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Miss Bette Davis

Bette Davis

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Album Review

Bette Davis is not usually thought of as a singer, but her long career included several exceptions to that impression. In particular, in 1943 she gave a credible rendition of the comic war-related song "They're Either Too Young or Too Old" in the all-star World War II extravaganza movie Thank Your Lucky Stars, and in 1952 she starred in the Broadway musical Two's Company. In the mid-'70s, Davis, who was approaching her late sixties, accepted an invitation to cut an album for EMI Records at Abbey Road Studios in London. Producer Norman Newell and arranger/conductor Roger Webb obviously were students of her work and had an appreciation for the strengths and limitations of her voice. Not surprisingly, the album is in essence a musical précis of Davis' career. It includes a new recording of "They're Either Too Young or Too Old"; re-recordings of the two sides of her 1965 Bell Records single "Life Is a Lonely Thing"/"Mother of the Bride"; performances of songs from her films ("It Can't Be Wrong" from Now, Voyager, "I've Written a Letter to Daddy" from Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, and the title song from Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte); and a re-created dialogue excerpt from the movie classic All About Eve. The other songs have a mature, philosophical tone appropriate to the singer's age, particularly "Growing Older, Feeling Younger," contributed by Newell and Webb. Davis was not a great singer, by any means, but she could carry a tune as well as, say, Marlene Dietrich, if not better, and like Dietrich she had a distinctive, identifiable voice that allowed her to inject a heavy dose of acting into her singing. The result was a perfectly respectable recording to be treasured by her fans.

Biography

Born: 08 April 1908 in Lowell, MA

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Although she is best known as a dramatic movie actress with a career stretching 58 years and including 87 feature films, Bette Davis sang professionally on a number of occasions, these ventures including movie appearances, works for the musical stage, and recordings. Davis was born to families well connected in Boston society; her father was a patent lawyer. Her parents separated when she was seven and divorced when she was ten, and she was raised by her mother, who took jobs to support them and...
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Miss Bette Davis, Bette Davis
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