Shirley Jones / Jack Cassidy

With Love from Hollywood

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After their 1956 marriage, movie musical star Shirley Jones and stage musical star Jack Cassidy recorded a duet album of operetta songs, Speaking of Love, and a studio-cast album of Brigadoon for Columbia Records in 1957. In 1959, they returned to Columbia for With Love From Hollywood, a companion piece to Speaking of Love in which they revived songs from Hollywood movies released between 1934 and 1948, songs written by Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin, George & Ira Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Ted Koehler, Johnny Mercer, Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hammerstein, and Rodgers & Hart. If they had posed successfully as a new version of Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald on their previous LP, here they made like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, with equally satisfying results. That isn't to say they copied such performers; rather, they brought powerful musical identities of their own to standards like "Cheek to Cheek," "Let's Face the Music and Dance," "Long Ago (And Far Away)," and "Nice Work if You Can Get It." Jones, who had a history with Rodgers & Hammerstein, beautifully interpreted their "It Might as Well Be Spring" from State Fair as a solo, while Cassidy on his own had fun with Porter's "Nina" from the underrated score to The Pirate. If Percy Faith's charts for Speaking of Love had emphasized the art-house aspects of the operetta songs, here Frank DeVol treated the songs for what they were, movie songs, employing alternately playful and lushly sentimental string-filled arrangements. The result was a wonderful collection of movie songs.

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