Collectors' Choice performed a service to Bing Crosby fans with the release of On the Sentimental Side. Recorded in 1962 as a standalone LP, it was never released, although savvy fans eventually sussed out its existence and lobbied long and hard for its appearance. The original program was supposed to highlight Crosby's long familiarity with the songs of his childhood; since he was born in 1903, this includes everything from the Gay 1890s through the heyday of Broadway. Since it's presented in medley form, Bing spins through two dozen songs, going deep into the standards playbook -- such as it existed in the pre-war era (pre-World War I, that is). Anyone fluent in the best of the sheet-music days will find a favorite among these: "My Bonnie," "The Band Played On," "In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree," "A Bird in a Gilded Cage," "The Sidewalks of New York," "Beautiful Dreamer," and "Did You Ever See a Dream Walking." One caveat: the backing chorus makes this quite the singalong set, sometimes resembling the type of Mitch Miller Sing Along with Mitch outing that was a love-it-or-hate-it proposition for fans of vocal music. Bonus tracks to the program include a few sides recorded for Crosby's radio show that fit this concept, including "Because," "Love's Old Sweet Song," and "Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral."
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AllMusic Review by John Bush