Dorothy Collins

Picnic: Dorothy Collins Sings Steve Allen

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While Steve Allen's legacy rests largely on his pioneering efforts in late-night television, he was also a prolific composer who reportedly authored more than 7,000 songs, among them the pop standard "This Could Be the Start of Something Big." This 1958 set from vocalist Dorothy Collins is a pleasant if occasionally pedestrian collection of Allen material, buoyed by the winsome arrangements of Jack Kane. Given Allen's renowned wit, it's no surprise that the lyrics of songs like "Banana Split" and "C'est Tres Joli" are suffused with humor, but Collins' rich vocals lack the dexterity and playfulness the material seems to demand -- Kane's feather-light arrangements help offset the disparity, but rarely does Picnic rise to the level one expects given the talent involved.

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