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The Prettiest Girl In School

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Album Review

From the perspective of modern-day audiences, Anthony Perkins is so inextricably tied to his performance as Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock's seminal Psycho that it's virtually impossible to accept a collection like The Prettiest Girl in School at face value — one can't help but imagine that the winsome lass of the title is in fact Perkins himself, all dolled up in mother's wig and frock. This 27-track compilation spanning Perkins' brief but prolific tenure with Epic is nevertheless assembled with the El label's usual attention to detail and presentation, and even if Perkins isn't much of a singer in any conventional sense, there's a time capsule charm to the material — songs like "First Romance," "When School Starts Again," and "Just Being of Age" capture eloquently the essence of postwar-era puppy love, bolstered by lush, melodramatic arrangements from studio giants like Marty Paich and Frank DeVol.


Born: 04 April 1932

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Though Tony Perkins was only one of many film and television stars making records during the late '50s and early '60s, few others took a similar route. Instead of the usual, light pop/rock angled at the teen market, Perkins' LPs during 1957-1958 cast him as an equally sensitive jazz singer, more Chet Baker than Ricky Nelson. Born in 1932 the son of an actor, Perkins decided by his teenage years to pursue acting as well. Early work on the stage preceded a brief stint in Hollywood, though he soon headed...
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