I'll See You in My Dreams/Calamity Jane

by: Doris Day

This discount-priced two-fer combines two 10" LPs originally released in the early '50s and tied in to films starring Doris Day. At the time, Day was recording for Columbia Records and making movies for Warner Bros. Pictures, which tended to mean that there were no actual soundtrack albums from the films, though Columbia would often have her record albums containing the songs from her movie musicals. This was the case with I'll See You in My Dreams, released in December 1951. The film was a biopic of Tin Pan Alley songwriter Gus Kahn, who was played by Danny Thomas (Day played Mrs. Kahn), and Thomas also turned up on the album, singing the evergreens "Ain't We Got Fun" and "Makin' Whoopee!" with Day. She handled the rest, all of them pop standards from the pre-World War II era, accompanied by orchestra leader Paul Weston and the Norman Luboff Choir. Calamity Jane, from a November 1953 film, was a different story. This one actually was a soundtrack album. Well, half of a soundtrack album. Four of the eight tracks did come directly from the movie, but the other four were studio recordings. Nevertheless, Howard Keel, Day's co-star, actually got his own solo, "Higher Than a Hawk (Deeper Than a Well)." The film featured an all-new score by Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster, and was an oater in the tradition of Annie Get Your Gun. It was more enjoyable on film than on record, but Day did get to sing "Secret Love," which became a big hit for her. So, these two song collections don't sit particularly easily together on one CD, though Day is, as usual, unfailingly charming whether she's handling a ballad like "My Buddy" or a feisty number like "I Can Do Without You." ~ William Ruhlmann

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