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The Best of the War Years

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Album Review

The Best of the War Years is a misleading title for this CD, which doesn't contain Dinah Shore's most famous and essential recordings of World War II. Such a collection would include her hit versions of "I'll Walk Alone" and "Blues in the Night," neither of which are provided. But while The Best of the War Years isn't really a best-of, it is a consistently enjoyable collection of rarities from the '40s, a decade in which Shore (along with Peggy Lee, Jo Stafford, Doris Day, and Lena Horne) was among the female vocalists who defined jazz-influenced pop singing. When Cleopatra assembled this collection for its Stardust label in 2001, it turned to various sources. Many of the recordings are from Shore's popular radio show of the '40s, while others are V-disc recordings. During World War II — and for several years after the U.S. declared victory over the fascist governments that had been plaguing Germany and Japan — V-discs were 78s that were shipped overseas for the enjoyment of American servicemen. Shore was among the many pop stars who participated in the government-run, Pentagon-approved V-disc program, and this CD contains her military recordings of "I Can't Believe You're in Love With Me," "I Fall in Love Too Easily," and "It's De-lovely." Those are appealing examples of her sentimental, vulnerable approach, as are radio performances of "Someone to Watch Over Me" and "I've Got You Under My Skin." Again, The Best of the War Years isn't really a best-of, and listeners who are seeking a dose of Introductory Dinah 101 would be better off with a collection of her essential hits. But those who consider themselves collectors and hardcore fans will find a lot to admire about this CD.


Born: 01 March 1917 in Winchester, TN

Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

One of America's most popular entertainers long after her mid-'40s commercial peak, Dinah Shore was the first major vocalist to break away from the big-band format and begin a solo-billed career. During the '40s, she recorded several of the decade's biggest singles -- "Buttons and Bows," "The Gypsy," and "I'll Walk Alone" -- all of which spent more than a month at number one on the Hit Parade. After launching a television variety series in 1951, Shore appeared on one program or another, with few...
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The Best of the War Years, Dinah Shore
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