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Best of the Big Bands: Sammy Kaye

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Album Review

Here's a pure nostalgic trip down memory lane for many, as Sammy Kaye leads his syrupy big band and vocal choirs though 16 songs that reflect the overly romanticized era of the mid-1900s. The unfortunate thing about Kaye's sound is that he is drowned out by the singers and string arrangements, so you never really get to hear his faux Benny Goodman-style clarinet playing. Still, this is traditional pop/pseudo jazz at its finest, including such well-known songs as "Daddy," "We'll Meet Again," "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone," "Sweet and Lovely," "Harbor Lights," and "As Time Goes By." Perhaps not the best of the big bands in general, but some of the best from this one. It's a good CD, but for specific people with tastes yearning for the good 'ol days. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi


Born: 13 March 1910 in Lakewood, OH

Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s

Sammy Kaye's band was a textbook example of "sweet" dance bands: large groups whose arrangements seldom swung in the true sense, but were very popular among those who enjoyed overly sentimental light pop and novelty tunes. Kaye began building his reputation in college, then became a hit on radio in Cincinnati. He moved to Pittsburgh and eventually became a national staple. His radio show Sunday Serenade was a huge hit in the '40s and '50s. Kaye had many pop hits, some of them adapted for Broadway...
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