The American Brunswicks became the property of CBS Records, later acquired by Sony, and they are presented in chronological order on this Comapct disc. They begin with renditions of Morgan's two songs from her most celebrated effort, Show Boat, "Bill" and "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man," made for the 1932 studio cast recording of the musical. These songs are, of course, standards, and Morgan is the definitive interpreter of them, even if she had sung them many hundreds, if not thousands, of times by 1932. The other eight tracks are the products of three sessions held in Los Angeles in 1934 and 1935 in connection with Morgan's appearances in a series of films. "It's Home" and "Song of a Dreamer" are numbers she performed in Marie Galante; "When He Comes Home to Me" is from You Belong to Me; "I See Two Lovers" comes from Sweet Music, while "Winter Overnight" was cut from the same picture; and she sang "The Little Things You Used to Do" in Go into Your Dance. (Presumably recorded for use as B-sides are two songs from films not featuring Morgan, "[I've Got] Sand in My Shoes" and "I Was Taken by Storm.") None of these songs comes anywhere near the quality of the Show Boat compositions, although "The Little Things You Used to Do," written by Harry Warren and Al Dubin, is good, and "Winter Overnight" (strangely rendered as "Winter Over Night" here), by Sammy Fain and Irving Kahal, fits well into Morgan's torch singer persona. She sings all the songs effectively, no matter the quality. Sound quality is another matter. "Some surface noise and distortion" are present, as a sleeve disclaimer admits. Torch Singer does not contain the best of Helen Morgan on records, omitting such signature songs as "Why Was I Born?" It does, however, contain everything by Morgan in Sony's vault in 2004.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
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