The multitalented Danny Kaye (1911-87) steals the show with the eight-ditty sequence “Hans Christian Andersen” (recorded during August 1952 in Los Angeles), words and music by Frank Loesser for the same-name film – superior song-writing – the first number, in which the Danish writer introduces himself, contains some delicious harmonic slants. Otherwise this Andersen collection includes such evergreens as ‘The Ugly Duckling’, ‘Thumbelina’, ‘The King’s New Clothes’ and ‘Wonderful Copenhagen’.
Kaye could hold and project a song with the best of the popular vocalists of his day – with poise, charm and enthusiasm, as well as clear enunciation and bringing various characterisations into play. The latter quality comes into its own with “Tubby the Tuba”, a classic tale that Kaye made his own; and if it’s successor, “Tubby the Tuba at the Circus”, couldn’t match its predecessor it still entertains.
Completing this welcome compilation, with either Gordon Jenkins and his Chorus and Orchestra (Andersen) or Victor Young and his Orchestra, are “Uncle Pockets” and “There’s a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea”, the latter a patter song with tongue-twisting lyrics, delivered by Kaye with panache. Eloquence 484 1361.