RCA CAMDEN CAL-440
MONAURAL MATRIX NO. J3PP-2921/22 2S
ASSEMBLED IN 1958
the Orchestras of Russ Case, Lew Martin,
Irving Berlin, who is in a position to know about such things, once said that songs should be written to be heard rather than to be sung. This is a fine and subtle distinction but it is a distinction that is made illuminatingly clear by Perry Como. More than any other singer of popular songs, Como has a happy faculty for giving the impression that he is really not singing at all, that nothing actually stands in the way between the listener and the song.
This, of course, is pure illusion and it is an art that Perry had shrewdly developed through long experience. It reaches its height when he starts moving in and out of love songs, the kind of songs he sings in this album JUST FOR YOU.
It is no easy thing to give the impression of close-quarters intimacy in a song without resorting to any of the usual crutches the heavy breathing, the deep-throated moan, the sibilant over-amplified whisper. Any of these clichés would be as out of place in Perry as a blast of heraldic trumpets preceding his entrance. Casual sincerity has been the keynote of the Como success story. Equal emphasis should be put on both words, for even though his very casualness sometimes suggests that he could scarcely feel deeply about anything, it is Perry's unflagging sincerity that gives the fluff of his casualness sufficient substance to be a notable characterizing quality.
Como's demeanour in a studio wither television or recording is highly misleading. His lackadaisical, relaxed manner is in such striking contrast to the nervous tension of most people in these trades that it scarcely seems possible that behind his placid facade he is astutely pinpointing the most effective way for him to do a song. As a matter of fact, this is almost the only time when he is really working.
"I don't work at home at all," he once told Dom Cerulli of Down Beat. "Once you know a song too well you start to fool around with it. At the session, when the band's working on the arrangement, I learn the tune right there."
So in the studio Perry will listen to the band run through the arrangement of a new tune, and as the band rehearses he begins to work out his phrasing humming, singing snatches of the words along with the band. Then he makes several possibly half a dozen takes, each somewhat different from the other as new ideas and approaches suggest themselves to him.
This habit of developing a song on the stand dates back to his early career as a vocalist with Ted Weems' band when an actual performance was the only chance he ever had to work on a song.
"You just can't buy that experience that you get singing with a band," Perry once said. "With a band, you're always singing. The most important thing, really, is that you have to find a style. You don't have any special arrangements, or maybe just a few. But to get across with a band you have to develop a style. And after a while you do."
The confidence that Perry gained from working with Weems is undoubtedly a big factor in his present ability to approach his work in such unruffled fashion. That, and unusually well-balanced self knowledge.
"Perry knows what he can do," a man who has recorded Como frequently has said. "He saves it up and gives it to you. He knows when he's done it that you've got his best. You don't see it in his face or in his manner it comes from inside. He gives you all he's got and that's it."
And that's the way he sings these songs meaningfully, unostentatiously and conveying that warm feeling that they are just for you. The songs are all about love sad love, happy love, wistful love, whimsical love, undying love. They include contributions from the very perceptive Irving Berlin (Let's Take an Old-Fashioned Walk) and the graciously lilting Jerome Kern (Long Ago). There is the badinage of "A" You're Adorable, the dolour of You Won't Be Satisfied and the ethereal quality of Marcheta. There is also Perry Como singing them all in his memorable casual way.
Copyright 1958, Radio Corporation of America This is a High Fidelity RecordingIt is distinguished by these characteristics: 1. Complete frequency range. 2. Uniform response across the record. 3 A minimum of noise and distortion.
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