Dakota Staton (1930-2007) established her vocal credentials at Capitol Records during the late Fifties and early Sixties when she recorded a series of highly regarded albums including these two gems - DAKOTA and DAKOTA STATON SINGS BALLADS AND THE BLUES - which are making their CD debut thanks to Sepia's never-ending quest to bring back the best blast from the past.
DAKOTA STATON SINGS BALLADS AND THE BLUES (1960) is of course a varied mix of deeply romantic numbers with SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME, WHY DON'T YOU THINK THINGS OVER? and I'LL KNOW meaningful standards enhanced by Dakota's vocal prowess that ventures at times into bluesy territory with typical fare headed by I NEED YOUR LOVE SO BAD and WHERE FLAMINGOS FLY. Once introduced by Sinatra, MY ONE AND ONLY LOVE, is a welcome inclusion and I've always highly rated Dakota's version of TIME WAS. Orchestral credits are shared by Sid Feller and Eddie Wilcox
The DAKOTA album jumps nicely into play with the amiable ROCK ME TO SLEEP and retains its up-tempo pacing for some ballads which normally proceed in a more romantic setting, yet ON GREEN DOLPHIN STREET and IF I LOVE AGAIN make their mark as convincing swingers whilst MEET ME AT NO PARTICULAR PLACE demands and receives energetic urgency. Conversley, MAKE ME A PRESENT OF YOU, THE MASQERADE IS OVER and I'LL CLOSE MY EYES are vocally emoted as forceful ballads and it should be noted that EVERYBODY'S SOMEBODY'S FOOL is not the charting Connie Francis song. Conductor Benny Carter's arrangements are top-notch.
Adding two singles ON CHAPEL HILL and PORGY as bonus tracks is a nice touch and adds to the feeling Dakota maybe arrived on the scene too late to enjoy the popularity, reputation and spotlight longevity awarded the iconic Ella, Carmen, Dinah and Sarah. However, it would appear that by moving to the UK during the mid Sixties, Dakota continued to enjoy an occasional recording career featuring her gospel and blues preferences.
Sepia's excellent notes, recording dates and overall presentation and sound remastering make this release a must for anyone interested in late-Fifties ladies of song.