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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Smart And Continental - Dick Smart

Smart And Continental
Dick Smart With Orchestra Conducted by Nick Perito
Everest LPBR-5027

Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample.

There are not many projects or artists from this period that could honestly label themselves or there work as "continental". However, Dick Smart really did travel the world and delivers here a nicely arranged set of tunes that feature a modern pop flavor for the time. Terrific cover art help make the LP more collectible.

From the back cover: Dick Smart, who has been "at home" among the bright lights of Broadway, Piccadilly and Champs Elysee, was born to the song of undulating surf and swaying palms in Honolulu, Hawaii. But as a baby he was whisked away from the island paradise, and taken to Paris where he learned to speak French before learning English. When he was of school age, California became his home, with wonderful carefree vacations sent in Hawaii, complete with swimming, surf-boarding, spear-fishing, and all the other delights of that alluring place, But going to school in San Francisco, in Los Gatos, and at Stanford University – and summering in Honolulu – were not the only activities attracting attention of the rapidly growing young man. As he grew taller in stature – Mr. Smart stands a handsome six feet three inches – he also "grew tall" in the knowledge of the living theatre, absorbing it almost by osmosis, as it were, spending every spare minute watching the plays and musicals coming to San Francisco. Part of his education included successful work at the famed Pasadena Playhouse in Southern California, from which he graduated. Later, one of his childhood ambitions, to tread the boards of San Francisco's Curran Theatre, was happily realized when he appeared there while on a coast-to-coast tour as the male lead in "Bloomer Girl".

The inspiration for the material in this album came from the fact that Dick Smart recently spent the better part of two years playing supper-club engagements in London, on the Continent and in North Africa. In London, Dick was the toast of both the Colony and the Astor Club, before going to Paris to become the star of one of the world's top-drawer clubs, The Lido. After bewitching the habitu├ęs of that famed establishment with his own brand of vocal enchantment, he went to the South of France and to Portugal. The Sporting Club in Monte Carlo and the Casino in Estoril were two of his spectacularly successful engagements. At this time, most of his act was in French, but Spanish and Italian numbers were interspersed, depending upon the particular cities where he was playing. The the call for him to go to North Africa, and he spent the winter journeying from Casablanca to Tunis, visiting many delightful places, and taking outstanding engagements along the way. Such clubs as Le Tabarin and Le Ginguette in Casablanca. Le Club in Meknes, Le Roi De La Dierre in Oran, Le Fantasio in Algiers, and Le Caveau in Tunis enjoyed his exciting potpourris of international songs. The most exotic settings always welcomed his offerings and the experience gained in strange lands lent unique new colors and rhythms to his already extensive repertoire. By the time he returned to Paris and London, he was in great demand for radio and television appearances, which he fulfilled before saying for the United States.

But Dick Smart's career – although he has played the better clubs and hotels not only on the Continent but in this country (including the Mocambo in Hollywood, the Versailles in New York, the Drake in Chicago, the Radision in Minneapolis, the Five O'Clock Club in Miami Beach, the Mayflower in Washington, and others) – has been confined by no means to the supper-club route. He as starred in many famous theatrical productions, appearing opposite some of our most beautiful and fascinating leading ladies: especially, Carol Channing in "Wonderful Town," Nanette Fabray in "Bloomer Girl," and both Denise Darcel and the "incomparable" Hildegarde in performances of Cole Porter's "Can-Can." Incomparable was the word for his appearances in dozens of scintillating shows, including "Call Me Madam," "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," "Silk Stockings," "One Touch Of Venus," "The Great Waltz," "Where's Charley," "The Merry Widow," "Jubilee," "Sunny," "The Cat And The Fiddle," "After The Ball," "The Red Mill," and others. He has been a leading man on Boardway in such fine entertainments as "Bloomer Girl," All For Love," "Two For The Show," and in Chicago, "Wonderful Town."

Autumn In Rome
Come Closer To Me
Why Do You Pass Me By
Hands Across The Table
Beyond The Sea
You Taught Me How To Love
I'll Be Yours
Magic Is The Moonlight
Stay Here With Me
Speak To Me Of Love
Autumn Leaves
Goodbye To Rome

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