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Songs from 'By the Light of the Silvery Moon' and Other Selections

Gordon MacRae & June Hutton

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Album Review

The 1953 film musical By the Light of the Silvery Moon starred Gordon MacRae and Doris Day, but MacRae was contracted as a recording artist to Capitol Records, while Day recorded exclusively for Columbia, making a soundtrack album impossible. Instead, each singer made an album of the movie's songs separately. Day did the material solo, while MacRae was paired with a substitute female singer who was under contract to Capitol, June Hutton. (Hutton, formerly a member of the Pied Pipers, was married to conductor Axel Stordahl, who led the orchestra on the recording.) The picture was set in the post-World War I era, and the song score consisted entirely of period Tin Pan Alley hits like "Ain't We Got Fun," "If You Were the Only Girl," and the title tune. The MacRae/Hutton LP was a 10" disc with only eight tracks (which meant that several songs heard in the film — "King Chanticleer," "Meet Me In St. Louis, Louis," "Your Eyes Have Told Me So," and "Moonlight Bay" — were not included). But MacRae and Hutton proved a felicitous matching, making this a satisfying, if ersatz, version of a movie souvenir. By 2004, the long out of print LP had entered the public domain in Europe, where copyright on recordings extends only 50 years. That enabled Sepia Records in Great Britain to put out this unlicensed edition, which, to bring the length up to standard CD expectations, vastly expands the track listing. After the eight selections from the original album, the disc continues with no less than 19 bonus tracks, all solo recordings of the era by either MacRae or Hutton. Hence the title, which does describe the contents: Songs from By the Light of the Silvery Moon & Other Selections. MacRae is impressive on such standards as "Just One More Chance" (an early Bing Crosby signature song) and "I Don't Want to Walk Without You." The lesser-known Hutton makes do with lesser-known material, generally, though she does a good job with "The Song from Moulin Rouge" (aka "Where Is Your Heart?"). Her songs "Say You're Mine Again," "No Stone Unturned," and "For the First Time (In a Long Time)," included here, had some chart action in the U.S. in 1953 and 1954, and "Say You're Mine Again" hit the Top Ten in the U.K.

Biography

Born: 12 March 1931 in East Orange, NJ

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '40s, '50s

With his handsome boy-next-door looks, deep baritone, and glorious smile, Gordon MacRae found success as a recording artist, film actor, and television and radio personality. He recorded for Capitol Records for more than two decades, and starred in two of the most popular musicals of the 1950s, the movie versions of Richard...
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Songs from 'By the Light of the Silvery Moon' and Other Selections, Gordon MacRae
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  • £7.99
  • Genres: Soundtrack, Music
  • Released: 06 September 2004

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