Debby Boone: Better than Bette Midler?

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With a tribute to her mother-in-law Rosemary Clooney, Debby Boone returns. Can it keep up with Bettes tribute?By Jan GebauerRosemary Clooney was one of the greatest jazz and vocal pop singers of the 50s and her daughter-in-law daughter Debby Boone had the biggest hit of the 70’s – at least in the US: “You Light Up My Life” was in first place for 10 weeks Single charts and is still a ballad evergreen today. Even Whitney Houston and LeAnn Rimes could not avoid recording this equally sentimental and irresistible classic. Debby Boone could never repeat the mega hit. After a few minor hits, a number one hit in the country charts (1980, “Are You On The Road To Love Me Again”) and numerous albums for the Christian record market, she retired from the music business. The 1956 born in Hackensack, New Jersey American first took care of her family. One of them was Rosemary Clooney, who died of lung cancer in 2002. Debby, by the way, the daughter of 50s-Schmalzbacke Pat Boone (“Love Letters In The Sand”), used their rich catalog to appear now with the new album “Reflections Of Rosemary” like Phoenix from the ashes on the music scene. Almost a comeback, with which no one has expected – and sadly, perhaps no one has been waiting for it. That is a shame, since the singer still has a strong voice. Bright and clear, Debby Boone sings 14 well-known Clooney evergreens with a great sense of emotion and expression. Already two years ago, a tribute by Bette Midler (“B.M. Sing’s The Rosemary Clooney Songbook”) was released that also dusted off the old pearls, but with more wink and wit than Debby Boone’s. However, this also focuses more on the romantic aspects of the Clooney songbook, while Midler plays out her own solid personality in titles like “Mambo Italiano” or “Come On-A My House”. These songs are searched for on “Reflections Of Rosemary” in vain. Rather, Debby Boone shines with intimate ballads like “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” or “It Might As Well Be Spring”, the longing bossa nova of “The Best Is Yet To Come” or cuddly jazz (“The Music That Makes Me Dance “). The fine instrumentation and excellent production of Allen Sviridoff, Rosemary Clooney’s longtime producer and manager, do the rest to make the comeback album by Debby Boone a thoroughly enjoyable experience.Conclusion: red wine, candlelight and a sweet guy: the right disc for cuddly moments for two. The overdue retaking with a gold hatchet.Playing Tips: “I’ll Be Home”, “The Best Is Yet To Come”, “You’re Gonna Hear From Me”, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”June 12, 2005

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