The 33rd volume of Jonzo Records' series of albums presenting the commercial recordings of Bing Crosby in chronological order is dominated by his studio versions of the songs featured in the motion picture Holiday Inn, and in particular, by one of those songs, "White Christmas," which became his signature song and arguably the most popular song of all time. There are 23 different songs on the 26-track disc (three alternate takes are included), and ten of them are associated with the movie musical, all written by Irving Berlin, eight especially for the film. ("Lazy" and "Easter Parade" were vintage Berlin compositions; "You're Easy to Dance With," "I Can't Tell a Lie," and the dance number "Let's Say It With Firecrackers," also written for the film and performed in it by Fred Astaire, were not recorded by Crosby and are not included here.) "White Christmas," in its initially released "B" take and a slightly different alternate "A" take, may actually be less familiar than would be supposed, since Crosby re-recorded the song in 1947 because the master was getting worn out, and the 1947 version is the one in greater circulation. The rest of Berlin's score is also worthy, particularly the comic "I'll Capture Your Heart," in which Crosby and Astaire square off over Margaret Lenhart, and the romantic ballad "Be Careful, It's My Heart." The non-Holiday Inn material here ranges from minor efforts by Crosby's resident songwriting team of Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen to a Dixieland cover of country star Ernest Tubb's "Walking the Floor Over You," a set of Christmas hymns, and a solo Crosby version of the title song from the Crosby/Bob Hope "road" picture Road to Morocco that features a different set of lyrics from those sung by Hope and Crosby in the film. Still, this is the volume in the series for fans of Holiday Inn and "White Christmas."
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann