Debbie Reynolds

The Best of Debbie Reynolds

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The Best of Debbie Reynolds Review

by William Ruhlmann

It certainly would be possible to conceive a more comprehensive collection of the highlights of Debbie Reynolds' recording career than this 11-track, 31-minute budget-priced album. But as of 1991, much of Reynolds' catalog was long out of print, and Curb Records was to be commended for licensing her biggest hits from the archives of MGM, Coral, and Dot. That's right, these are, as advertised, the original recordings of "Aba Daba Honeymoon" (number three, 1951) and "Tammy" (number one, 1957), plus Reynolds' two other Top 40 records, "A Very Special Love" and "Am I That Easy to Forget?." The rest of the disc is filled out with other singles and LP tracks from her late-‘50s and early-‘60s stint on Dot, which tried to make her an adult pop star on her albums, singing standards, and a sort of answer to Connie Francis on her 45s. Of course, this was a brief period in the career of an entertainer best known for her movie musical appearances -- notably in Singin' in the Rain and The Unsinkable Molly Brown -- as well as her stage work, such as her starring role in the 1973 Broadway revival of Irene. None of that is accounted for here, which suggests what a more comprehensive collection might include. But her pop singles hits are here, just as they were heard several decades ago. (Typical of the rudimentary character of the collection is the consistent misspelling of the name of Carleton Carpenter, Reynolds' duet partner on "Aba Daba Honeymoon," throughout the packaging.)

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