GNP Crescendo's release of The Radio Years, Vols. 1-2 in 1987 (the volumes were available separately or together) wasn't the debut of these mid-'50s recordings, but for the first time master discs from Crosby's own collection were used, resulting in clear performances and, for the most part, excellent quality. Informal and gently swinging on most of the selections (a natural considering the high novelty content on his shows), Crosby shines on favorites such as "Singin' in the Rain," "Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes," "Young at Heart," and many others. About half feature special guests, and these are the most rewarding: Connee Boswell and a Dixieland band for "That's a Plenty," brother Gary on a special version of "Moonlight Bay," Dick Powell for "Lullaby of Broadway," plus the Andrews Sisters, Rosemary Clooney, and even Lauren Bacall.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by John Bush