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This mistitled collection barely hints at the singer's original hits, and in late-career stereo remakes at that. For casual collectors her original RCA and Columbia hits are widely available on other compilations, and Shore’s official 1962 stereo remakes appear on EMI's FABULOUS HITS. This is altogether different and more special, a compilation produced by the late Rod McKuen of Shore's rarer, maturer tracks made for Reprise (1965) and for McKuen's boutique imprint Stanyan (1972). The newer arrangements are by Shore's broadcast conductor John Rodby and there are four tracks led by Jack Elliott from the Reprise BASIN ST. album.
Shore's signature Southern timbre--warm, dusky and honeyed--was still intact if more fragile in these later sessions. Her chronic pitch problems, never corrected, are discreetly minimized here, and by this point they had become a familiar and forgivable aspect of her style. Through McKuen's compilation sensibility the keeper highlight becomes Shore's choice little Johnny Mercer song cycle, two purely Deep South in origin and two very Continental. These are not otherwise collected as a program grouping in Shore's discography and give this bargain release real sleeper significance.
Shore was not exactly an accredited Mercer specialist as Jo Stafford or Eileen Farrell were, but she'd had an early jukebox hit with "Blues in the night," pitch waywardness and all, and it rightly joins the neglected "I had myself a true love" from ST. LOUIS WOMAN in Shore's Southern set. The Continental, specifically Parisian, Mercer masterpieces--two of his finest lyrics ever--are "When the world was young" and "Once upon a summertime," adapted from the French "Valse des lilas" and perfected by Blossom Dearie. It's especially apt to have Shore's familiar Nashville drawl idiomatically elongating Mercer's Savannah-bred American poesy. Would that the entire album, needless remade hits included, had indeed been a Mercer treasury--then Shore and the doting McKuen might have earned the singer's usual hyperbolic exclamation point: DINAH! SINGS MERCER!! (There is a loose cluster of choicest Johnny Mercer lyrics, jazzed up in a southerly way by Dinah Shore, on her Capitol albums SINGS SOME BLUES WITH RED [Norvo] and DINAH DOWN HOME!, smartly coupled on a great EMI twofer from 2004.)
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*SEALED* Jacket still sealed in shrink original wrap; disc sold ungraded or "as is."
NM (Near Mint) Appears unplayed and will bear no marks, sleeve scuffs, or scratches.
EX+ (Excellent) May have one or two visible imperfections (i.e. sleeve scuffs, faint scratches, or other superficial marks) that will not affect playback.
VG+ (Very Good+) A few visible imperfections. These may include sleeve scuffs, light scratches, or other superficial marks.
VG (Very Good) Similar imperfections found on VG+ records but in slightly greater numbers. Records graded VG and above will typically not have any scratches that are deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
VG- (Very Good-) A number of visible imperfections; the presence of a considerable number of light scratches will force a VG- grade, as will the presence of significant isolated defects such as scratches deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
G (Good) Record can be played without skipping, but will have significant surface noise, scratches, and visible groove wear. G+ and G- are used to indicate stronger and weaker copies within this range.
*SW/DNAP* Slight warp, does not affect playback
*QUAD* Quadraphonic Sound, similar to today’s surround sound
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