We recently acquired a copy of this rare gem. For anyone who’s unfamiliar with it, Jack “talks” the lyrics of the songs over easy-listening background music.
To modern ears, this can sound rather humorous, especially on the soul epic “Try a Little Tenderness.” (Otis Redding he ain’t.) Click HERE to hear a sound clip (5.19Mb; thanks to Clay Loomis for shrinking it down).
“You’re My Girl” has finally been released on a limited-edition CD, thanks to Rhino Handmade! It’s available with some other vintage Jack Webb tracks for only $19.98
You can also find the above track on Golden Throats: The Great Celebrity Sing-Off! It also features hilarious vocal renditions by the likes of William Shatner and Sebastian Cabot. You can order it from Rhino. (The CD costs CD $11.98; the cassette: $7.98; Selection # 70187.)
Romantic Reflections by Jack Webb
Music Arranged and Conducted by Billy May
1. You Are Too Beautiful (Rodgers-Hart, from ‘Hallelujah, I’m a Bum’)
2. Nancy (Van Heusen-Silvers)
3. Try a Little Tenderness (Woods-Campbell-Connelly)
4. Stranger in Town (Mel Torme)
5. You’re Not in My Arms Tonight (Young-Washington)
6. Do I Love You (Because You’re Beautiful) (from ‘Cinderella’ – Rodgers-Hammerstein III)
1. You’d Never Know the Old Place Now (Dennis-Fisher)
2. I Thought About Marie (Gordon Jenkins)
3. But Beautiful (from ‘Road to Rio’ – Van Heusen-Burke
4. You’ve Changed (Fischer-Carey)
5. When Sunny Gets Blue (Fisher-Segal)
6. You’re My Girl (Styne-Cahn)
For the Record:
The man threaded the tape in the big dark-paneled room and he sat at a coffee table listening. His face is dark and grooved and his eyes hold a hint of old hurts. He digs deeply, and it moves his moods and exalts his soul. Like most of us who feel the notes sing through our skin, Jack Webb does not take music lightly.
It can make him ache; it can make him grin; it can depress him; it can lift him. Jazz musicians like to watch Webb watching them because, when they hit the high lonesome notes of the blues, his eyes mirror their mood. He is a boy looking in the candy store window.
When a man loves a mountain deeply enough, he must sooner or later climb it. In this album, Jack Webb climbs the musical peak. He can not sing a lick; he can not run a riff on a balalaika. But he has a voice. It is deeply conversational, and as intimate as a pair of big shoes or a pair of tiny ones under a bed.
Jack Webb talks in this album. He talks because he yearns to be a part of the world of music and he has nothing else to contribute. So, to make “You’re My Girl” as romantic as he feels, he selected only those numbers which have lyrical poetry in their lines.
Billy May did the arranging. He led 17 strings, a harp and some woodwinds to play a soft swing under Webb’s talking. The trombone and alto sax solos are by Murray McEachern, these two men are so good that it’s obvious that Webb took them along as flight insurance.
Happily, he did not need it. Give a listen to “Do I Love You” and you will see what I mean. “You’d Never Know the Old Place Now” is my favorite. It reminds me of someone of long ago, Little Jack Little.
The record may sell enough to force Jack Webb to turn in his shield. Worse things have happened.
by Jim Bishop
“The Day Lincoln Was Shot” (1955)
“The Day Christ Died” (1957)