Swinging on a Star: The Songs of Jimmy Van Heusen | Retrospective RTS4381

Swinging on a Star: The Songs of Jimmy Van Heusen


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Label: Retrospective

Cat No: RTS4381

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 2

Release Date: 5th March 2021



Bing Crosby
Frank Sinatra
Mildred Bailey
Benny Goodman
Jo Stafford
Glenn Miller
Nat King Cole
Peggy Lee
Ella Fitzgerald
Louis Armstrong


Bing Crosby
Frank Sinatra
Mildred Bailey
Benny Goodman
Jo Stafford
Glenn Miller
Nat King Cole
Peggy Lee
Ella Fitzgerald
Louis Armstrong


A superb addition to Retrospective’s invaluable series of the great songwriters: a star-studded roster sings the 52 finest of the inimitable songs of Jimmy Van Heusen (1913-1990). The name Chester Babcock may be vaguely familiar to film fans as the character played by Bob Hope in his famous series of ‘Road’ films with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour, but, as an ‘in’ joke, Hope stole it from the man who provided all the songs. The real Chester Babcock decided that his was not a name to conjure with and instead borrowed one from a shirt manufacturer! As “Jimmy Van Heusen” he justly numbers among the all-time greats of American songwriters.

Swinging On A Star presents the most comprehensive survey available: 52 selected gems, from his early Cotton Club days (There’s A House In Harlem For Sale, 1933) to his final Oscar winner: Call Me Irresponsible, 1962. In between are so many huge hits, such as Imagination (immortalised by Ella Fitzgerald), Polka Dots And Moonbeams, Like Someone In Love, But Beautiful, It Could Happen To You, Darn That Dream and our title number, Swinging On A Star – all of which have over a hundred different recordings currently listed. In each case here the original artist or noted interpreter has been chosen. Bing Crosby was Jimmy’s greatest champion and the ‘Old Groaner’ contributes 14 songs, including several duets with the likes of Judy Garland and Rosemary Clooney. Seven songs started life in the ‘Road’ series of films, although one of them (But Beautiful) is sung here by Van Heusen’s other top mouthpiece, Frank Sinatra, who also sings ten others, including Nancy With The Laughing Face, written for his young daughter, and the Oscar-winners All The Way and High Hopes. Many other greats of the era are featured: Mildred Bailey, Benny Goodman, Jo Stafford, Glenn Miller, Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee, Louis Armstrong

CD 1 (1933-1945)
1. Swinging On A Star – Bing Crosby
2. There’s A House In Harlem For Sale – Henry “Red” Allen
3. It’s The Dreamer In Me – Harry James & Helen Humes
4. So Help Me If I Don't Love You – Mildred Bailey
5. Do You Wanna Jump, Children? – Hawkins & Mitchell
6. Deep In A Dream – Connee Boswell & Woody Herman
7. Good For Nothing But Love – Fats Waller
8. Heaven Can Wait – Glen Gray & Clyde Burke
9. Oh, You Crazy Moon – Bea Wain
10. Blue Rain – Glenn Miller & Ray Eberle
11. I Thought About You – Goodman & Bailey
12. Darn That Dream – Benny Goodman & Mildred Bailey
13. Peace, Brother! – Benny Goodman & Mildred Bailey
14. Imagination – Ella Fitzgerald
15. Shake Down The Stars – Glenn Miller & Ray Eberle
16. Polka Dots And Moonbeams – Sinatra & Dorsey
17. All This And Heaven Too – Dorsey & Eberly
18. It’s Always You – Bing Crosby
19. Absent-Minded Moon – Artie Shaw & Georgia Gibbs
20. Road To Morocco – Bing Crosby & Bob Hope
21. Moonlight Becomes You – Bing Crosby
22. Sunday, Monday Or Always – Bing Crosby
23. If You Please – Bing Crosby
24. It Could Happen To You – Jo Stafford
25. Nancy With The Laughing Face – Frank Sinatra
26. Put It There, Pal – Bing Crosby & Bob Hope

CD 2 (1944-1962)
1. Sleigh Ride In July – Dinah Shore
2. Like Someone In Love – Bing Crosby
3. Yah-Ta-Ta, Yah-Ta-Ta, Talk, Talk, Talk – Garland & Crosby
4. Personality – Johnny Mercer & The Pied Pipers
5 . Aren’t You Glad You’re You – Bing Crosby
6 . But Beautiful – Frank Sinatra
7 . You Don’t Have To Know The Language – Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
8 . Busy Doing Nothing – Crosby, Hardwicke & Bendix
9 . Once And For Always – Jo Stafford
10. Sunshine Cake – Bing Crosby & Carol Richards
11. Life Is So Peculiar – Louis Armstrong & Louis Jordan
12. Somewhere Along The Way – Nat King Cole
13. Here’s That Rainy Day – Peggy Lee
14. Love And Marriage – Frank Sinatra
15. Love Is The Tender Trap – Frank Sinatra
16. All The Way – Frank Sinatra
17. Come Fly With Me – Frank Sinatra
18. It’s Nice To Go Trav’ling – Frank Sinatra
19. Fancy Meeting You Here – Crosby & Clooney
20. To Love And Be Loved – Frank Sinatra
21. High Hopes – Frank Sinatra
22. All My Tomorrows – Frank Sinatra
23. Ain’t That A Kick In The Head? – Dean Martin
24. Incurably Romantic – Yves Montand & Marilyn Monroe
25. The Second Time Around – Jane Morgan
26. Call Me Irresponsible – Jack Jones

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