Although this disc is part of Conifer's "Movie Star" series, Rudy Vallée wasn't much of a movie star, at least as a singer. Following his decade of success in the 1930s as a recording artist and radio personality, he developed into a comic character actor in the 1940s. Nor, for the most part, are the selections here connected with Vallée films, though some are: "I'm a Vagabond Lover," which he sang in his movie debut, The Vagabond Lover; "Nasty Man," from George White's Scandals; and "A Stranger In Paree," "The Latin Quarter," and "I Wanna Go Back to Bali," from Gold Diggers In Paris. (We might also include "Flying Down to Rio" and "Orchids In the Moonlight," which are from the film Flying Down to Rio, and "Goodnight, My Love," from Stowaway, even though Vallée wasn't in them.) Otherwise, there are a few of Vallée's signature songs, such as "The Whiffenpoof Song," "The Drunkard Song," and "Vieni, Vieni"; a few songs from Broadway musicals, "Sing for Your Supper" and "This Can't Be Love" (a duet with Frances Langford) from the Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart show The Boys From Syracuse, and "Ha-Cha-Cha" from Jerome Kern's The Cat and the Fiddle; and, nodding to the source of this album, a couple of tracks recorded in England, as well as a few miscellaneous tracks. That adds up to 18 cuts in 55 minutes, all drawn from Vallée's peak period of 1929-38. It's not a greatest-hits collection by any means, but it does show off Vallée's engagingly lighthearted manner, which as usual offsets his admittedly modest talent as a singer.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
feat: Gentlemen Songsters
feat: Frances Langford