Gene Austin

Restless Heart

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The most popular singer of the late '20s recorded practically nothing between the late '40s and '50s until an NBC-TV telecast of The Gene Austin Story brought him back into the limelight. A song he performed on that program, "Too Late," even dented the pop charts and gave him his final chart hit. The album Restless Heart followed later that year to capitalize on Austin's sudden television popularity as he made the rounds of variety shows and continued to tour. Although "Too Late" is not included on Restless Heart, the album features a dozen new recordings and several songs Austin wrote. Recording methods had improved but Austin's style is largely intact; in general, none of the songs would sound out of place if transported back to the '20s or '30s. The arrangements allow a few "modern" touches to creep in, as with the electric guitar on "Restless Heart," but nothing to offend the older television audience who remembered Austin from his heyday. Austin remains a fine vocalist on a set that includes "There's a New Blue Heaven in the Sky," a sequel to his 1927 hit "My Blue Heaven."