Over Doris Day
Forever associated with her perky, Hollywood created "girl next door" image, Doris Day was one of the biggest singers and movie stars of the 1940s, '50s and '60s. A much finer (and jazzier) vocalist than people care to remember, Doris Day started singing professionally with the Bob Crosby and Les Brown big bands while she was still in her teens. Day's pure, unaffected voice (think of a non-scatting Ella Fitzgerald) swung, even on ballads, and she became a star before her fresh-faced beauty helped her land a movie contract. Day's bright appeal developed in Tinsel Town but her movie roles and recordings slowly started to turn into chirpy, upbeat vehicles. Even then, Day still cut good albums it's just that her sugary fluff for Columbia Records sold so well and was so popular with the public that it came to dominate her recording time. Day's vocal purity and her love of swing-era jazz would've found a better home at Capitol Records (home of Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra and Nat Cole) than Columbia but she was usually just happy to sing anything between movie roles. Every once in a while Day put her foot down and instead of cutting novelty numbers and goofball tunes, she would record fine band sides with Paul Weston and small group jazz sessions with Andre Previn, Harry James and others.