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16 Biggest Hits: Rosemary Clooney

Rosemary Clooney

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Album Review

Rosemary Clooney launched a solo career on the eventual Sony-owned Columbia Records label in 1950 after splitting with her sister Betty and the Tony Pastor Orchestra, and she racked up a series of hits before departing for RCA Victor in 1957, at which time her commercial success declined. 16 Biggest Hits contains 11 of her 16 biggest hits from this period, including her four number one singles, "Come on-a My House," "Half as Much," "Hey There," and "This Ole House." The five missing titles are the Top Ten hits "Beautiful Brown Eyes" and "The Night Before Christmas Song," the Top 20 hits "Be My Life's Companion" and "Too Old to Cut the Mustard," and the Top 40 hit "I'm Waiting Just for You." In their place, the compilers have substituted "Sisters," a duet between Clooney and her sister on an Irving Berlin song from her film White Christmas that was a Top 40 hit; "The House of Singing Bamboo," a duet with Guy Mitchell; "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening," an Academy Award-winning song, on which Clooney is accompanied by Harry James and His Orchestra; "Sophisticated Lady" from Blue Rose, Clooney's album with Duke Ellington and His Orchestra; and a version of Cole Porter's "From This Moment On" that has not been released previously in the U.S. These are not unreasonable alternates to the missing songs, and 16 Biggest Hits manages a good balance between Clooney's popular novelty material and her more impressive ballad performances.

Biography

Born: 23 May 1928 in Maysville, KY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Before the rock & roll revolution, Rosemary Clooney was one of the most popular female singers in America, rising to superstardom during the golden age of adult pop. Like many of her peers in the so-called "girl singer" movement — Doris Day, Kay Starr, Peggy Lee, Patti Page, et al. — Clooney's style was grounded in jazz, particularly big-band swing. She wasn't an improviser or a technical virtuoso, and lacked the training to stand on an equal footing with the greatest true jazz singers....
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