Singin' In The Rain - The Songs of Nacio Herb Brown: His 27 Finest 1927-1951

A unique collection that presents the 27 finest numbers created by one of the greatest of all movie songwriters, Nacio Herb Brown (1896-1964), with a galaxy of great stars. Mostly setting the lyrics of musical movie producer Arthur Freed, Brown has left a legacy of many great songs that have stood the test of time. Singin’ In The Rain, his most famous song, gives the title to Retrospective’s collation of all his most successful numbers – every one of them a familiar family favourite. It also opens (with the original, Cliff Edwards) and closes (with Gene Kelly) the whole sequence. The earliest recording is the 1927 The Doll Dance from Nat Shilkret and the latest – apart from Gene Kelly – Frank Sinatra’s 1950 Should I? In between are You Were Meant For Me, Paradise, Temptation, All I Do Is Dream Of You, You Are My Lucky Star, You Stepped Out Of A Dream… all from the same pen!
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Nacio Herb Brown (1896-1964), born Ignacio Herbert Brown in Deming, New Mexico, is best known as the composer of the classic “Singin’ in the Rain,” a song for which he wrote the music in 1929 with lyricist Arthur Freed for the M-G-M film, The Hollywood Revue of 1929, in which it was first performed by Cliff “Ukulele Ike” Edwards, whose recording opens the Retrospective CD. The song was later reprised in the 1952 M-G-M film, Singin’ in the Rain, in which Gene Kelly immortalized the song, which closes the CD. Retrospective, in this fine anthology, has gathered both vocalized and instrumental selections, many of which were #1 hits of the day, from Brown’s catalog that remind us of just what a fine composer he was. The 27 tracks on the CD are not always taken from the soundtracks of the films the songs originated in, but include records made by standout vocalists of the era. There are far too many great tracks in the collection to single out. Ray Crick, who compiled the set and wrote the informative liner notes, has stated in an email, “With Nacio Herb Brown there was no shortage of first class material, and I hope the CD will open people’s ears to just how many great numbers he left us, and just how these vintage recordings can still give such pleasure.” n any case, it should not be forgotten that “Singin’ in the Rain” was written in 1929, the year the great Depression began. This cheery, bouncing, frolic of a song made the world smile. In the testing times of this early 21st century, Brown’s music is a welcome relief. May we all “sing in the rain!” Reviewed by Lawrence Schulman ARSC Journal

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