Sings the Movies (Gidget Goes Hawaiian)

by: James Darren

The dozen tracks on James Darren's second long-player, Sings the Movies (Gidget Goes Hawaiian) (1961) are derived from not only Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961), but other silver screen offerings as well. The variety of musical settings is a welcome change from the MOR pop standards that comprised Album No. 1 (1959). While that platter was lauded by Darren's teenybopper fans, it failed to spotlight him in a manner that would befit his image. Rather, it was a relatively reserved affair, not unlike that of Frank Sinatra. However, as a majority of his contributions were one-off sides, there is a notably less than methodical feel to it. Opening the effort is the title composition to the aforementioned Gidget Goes Hawaiian. The mid-tempo tune is augmented with the appropriate woozy Hawaiian slack key guitar introduction and copious use of ukuleles. Another danceable cut, "Wild About That Girl" is also included from the movie. Since the vast majority of Darren's motion picture appearances had not featured him as a vocalist, but rather as an actor, the other cinematic sides on Sings the Movies (Gidget Goes Hawaiian) are taken from tinsel town "classics" such as the affective "Hand in Hand" from the film of the same name, or the fully orchestrated ballad "You Are My Dream" off of the 1001 Arabian Nights animated flick that starred none other than Mr. Magoo in an adaptation of Don Quixote -- which was scripted, incidentally, by one Aldous Huxley. Darren's ability to bring a distinguished dramatic quality to his interpretations proves to be his forte, as each of the numbers are both independently compelling, and in the context of what is by all outward appearances a hastily compiled aggregate. ~ Lindsay Planer

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.