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Try a Little Tenderness

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Customer Reviews

Some superb material

In addition to the obvious vocals by Val Rosing - a competent though often overlooked English vocalist of the 30's - the recordings on this CD contain some first-rate sides by stellar British dance bands of the early 1930's. The New Mayfair Dance Orchestra (house band of the Gramophone Company and at its peak in 1933) is heard on the opening track, and Rosing sings with Henry Hall's BBC Dance Orchestra on "Help Yourself to Happiness." While the lyrical content of the latter may come across as rather hokey, the song itself is remarkably atmospheric and instantly brings images of the time and place to mind. "Wonderful You" and "You're Driving Me Crazy" are also outstanding, though the album would benefit substantially from the inclusion of more Henry Hall BBC material - in particular, the splendid Hall/Rosing version of "It's Just The Time For Dancing," the first dance number broadcast from the BBC's new Portland Place building in 1932.

Classic Crooner with a Bit of Swing

Rosing is best known as the singer on "Teddy Bears Picnic" and other songs that he recorded with the BBC Dance Orchestra led by Henry Hall, and this CD will be of most interest to fans of British Dance Band Music. The Hall orchestra did indeed have amazing arrangements and talented players. But Rosing sang with many of Britain's top orchestras, as well as his own band, the Radio Rhythm Rascals. Of particular note is the first recorded version of "Try A Little Tenderness," sung with the Ray Noble Orchestra. One way or another, Rosing was attracted to strong material - or it was attracted to him. Unfortunately, the iTunes preview never gets to the vocal on this song, as the band plays through a entire verse and bridge before Rosing sings. Take it from me, Rosing delivers, although he's 180 degrees away from Otis Redding's classic version. Rosing has a strong but old-fashioned high tenor voice with a prominent vibrato that is in keeping with his era. He seems to bring complete sincerity to each performance, without over-singing. On the small combo numbers such as "Sweet Sue," "Dinah," and "You Are My Lucky Star," you can hear influences of Django in the band - they really swing! Guitarist Len Fillis plays lovely Hawaiian guitar lines, while Rosing scats along, apparently inspired by the great baritone of the 1930s, Bing Crosby. Rosing left the UK for America in the late 1930s and changed his name to Gilbert Russell. There is one song included from his American career. He sings a Jello pudding commercial in a excerpt from the Meridith Wilson TV show, probably from the mid-1950s. By then he was singing opera and Broadway and his voice had deepened. With 24 songs songs culled from more than 100 sides that Rosing recorded in the 1930s, the material on this collection is mostly very strong. If your interest in Rosing goes beyond the "Teddy Bears Picnic," buy the full CD.

Try a Little Tenderness, Val Rosing
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Vocal, Music, Jazz
  • Released: Jan 02, 1932

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