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All Alone By the Telephone

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Album Review

All Alone by the Telephone pairs Polly Bergen with arranger Luther Henderson to create a deeply melancholy song cycle that explores romantic estrangement and isolation from a refreshingly adult perspective. Bergen's dusky, world-weary vocals never resort to histrionics, finding their mode of expression in restraint, not release — her thoughtful interpretations of material like "Glad to Be Unhappy," "Too Late Now," and "By Myself" strip the songs to their core, articulating their themes of loss with hard-fought maturity. Henderson's sympathetic, meticulous arrangements are no less essential to the album's uncommon sophistication.


Born: 04 July 1930 in Knoxville, TN

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Actress/singer Polly Bergen was born July 14, 1930 in Knoxville, TN, making her radio debut at the age of 14 and honing her craft on the summer stock circuit before journeying to Hollywood in 1949. She soon made her feature debut in Across the Rio Grande, quickly followed by roles in no less than three Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis comedies -- At War with the Army, That's My Boy and The Stooge. Increasing dissatisfaction with the roles coming her way prompted Bergen to walk away from a lucrative movie...
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All Alone By the Telephone, Polly Bergen
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