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When Your Old Wedding Ring Was New

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Album Review

Mary Duff starts off this album with a lovely piano and vocal version of "As Time Goes By" (familiar to all as the key song from Casablanca) that suggests that the Irish singer would make a mint as a cabaret singer. About halfway through, however, a full orchestra strikes up behind her, and continues sawing and blowing away at full tilt for the remainder of this hourlong disc. The Mantovani-style arrangements blare nonstop throughout When Your Old Wedding Ring Was New, whether Duff is singing old Tin Pan Alley standards, classic country and early rock tunes (she's particularly fond of the Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly, tackling a medley of the former's biggest hits and a really quite nice, understated take on the latter's "True Love Ways"), or Irish airs and novelties. The overblown arrangements are quite distracting, not the least because Duff has a lovely voice that she knows how to use, avoiding both the strident over-emoting and the tin-eared robotic phrasing that plague far too many singers working the book of standards. (Pre-rock songbirds like Teresa Brewer and Doris Day are the obvious point of comparison, though there's a hint of Patsy Cline as well.) A full album with Duff and a piano player, or better yet a small jazz combo, would be a much better setting for her attractive vocals.

Customer Reviews


Mary is so talented. The selections on this album are both uplifting and relaxing.


The best album from one of the best singers anytime.

when your old wedding ring was new

Saw Mary Duff live a few years back. She is charming to see, hear and interact with. A beautiful voice with a bit of Irish brogue. This album is a departure from her country sound and her duets with Daniel O'Donnell. She holds her own with standards. My favorites are 'Let There Be Peace on Earth' and 'Dream a Little Dream of Me'. Download it. You won't be sorry.


Born: Lobinstown, County Meath, Ireland

Genre: Country

Years Active:

Irish country-folk singer Mary Duff is best-known as the musical partner of popular easy listening crooner Daniel O'Donnell, but is also responsible for a rather prolific solo career of her own. Born in Lobinstown, County Meath, Duff first began performing at the age of 12 in her accordionist father's local band, and after leaving school, combined working as a secretary with fronting rock & roll covers band Jukebox. After winning a talent competition held by the Sunday World newspaper, she was introduced...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by Mary Duff

When Your Old Wedding Ring Was New, Mary Duff
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