Dream Along With Me
Perry Como
Dream Along With Me
Perry Como
With the Orchestras of Mitchell Ayres and Russ Case

The decade of Perry Como recordings that is covered in this album is the heart of one of the most fabulous careers in show business annals. These performances run from the rising Como of May 1945 ( If I Loved You ) to the settled, assured star heard in "Chincherinchee", recorded in September 1956. The others, spread across the years between these two dates, include some of the most enduring tunes in the repertory of popular songs sung by the man who has made a career of relaxation.

Perry had just come into his own when he made the first of these records. After six years as a vocalist with Ted Weems' band, Perry had been on the verge of going back to barbering in 1942, when he was offered a sustaining radio show of his own at $100 a week. He took it. The next year he made his first record for RCA, Goodbye Sue, and in 1945, he got his first million copy seller, 'Till the End of Time.

The knowing way in which Perry has picked his songs since then is exemplified by this cannily mixed program of evergreen standards and warmly melodic show tunes, of the well-established older songs and discerningly selected newer ones.

All of the numbers on Side One, for example, originated in the tuneful Twenties; yet they remain eternally fresh, particularly when they are given the soothing Como treatment. Al Jolson had a hand in writing Me and My Shadow but for the better part of thirty years this has been Ted Lewis' song, an unquenchable part of his routine which has given him an opportunity for some gentle kidding of his highly stylized gestures and mannerisms.

Without a Song and More Than You Know were both written by Vincent Youmans for a 1929 musical, "Great Day." This was long before the day of complete recordings of musicals with their original casts.  The stars who headed the cast of "Great Day" may well be unfamiliar to today's record collectors—they included Mayo Methot, who preceded Lauren Bacall as Mrs. Humphrey Bogart; Allan Pryor, son of a military band leader whose fame once ranked second only to that of the illustrious John Phillip Sousa; Walter Kelly, a monologist, who was better known as "The Virginia Judge"; and the comedy team of Miller and Lyles. However, Without a Song and More Than You Know were both immediate successes on record—Without a Song as a vehicle by which Paul Whitman could show off the "straight" singing potential of the young scat singer with his Rhythm Boys, Bing Crosby; More Than You Know as a frame for Helen Morgan's delicate, tragedy-edged voice.

Two years earlier, the prolific Irving Berlin had produced one of the most joyous songs ever written, Blue Skies. He had every reason to let his joy spill over into his song: he had recently married Ellin Mackay, heiress to the Postal Telegraph fortune (a notably happy and long lasting marriage), he was in the midst of one of the most fruitful periods of his long career as a songwriter, and he was well on his way to building a vast personal fortune from his songs. He was also blissfully unaware that the impending market crash of 1929 would all but wipe out both his fortune and that of his wealthy father-in-law.

Aside from Sweet Adeline, no other songs ever written capture the happily wistful, far-ago feeling of the wee small hours as completely as the two with which Perry closes his first side: My Melancholy Baby and Girl of My Dreams. As long as men have memories and as long as there are women to be remembered, the nostalgic longing in these two songs will be warm and alive.

For Side Two, Perry leans toward more recent times, leavened by the oldest song in the collection, Oh, How I Miss You Tonight, and Fats Waller's quarter-of-a-century-old cry of happy resignation, I've Got a Feeling I'm Falling. The two show tunes in this group come from the middle 1940s. They Say It's Wonderful was written by the indefatigable (and unceasingly successful) Irving Berlin for "Annie Get Your Gun" in 1946. Ethel Merman and Ray Middleton sang it in the original Broadway production but Perry makes it on his own here. If I Loved You, from Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1945 show, "Carousel," was also originally a duet, this time between John Raitt and Jan Clayton, and again Como calmly delivers the whole thing himself.

Both Chincherinchee and Dream Along with Me are 1956 recordings, which means that they come from that period in Perry's career when he had arrived as a top television star. Dream Along with Me is, of course, his TV theme. The relationship of these last two tunes with his TV show is carried out by the presence on them of The Ray Charles Singers and Mitchell Ayres' Orchestra. The association between Como and Ayres, incidentally, goes back quite a bit before Perry's current television success. When Perry recorded Me and My Shadow, Without a Song and More Than You Know back in 1951, Mitch and his orchestra were on hand to accompany him even then.

Copyright 1957, Radio Corporation of America      

Other RCA CAMDEN albums you will want to own:

* *The Magic Touch Hugo Winterhalter CAL-379 Lower Basin Street NBC's Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street CAL-321 Hawaiian Favorites Ray Kinney CAL-229 Dance with Me! Vaughn Monroe CAL-329 * Let's Have a Dance Party Buddy Morrow CAL-381 Guy Lombardo Plays Guy Lombardo CAL.255 * Dancing in the Dark Ralph Flanagan CAL-387 Make Believe (Music of Jerome Kern) Freddy Martin We Danced All Night Ray Noble Swing and Sway Sammy Kaye The Night Is Young Wayne King * *Stringin' the Standards Gene Bianco

CAL.315 CAL-380 CAL-355 CAL-358 CAL-366

* A High Fidelity Recording * * A "New Orthophonic" High Fidelity Recording @ by Radio Corporation of America. 1957

This is a High Fidelity Recording
It is distinguished by these characteristics:
1. Complete frequency range.
2. Uniform response across the record. 3 A minimum of noise and distortion.
Beware the Blunted Needle!
A blunted or chipped needle can permanently damage your most valuable records. A worn needle will impair the quality of sound reproduction you hear. Make sure your needle is in good condition before you play this Record. If in doubt, have it checked by your dealer — or buy a new needle.

Dream Along With Me ~ 1st Camden release 1957Dream Along With Me ~ Re-issue 1971

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Friday, April 07, 2023