The vocal quintet the Modernaires with Paula Kelly came together under bandleader Glenn Miller, singing on some of his biggest hits of the early '40s. Their career was interrupted by the 1942-1944 recording ban and Miller's enlistment in World War II, but in 1945 they launched a separate career. This 20-track compilation, the first of four chronicling their 1945-1950 recordings for Columbia, catches them at their most popular. All four of the chart hits they achieved under their own name -- "There! I've Said It Again" (heard in an alternate take), "Salute to Glenn Miller," "To Each His Own," and "Zip-a-Dee Doo-Dah" -- are included. "Salute to Glenn Miller" is a medley of four of the songs with which the Modernaires and Miller scored hits: "Moonlight Serenade," "Elmer's Tune," "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree (With Anyone Else but Me)," and "Chattanooga Choo Choo." Another tribute to Miller is that single's B-side, a remake of "Juke Box Saturday Night," a Miller hit on which the styles of other contemporary performers, such as the Ink Spots, were playfully sent up. The album includes four previously unreleased tracks: "I Can't Believe My Eyes," "I'm on the Level With You," "Livin' Western Style," and "Sweet I've Gotten on You (The Pennsylvania Dutch Song)." The quintet's creamy harmonies and good-natured performing style are on display through the tracks, including a compliment of novelty material along with the sentimental, romantic ballads. Although the entire four-volume collection is reasonably priced and worth owning, volume one is the single disc to buy for fans who want to hear the Modernaires at their commercial peak.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann