Rosemary Clooney

Sisters

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Despite appearances, this patchwork compilation issued by Britain's Sepia Records, an expert in unlicensed reissues of recordings that are newly out of copyright, is not a collection of duets by the Clooney Sisters. Rather, it gathers together stray solo recordings by each sister with only one track, the title song, featuring the two together. The standard story is that, after three years of touring with the Tony Pastor band in the second half of the 1940s, the Clooney Sisters broke up, with Rosemary going on to a successful solo career and Betty retiring back to the family home in Cincinnati, OH. It turns out that isn't quite true. In fact, Betty cut a half-dozen singles in the first half of the ‘50s for such labels as King, Coral, and X, and those tracks make up the first part of this disc. On them, Betty ranges from children's music to ballads, jump blues, and country & western, even doing a couple of 1955 rock & roll tunes in the company of Bill Darnell. She sounds like her sister, especially on the slow songs, but also has her own flair on the uptempo material, making it intriguing to speculate what might have happened if she hadn't largely deferred to her older sibling. Rosemary's 1955 London Palladium live album takes up the bulk of the rest of the disc, as she teases the enthusiastic audience by alluding to her recent motherhood in a performance of Cole Porter's "It's De-Lovely" and sends up her ethnic pop novelty hits like "Come On-a My House." Other tracks include a birthday song recorded for a greeting card company, and Rosemary's duet with her husband, José Ferrer, on "Mr. and Mrs." from the film Deep in My Heart. "Sisters," meanwhile, was a one-off reunion of the Clooney Sisters on a song Irving Berlin wrote for the film White Christmas, in which Rosemary appeared. It might as well have been designed for the two Clooneys to sing together, and makes a fitting close to a collection that isn't exactly what its title and artist credit would suggest, but is nevertheless a valuable addition to the Clooney family catalog.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
1:41
2
3:07
3
2:56
4
2:48
5
2:13
6
3:04
7
3:06
8
2:36
9
2:12
10
2:35
11
2:47
12
2:09
13
2:28
14 1:25
15 2:12
16 2:07
17 6:41
18
3:13
19 2:58
20
3:25
21 2:18
22 5:38
23
1:24
24 1:32
25
3:03
26
3:50
27
feat: José Ferrer
2:40
28
2:41
blue highlight denotes track pick