From the Vault...


Sammy Kaye
"Swing And Sway With Sammy Kaye: 21 Of His Greatest Hits"

© Collector's Choice Music/ Year of Release: 1998

track listing
  • Daddy
  • Penny Serenade
  • I Left My Heart
    At The
    Stage Door Canteen
  • Sooner Or Later
    (You're Gonna Be
    Comin' Around)
  • That's My Desire
  • The Old Lamp-Lighter
  • I'm A Big Girl Now
  • Chickery Chick
  • Until Tomorrow
    (Goodnight My Love)
  • An Apple
    Blossom Wedding
  • It Might As Well
    Be Spring
  • Serenade Of The Bells
  • Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah
  • There Goes That
    Song Again
  • Careless Hands
  • The Four Winds And
    The Seven Seas
  • Room Full Of Roses
  • Roses
  • Baby It's Cold Outside
  • It Isn't Fair
  • Harbor Lights

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    Sammy Kaye
    "Swing And Sway With Sammy Kaye: 21 Of His Greatest Hits"

    1940's Big Band music inclued many popular band leaders. One of them was Sammy Kaye, who, like his fellow colleage popular bandleaders, had a handful of #1 hits. Collector's Choice Music released 21 songs from his career, Swing And Sway With Sammy Kaye: 21 Of His Greatest Hits in 1998. For those discovering what music was like before Elvis and The Beatles, Big Band Music has always been entertaining, relaxing, and with easy-to-listen lyrics; no one can scratch their heads trying to figure out the lyrics, and/or cringe on any loud, distracting music and noise.

    Of the 21 songs contained in this compilation, 5 went to #1, from 1941-1950: "Daddy" (1941), "Chickery Chick" (1945), "I'm A Big Girl Now," "The Old Lamp-Lighter" (1946), "Harbor Lights" (1950). And, such as his fellow bandleader colleages, Sammy Kaye would feature vocalists in his songs -- referring to the 5 #1 tunes -- The Kaye Choir, [Nancy Norman, Billy Williams and the Kaye Choir], Betty Barclay, Billy Williams, Tony Alamo.

    Another popular singer whom Sammy Kaye fronted was Don Cornell, who would have a successful solo career on his own. His vocal style was similar to that of Sinatra's, with popular songs such as "I Left My Heart At The Stage Door Canteen," "An Apple Blossom Wedding" and most notably (the Sinatra sounding) "That's My Desire."

    Billy Williams was another vocalist, and his popular tunes included "It Might As Well Be Spring," and the #1 "The Old Lamp-Lighter," as well as others in this compilation.

    "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" would be a Disney classic, as The Three Kaydets and Chorus provided the vocal and harmonies. Surprisingly, Sammy Kaye worked successfully with having a steel guitar in "Careless Hands," which would later become more popular in Country music. A big band with a steel guitar was definitely different back then, at the time. Another instrument used in Kaye's songs were the chimes. They are heard on vocalist Tony Alamo's "The Four Winds And The Seven Seas," likewise Billy Williams' "The Old Lamp-Lighter."

    The steel guitar returns on Don Cornell's "Room Full Of Roses," a song that was written by one of the Sons of the Pioneers, Tim Spencer. And this tune does have a very early Country vocal sound (as in Gene Autry), along with the steel guitar. Mixing all of this with the big band sound, Sammy Kaye experimented with a sound that would later become more famous in what we now know as Country Music. Tim Spencer also co-wrote "Roses," another early-Country vocal-styled song.

    The typical big-band sound returns with the duo of Don Cornell and Laura Leslie on "Baby, It's Cold Outside," which was a very popular song recorded by many male-female duos; another duo was Johnny Mercer and Margaret Whiting. Don Cornell's voice is booming on "It Isn't Fair," another great easy-listening/big-band tune, as his vocal style would be compared to future early-1950s artists, such as Al Martino, Jerry Vale and other "almost operatic" styled vocalists.

    An excellent compilation, Sammy Kaye's music defines one of the best bandleaders of the 1940s and early 1950s. Along with his fellow colleages, such as Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, his music was far popular and equal to those who were just as popular as he was. Kaye also experimented with a new instruent, the steel guitar, as some of the songs on this compilation has a more Country sound, mixed with the big-band sound. Kaye may have been ahead of his time in this department, yet still, his music is truly enjoyable and relaxing to listen to.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Collector's Choice Music/BMG and is used for reference purposes only.

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    Aerosmith--Get A Grip
    Next Review: #815
    Michael Bolton--Time, Love And Tenderness