U.S. radio listeners are oppressively aware of a jazzy singing commercial sung by a voice that sounds like a temporary compromise between the voices of Judy Garland and Bonnie (Oh, Johnny, Oh, Johnny, Oh!) Baker. "I love to cook and cook and cook," she burbles, and proceeds to cite the virtues of Hunt's tomato sauce. One day last spring Columbia Records' sharp-eared Mitch Miller heard the voice on his car radio. The light dawned. "There's a voice." he said to himself, "that sounds like a sexy 16-year-old."
The voice's owner turned out to be Pennsylvania-born Peggy King, 24, a pint-size gamine who had been working in the music business for six fairly obscure years. Talent Scout Miller had himself turned her down after hearing several of her records. Intrigued, Miller telephoned Peggy King at her Hollywood home. "This," he began, "is Mitch Miller." "And this," the unbelieving singer answered, "is Snow White. And all the dwarfs are here, too." Identities were finally established, and Peggy King signed with Miller. Last week Columbia issued as her first effort The Hottentot, a tongue twister silly and bouncy enough to become a hit. Sample
If a Hottentot taught a tot to talk ere the tot could totter,
Should the Hottentot tot be taught to say "ought" or "nought," Or what ought to be taught her?
Other new pop records:
Amelia Rodrigues Sings (Angel LP). Amalia, Portugal's most popular songstress (TIME, Sept. 29, 1952), sings eight husky, seductive songs: four fados. four flamencos in a manner that suggests that the listener may be playing with fire.
Barney Kessel (Contemporary LP). A top jazz guitarist comes out of West Coast TV and film studios to make his first featured album. Most of these selections are clean, agile and on the cool side, typical of the spate of jazz disks coming from the Coast.
Bernard Peiffer et Son Trio (Norgran LP). French Pianoman Peiffer (rhymes with May fair) plays as playfully as Erroll Garner or George Shearing, occasionally as gaily as Tatum. Unoriginal, but pleasant listening.
Brad Gowans and His New York Nine (Victor LP). Dixieland of 1946, a mellow but not a vintage year. Gowans is probably the leading exponent of hot valve trombone; his playing is matched by Billy Butterfield's fine trumpet. Notable as the last recording by the late great drummer Dave Tough.
Bravo pour le Clown (Edith Piaf; Angel LP). Eight over-orchestrated songs of the sadder aspects of life and love, one of them (the title song) a rowdier than usual pagliaccio-type item that fits Piaf as closely as a putty nose. Perhaps more timely in France, where La Piaf is now touring with a circus.
Inside Sauter-Finegan (Victor LP). The strange land of heightened sensation that is the Sauter-Finegan band, where low is growlier, sharp is edgier, and no sounds are untinted. Sample titles: 10,000 B.C., Finegan's Wake.
Hot Mallets (Lionel Hampton and guest stars; Victor LP). Twelve tunes, some loud and some sentimental. They are riffed to the accompaniment of deep, throbbing rhythm by a galaxy of greats, many paroled from the Ellington band.