Cuttin' Capers/Bright and Shiny

by: Doris Day

This discount-priced two-fer combines two up-tempo Doris Day albums from the late '50s and early '60s. The discs were not released sequentially; 1959's Cuttin' Capers was followed by two 1960 releases, What Every Girl Should Know and Show Time, before Bright and Shiny appeared in 1961. But the two albums share a sprightly tone. The theme of Bright and Shiny is happy songs -- "I Want to Be Happy," "Happy Talk" -- while Cuttin' Capers is even more frolicsome. There are songs that were newly written at the time, such as the scene-setting "Cuttin' Capers," which leads things off, and "Twinkle and Shine," the title song from Day's reissued 1961 film (the first time around in 1959 it had been called It Happened to Jane), which closed the disc, but for the most part the songs are drawn from the Great American Songbook, dating back to the mid-'20s for tunes like "I'm Sitting on Top of the World" and "I Want to Be Happy" (both songs Day had sung in films in the '50s) and as recent as the late '40s for "Steppin' out With My Baby" from the 1948 film Easter Parade and "Happy Talk" from the 1949 musical South Pacific. The material and the arrangements are well chosen for a singer who was better at conveying contentment than turmoil. Of course, Day was always on an even keel, and though she gamely joins in on the celebration like the professional she is, she never gets deliriously happy. Like the screen persona she was developing at the same time in her comedies with Rock Hudson, she is friendly and even sexy, but wholesome and down to earth. These albums were not big sellers in their initial releases, but they hold up well 40-plus years later. ~ William Ruhlmann

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