Society's namesake entering the decline of his career. Haymes was among the most successful recording artists of the 1940s, and a radio and film star to boot. But during the 1950s, his career fell apart, due to a combination of personal problems and changes in musical taste. An expert at ballads, the smooth-voiced Haymes was ill-prepared for the trend in male singing that leaned toward melodrama in the voices of Johnnie Ray and Frankie Laine. But as this album, drawn largely from his early 1950s radio appearances (especially the 1950 Carnation Contented Hour), shows he did try to adapt himself, with some success, to the more uptempo, bravura style of the day. Maybe, if he hadn't been done in by his personal demons, he might have turned the corner the way Frank Sinatra did and regained his popularity. But that didn't happen, and even his fan club is hard put to find much material from after the early 1950s; 23 of 29 tracks here date from 1950 to 1953. Haymes gives spirited interpretations of standards by Irving Berlin, the Gershwins, Rodgers and Hart, and others, duetting with Peggy Lee on "Walkin' My Baby Back Home" and with Jane Wyman on "Zing a Little Zong" (which she had sung with Bing Crosby in the film Just for You). By rights, this album should be a minor addenda to a series of successful Haymes studio recordings from this period; instead, it's a big contribution to what little is available from this period of the singer's career.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:23
2 2:02
3 3:29
4 2:46
feat: Victor Young
6 1:25
7 2:29
8 2:29
9 1:39
10 2:59
11 2:17
12 1:45
13 1:36
14 3:17
feat: Peggy Lee
feat: Sonny Burke
18 3:49
19 1:24
20 3:00
21 1:22
22 1:50
feat: Jane Wyman
24 2:30
25 2:05
26 1:45
28 2:43
29 2:00
blue highlight denotes track pick