Collectables Records

Harry Babbit Best of Harry Babbitt (with Kay Kyser And His Orchestra)

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Best of Harry Babbitt (with Kay Kyser And His
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Rating 4.0
7 ratings
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Item:  COL 7589
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CD Details

  • Compiled & Produced By: Dan Rivard
  • Digital Audio Restoration: Ken Robertson
  • Liner Notes: Gary Theroux
  • Released: March 14, 2006
  • Originally Released: 2005
  • Label: Collectables Records

Description by OLDIES.com:

Every year during the heart of the Great Band Era (1939-1943), Billboard Magazine asked college students to rate the leading male big band singers. The guy who ranked fourth in every survey was smooth, warmhearted Harry Babbitt. His high baritone graced dozens of Kay Kyser classics, from "Three Little Fishes" and "Jingle Jangle Jingle" to "White Cliffs Of Dover" and "On A Slow Boat To China." He even supplied the goofy laugh on Kay's million-selling rendition of "The Woody Woodpecker Song." This collection of 25 tracks recorded for the Brunswick and Columbia labels includes nine of the hardest-to-find Kyser-Babbitt hits, along with 16 other long-sought treasures - many making their CD debut on this disc.

Tracks:

  • 1.Lost And Found
  • 2.I've Got A Pocketful Of Dreams
  • 3.All God's Chillun Got Rhythm (Vocal By Ginny Simms, Sully Mason & Harry Babbitt)
  • 4.Heaven Can Wait
  • 5.On The Road To Mandalay (Vocal By Ginny Simms, Harry Babbitt & Sully Mason)
  • 6.Stairway To The Stars
  • 7.Day In - Day Out
  • 8.Chatterbox (Vocal By Ginny Simms & Harry Babbitt) (From The RKO Picture "That's Right You're Wrong" )
  • 9.Hey! Pop! I Don't Wanna Go To Work
  • 10.Blueberry Hill
  • 11.You've Got Me This Way (From The RKO Picture "You'll Find Out")
  • 12.You Stepped Out Of A Dream (From The M-G-M Picture "Ziegfeld Girl")
  • 13.They Met In Rio (Vocal By Ginny Simms & Harry Babbitt) (From The 20th Century-Fox Picture "That Night In Rio")
  • 14.Everything Happens To Me
  • 15.Why Don't We Do This More Often? (Vocal By Ginny Simms & Harry Babbitt)
  • 16.It's You Again
  • 17.Humpty Dumpty Heart (From The RKO Picture "Playmates")
  • 18.Thank Your Lucky Stars And Stripes (Vocal By Harry Babbitt With Dorothy Dunn, Trudy Erwin, Jack Martin & Max Williams) (From The RKO Picture "Playmates")
  • 19.When The Roses Bloom Again
  • 20.There Won't Be A Shortage Of Love (Vocal By Trudy Erwin & Harry Babbitt)
  • 21.I'm A-Rollin' (Vocal By Harry Babbitt & The Campus Kids)
  • 22.Saturday Date (Vocal By Harry Babbitt & Gloria Wood)
  • 23.Little Girl (Vocal By Harry Babbitt & The Campus Kids)
  • 24.I'll Wait (Vocal By Gloria Wood & Harry Babbitt)
  • 25.Katrina (From Walt Disney's "Ichabod And Mr. Toad")

Product Description:

Personnel: Harry Babbitt (vocals); Campus Kids, Dorothy Dunn, Max Williams (vocals); Ginny Simms, Gloria Wood, Sully Mason, Trudy Erwin (vocals); Kay Kyser.
Liner Note Author: Gary Theroux.

Music Lovers' Ratings & Reviews:

Customer Rating: Rating 4.0
Based on 7 ratings.
Write an online review to share your thoughts with other customers.
Rating 4.5 Excellent collection, but omissions puzzling Music Lover: from North Hollywood, CA US -- May, 8, 2005

A well-mastered and quite well-compailed collection, featuring some excellent sides recorded by Harry Babbit for the Kay Kyser orchestra, many of which have never before been released on CD.

My only complaint is a couple of rarities that were passed over, MAJOR hits that could have been included, but were not: "The Little Red Fox" and "Playmates," both top tens that are not available on CD, in decent sound, anyway. ("Playmates" is on a Good Music Company CD, but taken from a bad echo-ized tape dub.) Hopefully producer Dan Rivard will include them on a future CD.

I do have to mention that Mr. Rivard, who deserves thunderous applause as THE premier reissue producer for the the pre-rock era, always seems to miss at least one major hit in his compilations. For example, his upcoming Al Donahue release, the first-ever CD comp of the band leader's studio work, omits "Lambeth Walk," one of Donahue's biggest chart hits. A bit aggravating that the only Al Donahue compilation there is ever likely to be is missing a major hit song.

But all in all the Harry Babbitt disc is another sterling job by Rivard, and another fine mastering job by Ken Robertson.


Rating 4.0 Recommended by Kyser Historian, but... Music Lover: from Northridge, California -- April, 12, 2005

This is a very nice collection, but has some flaws. First, the good news...
There are some rarities on here that have rarely been heard since initial release (Unless you know me!), and some alternate takes. There's some doubt the producer/compiler Dan Rivard even realized at least one of the alternate takes, as he didn't state the fact on ALL GOD'S CHILLUN GOT RHYTHM, but i digress. Another positive is the absence of some of the more overly re-released KK hits like 3 LITTLE FISHES and PRAISE THE LORD AND PASS THE AMMO. These have been rereleased to death. The package is beautifully done, the front cover a colorized pic of Harry with Kay (performing YOU'VE GOT ME THIS WAY from the band's 2nd film, YOU'LL FIND OUT), even if they did get the colors wrong (I have some color home movie footage from that scene that shows Harry's and the band's jackets as the same color-gray), but again a minor point. There is a beautiful colorized pic of Harry inside the CD cover.
Now the bad news- There are NONE of Harry's 'Little Audrey' songs present. 'Little Audrey' was a character voice Harry used when he sang/spoke in his high falsetto. 2 good obscure examples are HONEST JOHN and WHAT'S WHAT. 2 well known examples are 3 LITTLE FISHES and PLAYMATES.

The liner notes by Gary 'No-Show' Theroux (Hey Gary, where's my script?) also make some mistakes. But i must thank him for mentioning me as 'Kyser historian Steve Beasley'. First, he states that Kyser copped the idea of 'singing song titles' from Sammy Kaye. Not so, Theroux! This writer says it was the other way around and can prove it. Next, it states Kyser did no commercial gigs for the duration of WW2. Close, but wrong. Kyser fulfilled the commercial gigs during the War that had been booked previous to our involvement. Gary goes on to say Babbitt was replaced by Michael (Dowd) Douglas, but Douglas was Babbitt's 2nd replacement. The first was Don Leslie. Finally, the liner notes, which ARE very informative, just not completely accurate, state Babbitt returned to the band in'46 and stayed 3 years, but his last session with the band was in December of '48. Also, the KYSER KOMK TV show ran for 1 year, as stated, but TWO seasons made up that one year, not ONE.
All in all, a good collection to have. Hey guys, next time call me if you want to get it right!


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Product Info:

  • Sales Rank: 3,428
  • UPC: 090431758922
  • Shipping Weight: 0.23/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

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