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COMMENTARY

 

MONROE, Vaughn - The Main Event - from Jasmine Records This 2 CD set has a lot to offer the dedicated Vaughn Monroe fan as well as the collector of popular music of the 1950s. Jasmine has compiled some rare samples of Mr. Monroe's Fifties fare--the decade that birthed rock and roll--and believe it or not, you'll even find an early attempt to bridge the generation gap with "The Rock and Roll Express." Suffice it to say Mr. Monroe performs much more comfortably in the wide variety of other music styles presented in this collection.

Jasmine has included six of Mr. Monroe's seasonal recordings, the largest number ever appearing together on a single CD. This set also boasts the folk tunes and patriotic songs recorded by Mr. Monroe and released for the first time on CD. A number the western songs associated with his two Republic pictures are included here as well, and the collection is rounded out by some lesser known but beautifully done pieces like "Redwood Smoke," "The Fiesta," Wait For Love," and "Don't Go To Strangers." 

Vaughn Monroe had disbanded his orchestra by 1953, so most of these selections were done with other popular orchestras and orchestral arrangements of the day. You connoisseurs may recognize the styling of Hugo Winterhalter and Joe Reisman.

All in all, a highly recommended CD set with a beautifully colorized photograph of a young trumpet player, turned orchestra leader, turned popular male vocalist.