Though his influence proved less durable than his record sales, Frankie Laine was one of the most popular vocalists of the 1950s, swinging jazz standards as well as half a dozen Western movie themes of the time with his manly baritone. Laine's somewhat artificial Western nature proved more successful in far-off England, where he set two chart records in 1953: his version of "I Believe" stayed at number one in the U.K. for an incredible 18 weeks, and his two subsequent chart-toppers that year ("Hey Joe," "Answer Me") set a record by putting Laine at number one for 27 weeks during the year.
Guiomar Novaes' life story has been the stuff of legend in the classical world for decades and this CD is clear evidence why none other than Claude Debussy himself helped single her out for greatness as a teenage prodigy. Recorded when she was in her 50's, she's absolutely stupendous, pulling off difficult passage after passage with fabulous effortlessness, her trademark. But forget the 'feminine piano' tag that has been given to her at times, this CD shows she can bring on the 'thunder and lightning' whenever necessary. Thanks to Vox Box Legends for this magnificent digitally mastered 2 CD set, the wonderful sound, and very detailed, extensive liner notes that put most other liner notes to shame.