Bea Wain is mostly remembered as Larry Clinton's girl singer, whose "My Reverie" was to become a classic from the big-band era. But she recorded a string of songs with Clinton that made the Top Ten hit list. Tired of the long road trips and the low salary, Wain left Clinton in 1938, signing up with RCA Victor. In the first of a projected multi-volume set, Baldwin Street Music released the entire output of the singer's studio recordings (from July 1939 to May 1941) backed by a studio orchestra with piano and arrangements by Walter Gross. There are also some cuts featuring Wain from the Your Hit Parade radio show. Wain's laid-back, almost casual approach to singing helps makes listening to her so enjoyable. As was the practice of the day, many of the tunes on the play list are from musicals and movies. Among the more notable are "I Didn't Know What Time It Was," "Dancing in the Dark," "Our Love Affair," and "You Made Me Love You" with Johnny Long & His Orchestra. Her "Stormy Weather" came before Lena Horne's more famous recording. Wain was also a pioneer in inserting the verse in the middle of the song after the first chorus, which gave an added fillip to her delivery. With all her talent, one can only wonder what her place in the history of American Popular Song would have been if she had started her career with Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, or Benny Goodman. This fine album honors an exceptional singer from the big-band days and beyond. As always, the label has done a fine job in transferring the material to CD.
AllMusic Review by Dave Nathan