2 LPs on 1 CD: ON MOONLIGHT BAY (1951)/BY THE LIGHT OF THE SILVERY MOON (1953).
Personnel: Doris Day (vocals); Paul Weston & His Orchestra; Norman Luboff Choir.
Originally released on Columbia (6186) and Columbia (6248).
Liner Note Author: Mark Marymont.
Collectables violates chronological sequencing by pairing Doris Day's 1951 album On Moonlight Bay with her 1953 collection By the Light of the Silvery Moon on this two-fer CD reissue and thus skipping over I'll See You in My Dreams. But the reason is obvious. Both albums (and I'll See You in My Dreams, too, for that matter) contain Day's studio recordings of songs featured in her motion pictures of the same titles, and By the Light of the Silvery Moon was the sequel to On Moonlight Bay, both films following the romantic adventures of a couple played by Day and Gordon MacRae in the years before and after World War I. Unfortunately, MacRae does not appear; he was under contract to Capitol Records in the early '50s, while Day recorded exclusively for Columbia. But Jack Smith, the second male lead in On Moonlight Bay, steps in for him on a couple of tracks, performing duets with Day. (She handles all the songs from By the Light of the Silvery Moon by herself.) The songs are mostly period efforts, Tin Pan Alley novelties. (The exception is "Love Ya," which was written for On Moonlight Bay.) Day handles the material with her characteristic charm, but does better when the songs are better and better-known, which means that the first half of the album is generally stronger than the second half. Originally, both these albums were issued as eight-song, 10" LPs, so there are only 16 tracks here with a running time of 43 minutes, not particularly generous as Collectables' two-fers go. But the pairing is appropriate, and Day fans will welcome having these long-out-of-print recordings available on CD. ~ William Ruhlmann