Bing Crosby

Road to Hollywood, Vol. 1

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The Italian Great Movie Themes label's Bing Crosby title Road to Hollywood, Vol. 1 presents vintage recordings of songs associated with some of Crosby's earliest feature film appearances, starting with 1930's The King of Jazz, a movie musical revue starring bandleader Paul Whiteman, for whom Crosby worked in the vocal trio the Rhythm Boys at the time. As the legend on the front cover of the album states, these are "original recordings," but they are not, as one might suppose, soundtrack recordings. Rather, they are studio recordings made by Whiteman for Columbia Records, in the case of the first eight tracks, while tracks 9-16 were made by Crosby for Brunswick Records. Thus, Crosby musical performances from the films that were not also recorded in the studio (such as "Music Hath Charms" and "Mississippi Mud" in The King of Jazz) are not included; on the other hand, Whiteman recordings that do not feature Crosby at all, such as "It Happened in Monterey," with a vocal by John Fulton, and "Ragamuffin Romeo," sung by Jeanie Lang, are included. The Rhythm Boys numbers have a 1920s hot jazz appeal, and Crosby's hit recordings of such songs as "Dinah" (with the Mills Brothers) and "Please," while somewhat histrionic, are early favorites of his catalog. But the packaging gives the clear impression that the album consists of soundtrack recordings when it does not.

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