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The Vintage Radio Shows

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Album Review

This delightful compilation is, in many ways, the perfect complement to EMI's four-CD Noël Coward compilation The Master's Voice, assembling the original casts (usually including Coward) from Noël Coward's theater works dating between 1929 and 1950. The range of material is unique, and includes the 1929 operetta Bitter-Sweet, which was Coward's personal favorite among all of his works. But the Franz Lehár-like strains pouring forth from Peggy Wood, Georges Metaxa, and Ivy St. Heller seems a long way from the sounds with which Coward came to be associated. Cavalcade features Coward in a breathtakingly beautiful performance of "Lover of My Dreams" and "Twentieth Century Blues." Conversation Piece featured Coward with Yvonne Printemps, Heather Thatcher, George Sanders, Maya Nugent, and Louis Hayward. Disc Two is devoted entirely to Coward's 1950 show Ace of Clubs, and offers enough diversity and charm within that framework to have carried the release on its own. The sound is surprisingly good on even the earliest material, and the annotation is very thorough.

Biography

Born: 16 December 1899 in Teddington, Middlesex, England

Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '10s, '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

A multi-talented Renaissance man of the 20th century, Noël Coward worked primarily as a playwright, actor, songwriter, and singer, but his creative activities also included the writing of fiction and poetry; producing and directing for the stage, film, and television; and nightclub entertaining and recording. Across a career spanning six decades, he was remarkably successful at these various pursuits, moving from one to the other with seeming ease, even when he was wearing several different hats...
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The Vintage Radio Shows, Noël Coward
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