Personnel includes: Rosemary Clooney, George Morgan (vocals); Buddy Cole & His Orchestra; Percy Faith & His Orchestra; Mitch Miller & His Orchestra;
Frank Comstock & The Mellomen; The Tunesmiths.
Following the lead of frequent duet partner Bing Crosby and the enormous success of Patti Page's "The Tennessee Waltz," Rosemary Clooney recorded many country crossovers during the early '50s, a few of which became hits. Though her normal singing style rarely betrayed her roots, Clooney was in fact a native Kentuckian who'd spent much time in front of the radio while growing up -- her home lay in easy broadcast range of Nashville's Grand Ole Opry and Chicago's WLS Barn Dance. Except for three songs, every title on Country Rose was recorded after Page's enormous success in 1950 with "The Tennessee Waltz." Columbia A&R head Mitch Miller was never averse to capitalizing on pop trends (to say the least), and he quickly rushed Clooney into the studio with a self-directed orchestra to record her on a similarly multi-tracked item called "Beautiful Brown Eyes." Ernest Tubb it wasn't, but the song did become her first big hit as a solo act. Clooney succeeded on several occasions in conveying an intriguing blend of country and pop, most often without an orchestra in tow. Four of the best here are duets with George Morgan (Mr. "Candy Kisses"), including an unreleased nugget of fiddle-led swing called "Grapevine Swing." Clooney also shines on Jimmie Davis' "Nobody's Darling But Mine" and Hank Williams' "Half as Much," but turns in a curiously subdued version of "You Are My Sunshine" with an unlikely bunch of collaborators: Gene Autry, Carl Smith, Don Cherry, and the Collins Kids. ~ John Bush