Miss Jane Russell Sings

Miss Jane Russell Sings

by Jane RussellJane Russell


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Jane Russell is remembered for only a few of the two dozen films she made, especially her racy debut The Outlaw and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, in which she partnered with Marilyn Monroe. She sang in the latter, and in quite a few of her other pictures, too, and she also made a series of recordings throughout her career, some of which are gathered on this unlicensed British release. First up are a couple of singles she cut with Kay Kyser's band in 1947, then all eight tracks from her LP of the same year, Let's Put Out the Lights. These ten selections also turned up on Sony's 2002 CD reissue of Let's Put Out the Lights, meaning this material, after being out of print for half a century, quickly became available on two different discs. Many of the other tracks represent Russell's studio recordings of songs she sang in her films, such as "Kisses and Tears," on which she's joined by co-star Frank Sinatra, from Double Dynamite (1951); "Five Little Miles from San Berdoo" and "You'll Know" from His Kind of Woman (1951); "Am I in Love?" and "Wing Ding Tonight," also featuring co-star Bob Hope, from Son of Paleface (1952); and "The Gilded Lily" from Montana Belle (1952). Russell originally recorded these songs for Columbia, London, Capitol, and American Records, and they have gone out of copyright in Europe after 50 years. Remastered from old 78s, the sound here is noticeably muffled, especially when the Columbia sides are compared with the Sony reissue. But Russell turns out to have a good voice that, as a trained actress, she adapts well to the different demands of the material. The eight songs from Let's Put Out the Lights are bedroom ballads on which she sounds like she's ready to climb under the covers, and possibly not to go to sleep right away. With Sinatra and especially Hope, she's feisty and funny. The release of this rare material is welcome, and there's more where it came from.

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