Duet - What Happened?

Talking about and listening to Doris Day, the singer.
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jmichael
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Duet - What Happened?

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Why wasn't this superb acoustic jazz album more successful?

It's easily one of the most intimate recordings in her repertoire and she has never been in better voice. The Andre Previn trio backs her seamlessly, the songs choices are superb, and Doris is in top form. Rhythmically, the album swings along beautifully. It stands today as one of her purest musical collaborations and I don't understand why it was overlooked in 1962.

Did Marty / Columbia not understand just how great this record was?

Michael
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Musiclover
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Re: Duet - What Happened?

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Good question, Michael. Never on Doris's part, but I think self-promotion contributed to the album's lack of success among the listening public. In my view, part of the blame lies at Mitch Miller's feet. His tenure as A&R man at Columbia Records was beginning to wane by 1962. The label did not have a top-selling album artist that year . . . but what else was Miller doing at that time? Promoting his own weekly TV show. The other champion self-promoter, of course, was Melcher. Since Doris's lucrative recording contract with Columbia was set in cement (whether her singles or albums charted or not), he was essentially ignoring her music and was instead promoting her movies. As co-producer of them, there was great potential for his personal financial gain. The age old story in the entertainment industry: pursuit of the almighty buck at the expense of art.

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jmichael
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Re: Duet - What Happened?

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Judy, thanks for your thoughtful reply. You're probably right about Miller and Melcher overlooking it, but I still wonder why Doris didn't champion this album. As someone who really knew music and respected talent like Andre Previn, she must have known their work was spectacular. The thought of Melcher cashing checks on her contract without nurturing her recording career along and facilitating future opportunities for her sickens me.

Perhaps with some promotion behind it, Duet might have garnered a Grammy nomination or two for Best Jazz Album, Vocal Performance, etc. and extended her recording career into the seventies.

Michael
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Re: Duet - What Happened?

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After a lengthy search, finally located the Collectables cd version with 5 bonus tracks at a reasonable price. I believe they were given the Sony mastering and made no changes. Arrives today!

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