Liner Note Authors: Ruth Robinson; Milt Gabler ; Neal Hefti; Steve Allen.
Recording information: 04/29/1954-10/11/1960.
There are more complete compilations of the McGuire Sisters' music, but this 12-song, 32-minute compilation, which covers six years in their history from 1954 through 1960, is as simple and charming a body of work as you can find for the price. Perhaps it's the purity of their voices and the arrangements behind them that make this one of the few MCA CDs of the 1980s, apart from a couple of blues titles, with sound quality that still holds up at the dawn of the 21st century. It's also a good representation of the pop side of 1950s music, which isn't spoken of very often. While one would like to dismiss the McGuire Sisters as creators of pop product, they were actually extraordinary musicians, as proven here. True, "Sugartime," "Something's Gotta Give," and "He" were far from rock 'n roll. And while their version of "Sincerely" (an R&B hit by the Moonglows authored by Moonglows leader/founder Harvey Fuqua) was a world away from R&B, no one can complain about its craftsmanship or the radiance of the trio's singing. (This rendition of "Sincerely," and not the Moonglows' version, was the one that your parents or grandparents likely knew.) The McGuire Sisters' soaring vocals, like a fuller and more lyrical edition of the Andrews Sisters, are seductive to anyone able to hear them without prejudice against the genre. The programming here doesn't follow any release order except in the most general way, while offering some interesting reminders of what was going on away from the worlds of rock & roll and R&B at the time (including some restrained but prominent use of electric guitars in some of the arrangements). The liner notes feature comments from McGuire Sisters admirers like Neal Hefti. ~ Bruce Eder