Today the names of Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby may not say much to a large majority of musical fans, but in the 20s they were responsible for several Broadway musicals and I’m sure everyone knows songs like “I Wanna Be Loved by You” (popularized by Marilyn Monroe in SOME LIKE IT HOT) and “Who’s Sorry Now”. These two titles along with a large numbers of other songs make the soundtrack of this MGM musical.
Fred Astaire plays Kalmar to Red Skelton’s Ruby and both sound good in their roles, the same can be said about the female voices of Arlene Dahl, Anita Ellis (dubbing Vera-Ellen) and Helen Kane, who dubs Debbie Reynolds for her signature song “I Wanna Be Loved by You”. What this enjoyable movie soundtrack does is to make us aware of Kalmar & Ruby’s songbook and their work, with titles likes, “Nevertheless, I’m in Love With You”, “All Alone Monday”, “Thinking of You” and the title song, is worthy of discovery.
Also on this CD we can find, as a bonus, the delightful soundtrack of YOLANDA AND THE THIEF, another Fred Astaire vehicle, this time with a score by Harry Warren and Arthur Freed. This is another of those MGM musicals that today almost no one remembers, but it was an entertaining little film with a couple of good dance numbers. On CD the songs sound even better, with titles like “Coffee Time”, “I’ve an Angel” and “Will You Marry Me?”, and are a truly invitation to dance.