Personnel: Dinah Shore, Lina Romay, Miguelito Vald?s, Carmen Castillo (vocals); Rafael Angulo (piano).
Audio Remasterers: Gilbert Mamery; Charlie Crump.
Liner Note Author: Gilbert Mamery.
Recording information: L.A., CA (06/1939-??/1945); New York, NY (06/1939-??/1945).
Photographer: Cristobal Diaz.
Before making it big in the latter half of the '40s, singer and Tennessee native Dinah Shore got a boost singing for Xavier Cugat's band in New York. Rejection by Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey be damned, Shore honed her skills in fetching fashion with the star Latin bandleader. Suiting an American "girl singer" of the '40s, the majority of songs on this 1939-1945 Cugat and Shore mix are in either the novelty or ballad mode, although, from the frivolity of "Rain in Spain" to a silken weeper like "Whatever Happened to You," Shore manages to both delight and impress. And to make sure things don't get bogged down, the duo heats things up -- albeit still in a somewhat kitschy manner -- with dancefloor fillers like "Brazil," "Rumba Rumba," and "Chiu Chiu." A vintage Latin sampler for the big band pop set. ~ Stephen Cook