Nobody's asking, "Whatever became of Perry Como ?" these nostalgia-affected days far from it. Once more he is in there pitching perfect vocal curves in his familiar relaxed way. It's no wonder he has always been relaxed, for what was there to be tense about? He never was a fad performer; he has always been a suave balladeer or a subtle swinger with an easygoing, out flowing style no one else has been able to imitate. And they've tried.
The latest chapter in his biography is being spelled out on the best-seller charts right now. And it has nothing to do with the interest in "old-timers" reawakened by such Broadway extravaganzas as "Follies" or such "new 1925 musicals" as "No, No, Nanette"; nothing to do with movies of the '40s ( in several of which Perry Como figured ) on TV; nothing to do with documentary disc reissues of the ghost voices of the pop past; nothing to do with long-term super-stardom on radio and television; and certainly nothing to do with a young barber from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania who shared the vocalist microphone in the Ted Weems band in the late '30s and early '40s with Elmo Tanner, who whistled, and Marvell Maxwell, who became Marilyn Maxwell and got whistled at as a film siren this is nostalgia!
And that's the end of same. In 1970, Perry Como opened the first of two three-week, smash-hit engagements at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. This was his first night club appearance in 27 years, and from that triumph came his first "live performance" album ( LSPX-1001 ), which instantly became a best-seller. His single "It's Impossible" did the same, and was quickly made the centerpiece of another album ( LSP-4473 ) which continued the cycle. If you've missed these collections, you've made a mistake.
And now, here then, in a triple long play, is the newest album. Like "It's Impossible", it is entitled by a best-selling Como single, "I Think of You" . The collection is based on a provocative theme Mr. C. addressing his ageless talents to songs launched by others into the charmed circle of the charts. Here among others are "Dream Baby" (Glen Campbell), "Yesterday I Heard the Rain" (Tony Bennett), "Where Do I Begin" (Andy Williams), "Put Your Hand in the Hand" (Ocean), "Someone Who Cares" (Kenny Rodgers and the First Edition), "If" (Bread), and the magical "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (Simon and Garfunkel) each and every one winged the Como way.
If you enjoy one-upmanship in trivia games, as who doesn't, note that the long line of Mr. C.'s RCA Record successes began in 1943 with "Goodbye Sue". It continued with such million copy sellers as "Till the End of Time", "Prisoner of Love", and "Catch a Falling Star". If you enjoy playing the prophet, and who can resist it, lend an ear to "My Days of Loving You" in this album. It isn't on the charts. Not yet. It's too new . . .
The new Perry Como, I mean.
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Friday, April 07, 2023