Songs from the Girl Singer: A Musical Autobiography
It's been a long, and, periodically, strange trip for Rosemary Clooney, the "girl singer" who matured into the premier vocalist of classic American song. The love affairs, career shakeups, and mental breakdowns are detailed in Clooney's GIRL SINGER: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. For examples of Clooney's glorious vocal art, turn to GIRL SINGER: SONGS FROM AN AUTOBIORAPHY, a double-CD set that touches on high points from her six-decade career. Not a greatest-hits collection, GIRL SINGER acts more as a well- selected resume mixing Clooney gems ("Tenderly," "Blue Rose" from a collaboration with the Duke Ellington band, "How Will I Remember You"); chart successes ("Come-on-a My House," "Hey There,"); rare material ("Ya Got Class," a radio duet with Bob Hope; an unreleased "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep"); and duets with Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, sister Betty Clooney, and her hilariously vocally impaired ex-husband, Jose Ferrer. On Disc Two, there are various stellar performances from the 1970s through the 90s, when Clooney took a more jazz-oriented route ("Route 66" with its spirited round of solos from Scott Hamilton, Warren Vache and Bucky Pizzarelli," "Do You Miss New York," "Love Is Here to Stay," "Fools Rush In"). The joy of GIRL SINGER is the privileged look we get at an artist maturing gracefully, suiting her vocal abilities to a song, taking in the full measure of a lyric. Clooney sounds lovely on the 1946 performance of "Sooner or Later" -- on the 1998 "Secret of Life" she sounds lovely and wise.