Various Artists

The History of Pop Radio, Vol. 15: 1944 [TIM]

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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann

This is the fifth disc in the German box set The History of Pop Radio, Vol. 2: 1940-1951. Its release is made possible by the short European copyright, which seems to cut off after 50 years, allowing anyone to compile recordings without obtaining permission or paying royalties. Here, that means The International Music Company is free to use recordings originally issued on such labels as Decca, Columbia, and RCA Victor. It has done so in a slipshod manner. Despite the 1944 date in the title, the tracks range from Dick Haymes' "I Never Mention Your Name," which hit the U.S. charts in September 1943, to Benny Goodman's "Symphony" (here credited to singer Liza Morrow), which charted in December 1945. Eight other U.S. chart entries are included, as well as covers of songs that were chart hits for other artists whose versions are not heard here, such as "I'll Be Seeing You," a 1944 U.S. chart hit in versions by Bing Crosby and Tommy Dorsey, here rendered by British singer Anne Shelton. The performances range in style from swing and pop to jump blues, jazz, and country-tinged, giving a broad sense of popular music in the early to mid-'40s. The muffled sound of the transfers from old 78s, the idiosyncratic choice of tracks (probably conditioned by what was in someone's record collection), the random sequencing, the lack of annotations, the chronology problems, and the crediting of several tracks to their singers rather than their bandleaders all prevent this set from being a respectable compilation of the music of 1944. But it does cover the bases on World War II pop music, however haphazardly. [Note that "I'll Be with You," performed by Jo Stafford, is the song better known as "[I'll Be With You] In Apple Blossom Time."]

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Charlie Barnet 03:01 Amazon
2 The Ink Spots 03:18 Amazon
3 Frank Sinatra 02:55 Amazon
4 Tommy Dorsey 03:12 Amazon
5 Adelaide Hall 02:54 Amazon
6 Ella Fitzgerald / The Ink Spots 03:18 Amazon
7 Dick Haymes 03:07 Amazon
8 Louis Jordan 02:43 Amazon
9 Judy Garland / Johnny Mercer 02:35 Amazon
10 Anne Shelton 03:05 Amazon
11 Carl Grayson 02:57 Amazon
12 Joya Sherrill 03:12 Amazon
13 Carmen Mastren / Ray McKinley 03:06 Amazon
14 Doris Day 03:11 Amazon
15 Liza Morrow 03:07 Amazon
16 Wynonie Harris 02:58 Amazon
17 Nat King Cole 02:18 Amazon
18 Sarah Vaughan 02:27 Amazon
19 The Pied Pipers 02:59 Amazon
20 Jo Stafford 03:04 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick