Album Notes ~
As popular singers go, Perry Como was pretty ancient when he started recording at the age of 31. Many of the current idols had made their fortunes by then, and retired. Como had hung on to his day job as a barber until he was sure that singing was a viable alternative.
On these tracks he is at the peak of his powers. 'Catch a Falling Star' and 'Magic Moments' were issued back to back in the US in 1957, and sold over two million copies. 'Delaware', 'Wanted', 'Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes', 'Hot Diggity', 'Kewpie Doll' and 'Papa Loves Mambo' were also awarded gold discs. Record sales were helped, of course, by Como's top-rated weekly television show which ran from 1955 to 1963.
The show's demise, coupled with Como's reluctance to play concerts and clubs, meant a ten year absence from the Charts — and for some, while it looked as though his kind of music had been overtaken by the twang of the electric guitar, far from it. In 1970, at the age of 58, with the money more than all right, he played to capacity audiences at the International Hotel Las Vegas — his first 'live' performances for over 25 years.
And so it started all over again. He was back in the Charts with contemporary songs such as 'I Think of You' and 'For the Good Times' — and, at an age when many were contemplating retirement, he embarked on a series of successful world tours, apparently enjoying every minute, with the voice as good as ever.
That voice and the relaxed easy style are perfectly demonstrated on this set. There's the fun of the novelties, 'Hot Diggity' and 'Delaware'. But best of all there is the ballad side of Mr. C. His versions of 'Lollipops and Roses' and 'The Way We Were' put him up there with Crosby, Sinatra and Haymes.
At the time of writing, Perry Como was 76 years old; that first recording was 45 years ago, and do you know what? At Rock 'n Roll record hops, two of the most requested jivers are still 'Love Makes the World Go 'Round' and 'Kewpie Doll'. Now that's really ancient!
John Martland 1988
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