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Astaire, Fred - Mr Top Hat
(Verve MG-V-2010 US-56 VG+ 275:-)

"The Astaire Story" was deluxe four LP box set issued in a strictly limited edition of 1,384 copies, each one hand-signed by Astaire and the artist David Stone Martin, who contributed original drawings and paintings to the album.

"Mr Top Hat" is a selection of tracks from this 1952 session. Mr Astaire is backed by Oscar Peterson, Charlie Shavers, Flip Phillips, Barney Kessel, Ray Brown and Alvin Stoller.

Original US pressing; both sleeve and vinyl are graded VG+.
Dietrich, Marlene - At the Café de Paris
(Columbia ML-4975 US-5? EX 275:-)

The most exotic actress of the 1930s and '40s, Marlene Dietrich performed her cabaret act around the world in the post-war period, after her film career had slowed. A thick German accent and her odd sung-spoken vocal style proved no barrier to international popular success and adoration.

This album was recorded in London, at Marlene's opening night at Café de Paris in June 21, 1954.

1950's US pressing on the "Six Logo" label.
Garland, Judy - Judy
(Capitol T-734 US-56 EX 275:-)

Frances Ethel Gumm is best remembered as the big-voiced star of a series of movie musicals, particularly "The Wizard of Oz", in which she sang her signature song, "Over the Rainbow." But unlike most other film stars of her era, she also maintained a career as a recording artist, and after her movie-making days were largely over, she was able to transfer her stardom to performing and recording.

Judy's second album for Capitol was released in conjunction with a TV special. This time, it was Judy's second TV Special shown live on April 8, 1956 on CBS-TV's "The General Electric Teather". The show ran for 30 minutes and all the songs sung on this special are present on this album.
Sinatra, Frank - A Man and his Music
(Reprise 2F-1016 US-65 EX 800:-)

Released around his 50th birthday, "A Man and his Music" is an ambitious double-album set that provides a brief history of Sinatra's career. Instead of using the original recordings, which were made for RCA, Columbia, and Capitol, and therefore not eligible for use by his then-current label, Reprise - Sinatra re-recorded the majority of the album's songs.

Limited Edition Boxset with 3D Raised Silver Letters, 2 LP's and a 26pg Booklet with Discography. One of the rarest of Sinatra collectibles, this Deluxe Edition was produced in very limited quantities! The set originally included a signed and numbered card attached to the back - this is sadly missing from this copy...
Tormé & Frances Faye, Mel - Porgy & Bess
(Bethlehem EXLP-1 US-56 VG+ 400:-)

This three-LP box set is an unusual concept; virtually the full production of "Porgy and Bess" is re-enacted in a jazz setting.

Al "Jazzbo" Collins does a surprisingly effective narrative, and key roles are played by Mel Torme (Porgy), Frances Faye (Bess), Betty Roche (Clara), Johnny Hartman (Crown), Frank Rosolino (Jake), Joe Derise (Honey Man), Bob Dorough (Crab Man), George Kirby (Sportin' Life) and Sallie Blair (Serena).

With backing from the Bethlehem Orchestra (conducted and arranged by Russ Garcia), the Australian Jazz Quintet, the Pat Moran Quartet, and a combo headed by drummer Stan Levey, along with a cameo appearance (for the opening fanfare) by Duke Ellington's Orchestra, the results are certainly musical.

Original US 3LP Box Set; sleeve has the original handkerchief stuffed into the "back pocket".