Doris Day

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Doris Day broke her usual recording pattern in 1960 and recorded a second album for release during the year, following What Every Girl Should Know. While other pop singers regularly turned out two or three LPs a year, Day had kept to a strict one-album-a-year schedule, while focusing primarily on her movie career. By 1960, that had made her one of Hollywood's biggest stars and largely irrelevant in the record racks. So, not only did she up her output, she also took on a prestigious project, an album of Broadway musical standards conducted by the estimable Axel Stordahl. That should have made for a disc that was a cut above Day's usual, but somehow it didn't happen. The problem was not with the material, which came from the pens of Irving Berlin, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Lerner & Loewe, and Cole Porter, and from such shows as Oklahoma!, Annie Get Your Gun, My Fair Lady, and The Sound of Music. Nor were Stordahl's sympathetic arrangements, which cast the songs in a pop context, at fault. The weak element in the project was Day herself. A perfectly agreeable and professional singer whose background was in the creamy, near-phonetic style of big band vocalists, Day arrived at the recording studio without any preparation to act out the songs in the way their lyrics called for. Whether she was proclaiming herself in love with a wonderful guy or lamenting that she'd grown accustomed to his face, she never imbued the songs with an ounce of real feeling, and these songs, especially the ones by Berlin and Rodgers & Hammerstein, demand that at a minimum. At her best, double-tracked during "Ohio," Day brought her usual sweetness to her interpretation. But most of the time she sounded like she was carefully singing the phone book.

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