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Merry Christmas - Doris Day

Merry Christmas - Doris Day

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The Magic of Christmas
Christmas from Oxford

Ref: CDG1172

23 tracks 65 min
Click here to preview trk 1

'One of the most eloquently expressive singers of all time'. A seasonal programme, focused on recordings from Doris Day's early years. She brings freshness, honesty and sheer good nature to these perennial favourites. 'Nobody can make me believe what I don't feel. I always show exactly how I feel. I am what I am.'

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1. The Christmas song Torme/Wells
2. .Sentimental journey Brown/Homer/Green
3. I got the sun in the morning Berlin
4. Just you, just me Greer/Klages
5. Powder your face with sunshine Rochinski/Lombardo
6. Someone like you Warren/Blane
7. He's home for a little while Goell/Shapiro
8. Day by day Cahn/Styne
9. In the moon mist Lawrence
10. The whole world is singing my song Curtis/Mizzy
11. Three at a table for two Johnson/Gottler
12. It's magic Styne/Cahn
13. I'd rather be with you Comstock/Alfred
14. We'll be together again Fischer/Laine
15. My dreams are getting better all the time Curtis/Mizzy
16. Light your lamp Wyle/Pola
17. Papa, won't you dance with me Styne/Cahn
18. All through the day Kern/Robin/Hammerstein 11
19. Singin' in the rain Freed/Brown
20. The very thought of you Noble
21. 'S wonderful Gershwin/Gershwin
22. A red kiss on a blue letter Evans/Lang
23. Enjoy yourself (it's later than you think) Sigman/Magidson

CCL CDG1172
Image: Doris Day, All Rights Reserved, The Movie Store Collection
This compilation P & C 2006 Classical Communications Ltd
Programme notes by Martin Moritz
Made in Great Britain

'One of the most eloquently expressive singers of all time'

One, perhaps, might be a little surprised to discover that the singer in question is, in fact, Doris Day. We probably still think of her as either the sweet, freckle-faced 'girl next door' or as the adult tomboy that 'Calamity Jane' became. To reinforce these personae, there were either the big, romantic ballads or the catchy, bouncy numbers, both of which Doris seemed to commandeer in the 1950s and 60s. However, let us return to the opening quote. It was made by Les Brown, the noted bandleader, who gave Doris her earliest and biggest boost. And someone even more famous than Les Brown, none other than Bob Hope, cites Doris as one of two ladies with the most natural talent. The other, by the way, is Judy Garland. Now, that is praise indeed! It is praise totally warranted, for Doris Day remains one of the most stylish and sensitive interpreters in popular music.

In the summer of 1940, Doris joined Les Brown's Band of Renown. The respected music journalist George T. Simon commented at the time: 'For combined looks and voice, she has no apparent equal. She sings with much natural feeling and in tune'. In 1944, Doris recorded Sentimental Journey. For Les Brown this was 'a coming of age': 'When she joined us, she just sang the notes. But then she began paying more attention to the lyrics, and, of course, by the time we recorded 'Sentimental Journey', she had discovered how to really sell a song'. This yearning ballad and the intimate way she sang it made Doris and the song instant favourites with lonely, far-flung GIs. The recording topped the U.S. charts and sold over a million copies. In 1946, aged 22, Doris launched her solo career.

Her first stint was at Billy Reed's Little Club in New York. Doris already had her sights set on bigger vistas: 'Working as a single (artist) is just wonderful, but I just can't wait to go to Hollywood. I hope I'll be able to get into radio and movies out there'. Within a few months, she had achieved both wishes appearing with Bob Hope and then Frank Sinatra on the influential 'Hit Parade' radio show as well as starring in her first film. Romance on the High Seas, or, to give it its more familiar British title It's Magic, was an instant success. A sparkling, romantic musical set on an ocean voyage, it was directed by the demanding and unyielding Michael Curtiz. Doris survived this 'baptism by fire' and Curtiz, prophetically, commented 'You have very strong personality. No matter what part you play, it will always be you. This will make you big important star'. The quote is verbatim and typical of Curtiz, a native Hungarian whose English remained fractured even after many years in Hollywood! Doris would eventually co-star with such leading men as Kirk Douglas, Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Rex Harrison, Gordon MacRae, Ronald Reagan, James Stewart (in her sole Hitchcock outing) and, famously, with Rock Hudson. She herself would later reflect that 'movie acting came to me with greater ease than anything else I had ever done'.

For this exclusive programme, we have concentrated on recordings from Doris Day's early years and have taken the theme of late autumn and early winter leading up to the festive season, reflected in songs which are, by turn, either warm and sentimental or sunny and lively. She brings freshness, honesty and sheer good-naturedness to these perennial favourites. Her total commitment can be best summed up in her own words: 'Nobody can make me believe what I don't feel. I always show exactly how I feel. I am what I am'.


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