As of January 1, 2003, all recordings made through the end of 1952 were in the public domain in Europe, where copyright extends only 50 years. The British Living Era label has lost little time taking advantage of that circumstance to assemble this Rosemary Clooney compilation out of transfers from old vinyl discs, with a couple of the tracks recorded as late as December 9, 1952 ("Haven't Got a Worry" and "Lovely Weather for Ducks" from the film The Stars Are Singing, in which Clooney appeared). The cut-off date, however, means that necessarily the CD consists of Clooney's early solo recordings, which means her debut chart single, 1951's "You're Just in Love" (a duet with Guy Mitchell) and subsequent early-‘50s hits "Beautiful Brown Eyes," "Come On-a My House," "Mixed Emotions," "I Wish I Wuz," "Be My Life's Companion," "Tenderly," "Half as Much," "Botch-A-Me (Ba-Ba-Baciami Piccina)," "Too Old to Cut the Mustard" (with Marlene Dietrich), "Blues in the Night," "The Night Before Christmas Song" (with Gene Autry), and "You'll Never Know" (accompanied by Harry James' trumpet), but not, for some reason, the minor chart entries "I'm Waiting Just for You" and "If Teardrops Were Pennies." Also included are children's songs ("Me and My Teddy Bear," four numbers from the Walt Disney version of Alice in Wonderland), and other novelties and genre exercises. The set even reaches back to 1947 for one of Clooney's songs from her tenure with bandleader Tony Pastor, "Grieving for You." In this early blush of her commercial success, the singer sometimes got access to quality material, but she was also at the mercy of Columbia Records A&R director Mitch Miller, who got hits for her that she was reluctant ever to sing again. This collection mixes things up. The sound is good considering the secondary sources.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
feat: Gene Autry