The recording career of Dinah Shore (1916 -1994) commenced during the early Forties with a successful tenure with Columbia Records producing many hit singles that ensured her place at the top of any girl singer popularity poll. Such fame was augmented by radio shows and after a brief fling in movies had stalled by the early Fifties, Dinah found her ideal niche in television during the following decades.
In 1950, the first of two periods with RCA-Victor coincided with the introduction and growing popularity of the vinyl long-playing record and Dinah produced a number of concept albums mainly dedicated to romantically-themed songs that suited her wholesome image and sincere emotive vocal style. Recorded in 1955, HOLDING HANDS AT MIDNIGHT takes its title from the first line of the opening track, the Gershwins' NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT with EASY TO LOVE, ONCE IN A WHILE, YESTERDAYS and UNDER A BLANKET OF BLUE following a similar romantic ballad course via Dinah's renowned gentle interpretations with Harold Arlen's rare 1937 number MOANIN' IN THE MORNIN' (written for Broadway`s HOORAY FOR WHAT!) adding extra impetus to such choices. In contrasting mood, YOU'RE DRIVING ME CRAZY and TAKING A CHANCE ON LOVE are rendered in lightly swinging style whilst with chorus and handclapping arrangement THAT GREAT COME AND GET IT DAY hits a more upbeat mood.
Ten years later, Dinah, having completed a three-year stint with Capitol Records, moved on to Sinatra's Reprise label for a one-off release LOWER BASIN STREET REVISITED (the title referring to "The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street" - the 1940s radio show that help make Dinah a star) and despite the changing music scene, succeeded in producing a collection which incorporated soulful blues inspired numbers BASIN STREET BLUES and NASHVILLE BLUES although the driving urgency of BYE BYE BLUES belongs with newer songs like the strident I CAN'T STOP LOVING YOU, smooth Italian ballad MORE and the sugary DO-RE-MI from THE SOUND OF MUSIC in a more unsweetened arrangement. MY MAN'S GONE NOW from PORGY AND BESS; old chestnut CHLOE beset with bongos and especially the upbeat CRY ME A RIVER, represent material normally beyond Dinah's normal repertoire with stylised arrangements enhancing her impressive performances. Jack Elliot conducts the brassy orchestra.
Both albums show Dinah at her very best and this release will surely be cherished by collectors of girl singers.