The Complete Helen Ward on Columbia
The Complete Helen Ward on Columbia by Ward, Helen at Tony Reedus. Hurry! Limited time offer. Offer valid only while supplies last. Mail-order firm and reissue label Collectors' Choice Music has done big band fans a real favor by working with Sony Music Special Products to
Mail-order firm and reissue label Collectors' Choice Music has done big band fans a real favor by working with Sony Music Special Products to assemble this compilation of recordings from Sony's vaults containing vocals by Helen Ward. Ward was best-known as a singer on Benny Goodman records of the mid-1930s, but it turns out she sang on plenty of other sessions, too, despite a stop-and-start career that she interrupted as early as December 1936, when she was only 20 years old, to retire and become a housewife, a retirement (and marriage) that didn't last. While this collection is valuable in bringing together so much of her scattered recording history, the title The Complete Helen Ward on Columbia deserves two notations: first, that many of the recordings contained were not issued initially on Columbia Records, but rather on labels that ended up, through mergers, in the possession of Columbia and, in turn, Sony. Ward initially recorded on discount labels owned by the American Record Corporation (which also purchased Columbia) -- Melotone, Oriole, and Conqueror -- and also turned up on Brunswick and OKeh in addition to Columbia over the years. But what's more important is not what is included, it's what's not. Goodman switched from Columbia to RCA Victor Records during Ward's tenure with the band, and as a result, the really big Goodman hits on which she sang -- "It's Been So Long," "Goody-Goody," "The Glory of Love," and "These Foolish Things Remind Me of You" -- are not found on this album. Another hit song, "You Turned the Tables on Me," is heard here, but as a live remake -- and not the original studio recording, which is also on RCA. Thus, this is not the best-of Helen Ward, merely all of what was available through Sony. Nevertheless, there are some excellent swing recordings here, with the chronological order providing a history of pop music from the society-orchestra jazz of the early tracks all the way up to the "sing" era of the early 1950s, as the collection closes with the songs from Ward's 1954 solo album It's Been So Long. Throughout, she proves a sturdy singer with excellent intonation, gamely handling whatever style she's handed. She doesn't overwhelm the bands or the arrangements, instead serving them as a good band singer should. But the album casts light on an otherwise little-remembered but worthy talent. ~ William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide
|Item Weight:||0.25 pounds|
|Item Size:||5.75 x 0.45 x 0.45 inches|
|Package Weight:||0.18 pounds|
|Package Size:||4.97 x 0.54 x 0.54 inches|
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