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Here's to Romance

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Album Review

Crooner Buddy Clark helped to establish the dependable and reassuring conventions of the early to middle 20th century pop vocal, distinguishing himself as a contemporary of Bing Crosby, Gene Austin, Rudy Vallée, and Al Bowlly while preparing ground for the successes of Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Vic Damone, Steve Lawrence, and Dean Martin. Released in 2005, Here's to Romance is Living Era's 26-track survey of the all-too-brief recording career of Buddy Clark. This outstanding portrait album, which covers a 15-year stretch, finds Clark working with orchestras led by Benny Goodman, Johnny Hodges, Mitchell Ayers, Freddy Martin, Lud Gluskin, Nat Brandywynne, Ray Noble, Xavier Cugat, Earle Hagen, Ted Dale, and Dick Jones. Clark is heard in duets with Doris Day and Dinah Shore, pop singers who seem to have been perfectly suited to his tone and delivery. Dinah Shore and the Charioteers are also heard on "Now Is the Hour," a choral pop arrangement of a Maori farewell song which was recorded only a month before Clark's death in the wreck of a twin engine Cessna airplane on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles on October 1, 1949. Once again, Living Era has come up with a superbly constructed tribute to a great if somewhat overlooked artist. Here's to Romance weighs in with the very best Buddy Clark collections ever made available to the public.


Born: 26 July 1912 in Kenosha, WI

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '30s, '40s

Buddy Clark was one of the most popular male vocalists of the 1930s and '40s, a success on radio, in movies, and on record -- had he lived longer, in the estimation of pop music scholar John P. Cooper, Clark might easily have been a rival to Perry Como or Dean Martin in post-war America. A fixture on the airwaves for his first decade-and-a-half as a singer, Clark didn't hit his commercial stride until the end of the '40s, with more than a dozen hits in scarcely two years -- when his life was tragically...
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Here's to Romance, Buddy Clark
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