Going Hollywood, Vol. 4: 1944-1949

by: Bing Crosby

The fourth volume of British reissue label Jasmine's Going Hollywood series of Bing Crosby albums, like its predecessors, traces Crosby's appearances in films by assembling a combination of actual soundtrack excerpts of his song performances and studio recordings (originally issued by Decca) of songs featured in the pictures. (Generally, Crosby would go into the recording studio shortly before the release of one of his movies and cut versions of most of the songs he sang in it.) Compilation producer Geoff Milne does not offer explanations for why he chose to use a studio or soundtrack recording (of the 54 selections, 29 are soundtrack versions, 24 are studio versions, and one is a radio aircheck), but in some cases the decision is obvious; 11 tracks feature songs for which Crosby never made a commercial studio recording. In other cases, Milne may have opted for a studio recording when a soundtrack performance was incomplete or partially obscured by dialogue, but sometimes he retains a dialogue-ridden selection such as "That Old Black Magic" from Here Come the Waves. (There was really no choice here, however. Crosby's only commercial recording of the song was not made until 1976.) Milne manages to include selections from 11 films on two packed CDs by occasional editing and omissions. Lead-off track "Moonlight Becomes You," which ought to run over three minutes, is clipped to 1:48, and a few minor songs are missing. But he also adds some interesting material, including four performances recorded for but deleted from the films and the aforementioned aircheck, "For What?," an amusing duet with Bob Hope intended for Road to Rio. The result is another excellent distillation of Crosby's film-associated musical performances that should delight collectors. ~ William Ruhlmann

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