04/5/2012 11:56 am  #1

''The Best Years Of Our Lives''


and ''THE BELLS OF ST MARY'S'' are given more or less equal prominence of the front of the cover, but it seems that the intended main title is the first.

A bit of an odd one this. Bing, together with Ingrid Bergman and Joan Carroll, are given prominence on the cover, on the strength of the inclusion of the radio dramatization of ''The Bells of St Mary's'' of 26 August 1946, which runs for 24 minutes and includes the songs ''In the Land Of Beginning Again'', ''Aren't You Glad You're You'' and ''The Bells of St Mary's''

Bing's other appearances on the disc are ''I Can't Begin To Tell You'' and ''Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive''.

The rest includes Vaughan Monroe, Dick Haymes, Helen Forrest, Doris Day, Judy Garland, Dinah Shore, Kitty Kallen and Frank Sinatra, Sammy Kaye and Tony Pastor.

The Sub title is ''The Most Popular Songs of 1945'' but this is not quite true. All hits certainly but the implication is that we have the top 16, which we do not.  ''Chickery Chick'' with Sammy Kaye did get briefly to the top but I suspect was quickly forgotten.

Audio quality varies from acceptable for the period to to sub standard.  'I can't Begin To Tell You' strikes me as sub standard. There are no sleeve notes and whilst the artist credits are given, writers are not listed and there is no recording information.

Many with an interest in the period will probably have at least some of the tracks, but worth getting if you need the radio version of ''The Bells Of St Mary's''. 17 tracks in all.


05/5/2012 6:40 am  #2


10/5/2012 2:20 am  #3

Re: ''The Best Years Of Our Lives''

That's a colourful cover on the CD and turning attention to 1945, it was a great year for Bing's records in Australia. Twenty-one of his songs reached the charts here and he had a top-rating song every month except January and October, according to David Kent's exhaustive research. His nearest rival was Vera Lynn. Because of the delays in the release of records and movies in Australia at the time, we need to look at our top songs of 1945 and 1946 to see how they compare with the list of the 'most popular songs' on this CD. Those which are common to both are ' My dreams are getting better all the time', 'Accent-tchu-ate the positive', 'Rum and Coca Cola', 'On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe', 'I can't begin to tell you', 'It's been a long, long time', I'm beginning to see the light' and 'Dream'. As you can see, Bing's songs are well represented. THE BELLS OF ST MARY'S didn't reach our cinemas until October 1946 although Bing's record (backed by 'I'll take you home again Kathleen') was pressed here in June and became the best-selling of Bing's 1946 releases. The top songs in Australia in those two years were Bing's 'Don't fence me in'' (1945) and 'Symphony' (1946). Bing Crosby was definitely 'top of the pops' here.


09/6/2012 3:41 am  #4

Re: ''The Best Years Of Our Lives''

I like the radio version of  Bells of St. Mary's which I have on an LP, though including a radio dramatization as one of the examples of a year's hit songs sounds rather bizarre.  It does include the title song as the school song, as Bing sang it in the movie, not as the love song as it appeared on his record. Though I have come to learn that the love song version preceded the movie, the movie version is the real song to me.

To see examples of Bing's work in period compilations always pleases me.  I fear that he is omitted too often when he ought to be included.


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