If there was a more powerful vocalist than Betty Hutton in the big band era, it is a well-kept secret. The Best of the RCA Years is a collection of 15 of her dynamic vocal pieces from the '40s. Hutton's passion for these pop songs and for her craft is abundant. Even the most casual listeners will hear her smiling as she belts out these romantic and tongue-in-cheek ditties. The highlight is her rendition of "Murder, He Says." A video of a live performance of this song was featured on an HBO documentary of the '40s and World War II. Bob Hope, emcee of the concert, joked that the U.S.A. should have harnessed Hutton's energy as a secret weapon against the axis powers. Indeed, such energy might have done the trick. This is a great CD that will appeal to fans of the big band era.
AllMusic Review by Jim Brenholts