Songwriters Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) and Lorenz Hart (1895-1943) are the honorees celebrated in this anthology of 23 historic recordings that was released by Pearl Flapper in 1992. Focusing upon a time period from 1926-1940, this nostalgic collection features cabaret singers, movie stars, and pop vocalists who were active in London and New York between the two world wars. The lineup, in addition to orchestras led by Carroll Gibbons, Ray Sinatra and Paul Whiteman, includes Jeanette Macdonald, Rudy Valleé, Frances Langford, Al Jolson, Helen Kane, Edythe Baker, Phyllis Dare, Helen Morgan, Chick Endor, Ray Heatherton, Shirley Ross, Jack Whiting, Gloria Grafton, Dorothy Dickson & the Gilt-Edged Four, Leslie Arthur Julien Hutchinson (popularly known in England as Hutch), Vienna-born Greta Keller, gangster's moll Ruth Etting, and gloriously elegant Adelaide Hall, famous for her work with Duke Ellington in the '20s and lastingly popular in England and Scandinavia during the second half of her very long life. While jazzier Rodgers & Hart compilations can and do illustrate the influence that their songbook had upon modern improvisers, these straightforward, old-fashioned performances accurately demonstrate what the tunes sounded like when presented in their authentic original settings. It's a good way to learn the songs, and a fabulous introduction to 18 stars of stage and screen, some of whom might otherwise have eluded detection by all but the most diligent delvers into the golden shadows of Tin Pan Alley.
AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf