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Essential Musicals: Singin' in the Rain

Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds & Donald O' Connor

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Album Review

The movie musical Singin' in the Rain is set in the early days of talking pictures, which provides the excuse to employ a song score full of vintage numbers from the 1920s, many of them written by Nacio Herb Brown (lyrics) and Arthur Freed (music), and most of them (seven of the nine selections on this soundtrack album) sung by the film's star, Gene Kelly. These include the title song, a highlight, "You Were Meant for Me," "You Are My Lucky Star," and "All I Do Is Dream of You." Two new songs have been written for the picture, the tongue-twister "Moses" ("Moses/Supposes/His toeses/Are roses"), set to an anachronistic swing arrangement, and Donald O'Connor's showcase, "Make ‘Em Laugh," which sounds like a rewritten version of Cole Porter's "Be a Clown," from the 1948 film The Pirate, released by the same movie studio. Twenty-year-old Debbie Reynolds disappears into the female chorus on her version of "All I Do Is Dream of You," but holds her own against her male co-stars in "Good Morning." The album succeeds in reinventing some old favorites that are also copyrights owned by the studio, especially "Singin' in the Rain" itself.

Biography

Born: 23 August 1912 in Pittsburgh, PA

Genre: Soundtrack

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

Gene Kelly was never very popular as a singer, even though he did cut records and was seen in movie roles in which he sang — rather, it was his work onscreen as a dancer, choreographer, and director that allowed him to exert a key influence over the popularity of certain song catalogs in the mid-20th century. Showing an early aptitude in both gymnastics and dance, Eugene Curran Kelly, as he was named at birth, had devoured, by his early teens, everything he could about dance in general and...
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Essential Musicals: Singin' in the Rain, Gene Kelly
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