The Duets

The Duets

by Frankie LaineFrankie Laine


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Released in 1994 as a precursor to Bear Family's onslaught of humongous Frankie Laine box sets, this bracingly upbeat collection documents his periodic duet collaborations with the mighty Jo Stafford, one of the few female vocalists who could stand her own ground alongside this cocky, surly-voiced pop singer. In the photo on the album cover, old Frankie looks like he's come to the realization that he is sharing the microphone with a woman who can handle anything he belts out and toss it back at him like a medicine ball. Recorded during the years 1951-1954, The Duets will appeal mostly to those who crave zippy, often corny fast paced entertainment. This element is epitomized by "A Bushel and a Peck" and the Hank Williams numbers "Hey Good Lookin'" and "Settin' the Woods on Fire." The trotting pace of "Hambone" and "Piece a Puddin" is even spunkier, and Wesley Webb West's steel guitar is brought into the fray on "Christmas Roses." Both singers' links to the jazz world are more in evidence during Hoagy Carmichael's "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening," and Laine pours himself all over "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans" and "Floatin' Down to Cotton Town," made famous during the 1930s by Fats Waller and his Rhythm. A comparatively relaxed rendition of the "Basin Street Blues" comes as a pleasant surprise, and this is a good place to point out the collective presence of a healthy contingent of jazz players such as trumpeters Ziggy Elman and Charlie Teagarden; trombonist Abe Lincoln; saxophonists Babe Russin, Eddie Miller, and Ted Nash, as well as guitarists Barney Kessel and George Van Eps. Some of this material was produced by Mitch Miller. Maybe that's why the annoying Norman Luboff Choir shows up uninvited, as it were, to add early-'50s cheese to performances that are already giddy enough for anybody's money. Most listeners will probably find the choir's grinning, somewhat deranged presence on "Let's Have a Party" to be so over-the-top as to suspend reality with all the charm of a swiftly munched fistful of Dexedrine spansules. Their overbearing delivery is the main drawback to this collection. Then again, of course, if it's subtlety you're after, you're barking up the wrong cactus with Frankie Laine.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/28/1994
Label: Bear Family
UPC: 4000127156204
catalogNumber: 15620
Rank: 227862

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Frankie Laine   Primary Artist,Vocals
Ziggy Elman   Trumpet
Babe Russin   Saxophone
Charlie Teagarden   Trumpet
George Van Eps   Guitar
Jack Marshall   Guitar
Tony Rizzi   Guitar
Conrad Gozzo   Trumpet
Harold Diner   Trombone
Nick Fatool   Snare Drums
Francis Howard   Trombone
Eddie Kusby   Trombone
Harry Lawson   Saxophone
Abe Lincoln   Saxophone
Allan Reuss   Guitar
John Ryan   Bass
George Seaberg   Trumpet
Jack Stacey   Saxophone
Alvin Stoller   Snare Drums
Fred Stulce   Saxophone
Paul Weston & His Orchestra   Vocals
Alton Hendrickson   Guitar
Jack Rose   Guitar
Theodore Nash   Saxophone
Edward Miller   Saxophone
Henry Beau   Saxophone
Leonard Hartman   Saxophone
Wesley Webb West   Guitar
Rubin Zarchy   Trumpet
Carl Fischer   Piano
William Schaefer   Trombone
Edwin Cole   Guitar
Bernard Kessel   Guitar
Allen Thompson   Trombone
Norman Luboff Choir   Choir, Chorus
Vincent Terri   Guitar

Technical Credits

Mitch Miller   Producer
Mary Lou Williams   Composer
H. Brooks   Composer
Greene   Composer
Hampton Hawes   Composer
Bob Hilliard   Composer
William Johnson   Composer
Bob Jones   Dub Mixing
Fred Rose   Composer
Red Saunders   Composer
Rudy Toombs   Composer
E. Joe Walsh   Composer
Ned Washington   Composer
Hank Williams   Composer
Peter Grendysa   Liner Notes
Alan Copeland   Composer
Dave Mann   Composer
Hoffmann Nienburg   Artwork
Richard Weize   Producer
Joachim Senkler   Illustrations
Walter Melrose   Composer
Jessie Mae Robinson   Composer
Porter Steele   Composer
Richard Dehr   Composer
Frank Miller   Composer
F. Henri Klickmann   Composer
Manfred Weissleder   Composer
Leo Moseley   Composer
George "Speedy" Krise   Composer
J. M. Robinson   Composer
Ed G. Nelson   Composer
Jack Frost   Composer

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