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Fascinating Jane Morgan: The Day The Rains Came - Her 57 Finest 1956-1962

RTS4314
£10.99

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Florence Catherine Currier (born 1924), known the world over as “Jane Morgan” may only have achieved one Top Ten hit either side of the Atlantic (The Day The Rains Came – UK No.1 & Fascination – US No.7), but she was acknowledged as one of the supreme vocal stylists in popular music. With her strong, clear voice, warm and generous, always used with sensitivity to the meaning of a song (she trained as a lyric soprano opera singer), she gave peerless interpretations of so many of the evergreens of the Great American Songbook that her lack of ‘hits’ hardly matters. Retrospective’s survey does include all those she did have, but mostly concentrates on presenting the cream of the many superior albums with which she graced Kapp’s catalogue for eight years from the mid-50s to early 60s – she was the ‘album artist’ par excellence. To these individual songs are added two complete albums covering specific genres: the Latin-American Jane In Spain and the delightfully folksy Ballads Of Lady Jane.

The 57 varieties selected here for The Day The Rains Came will, we trust, demonstrate to today’s listeners that, over half a century ago, Jane Morgan was one of the truly great popular vocal artists of her time . . . long may she ‘rain’!

Fascinating Jane Morgan: The Day The Rains Came - Her 57 Finest 1956-1962

Reviews

There’s a delightfully light, lush and verdant quality to The Day the Rains Came, Jane Morgan’s only No.1 UK hit, which was an English-language translation of the original French song Le jour où la pluie viendra, which she also sings, symmetrically, as the first and last items in this twofer. Born in 1924 and still with us at the time of writing Florence Currier came from an accomplished classical music family – her father was a cellist with the Boston Symphony and her mother was a fine pianist. She began by studying opera but funded her fees singing popular songs in nightclubs, though her break came when she was taken to sing in Paris in 1948. She also changed her name.

The recordings here cover the years 1956-62. They start with a series of singles and include the albums Jane in Spain and The Ballads of Lady Jane. Those early tracks show her with the Troubadors and thus include her highest placed American hit, Fascination. But it’s a song like Jule Styne and Sammy Chan’s It’s Been A Long, Long Time that better reveals her superior technique, languorous style and ease of delivery. This, when added to the elegant charm and local colour of Arriverderci, Roma – with its searing, soaring strings – vitalised arrangements no end. It also shows her mixing musical genres and styles and utilising her linguistic skills. Things such as the double-tracked Everybody Loves a Lover do, however, perhaps also show that gimmickry was always a concern in the later 1950s.

They sound excellent here and there’s always the advantage of Ray Crick’s sleeve notes. Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb-International