The Heart of Doris Day

When Doris Day made the decision to retire from show biz, it was a sad day for her fans. We took some consolation in the fact that she was devoting herself to her beloved animal causes like the Doris Day Animal Foundation, but we missed her sunny smile, her uplifting attitude and her beautiful voice. Doris Day is the sweetheart that we never forgot. Well, our sweetheart has come back into our lives with a special present to all her fans.

According to BBC news online, Doris Day is to release her first studio album in some 17 years on September 5 in the UK with (hopefully) a US release date to follow. The album is called My Heart, with a total of twelve tracks, including nine previously unreleased recordings. The majority of the album was originally recorded in 1984 for her then TV show but never released. The nine original tracks were remastered by Doris’s son, Terry Melcher, prior to his death in 2004.

The album also features three Doris Day classics, among them “My Buddy” — a song she sang in her 1951 film I’ll See You in My Dreams and which she dedicates to her late son. “I had to sing some modern songs,” Doris said in a statement, “because I had already done all the old ones. These songs all mean so much to me,” she said from her Carmel Valley home. “They bring back happy memories of my friends who appeared on TV with me, my animal friends, and most of all, my son Terry.”

Terry Melcher was an innovative record producer, adding his creative talents to the Byrds’ “Mr. Tambourine Man” and much of the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds album. Before his death, Melcher produced several of Day’s new tracks, including “Happy Endings.” Doris was fully involved in the music selections for the album. Working with her as co-producer was Bruce Johnston, Melcher’s writing partner and former Beach Boy.

The track list (courtesy of dorisdaytribute.com) is as follows:

  • * “Hurry, It’s Love up Here”
  • * “Daydream”
  • * “The Way I Dreamed It”
  • * “Heaven Tonight”
  • * “My One & Only Love”
  • * “My Heart”
  • * “You Are So Beautiful”
  • * “Live is Just a Bowl of Cherries”
  • * “Disney Girls”
  • * “My Buddy”
  • * “Happy Endings” (sung by Terry Melcher, introduction by Day)
  • * “Ohio”

Doris Day’s first hit record was in 1945 with “Sentimental Journey” as vocalist for the Les Brown Big Band Orchestra, better known as Les Brown and His Band of Renown. She recorded more than 600 songs, including top hits such as “Que Sera, Sera,” “Secret Love,” “It’s Magic,” “Everybody Loves a Lover,” and “Teacher’s Pet.” Doris received an honorary Grammy award in 2008 for lifetime achievement.

While most people recall her Pillow Talk light comedy movies of the sixties with co-stars such as Rock Hudson and Jim Garner, I prefer her early Warner Bros. musicals of the late forties and early fifties. Pictures like Romance on the High Seas, My Dream is Yours, On Moonlight Bay, By the Light of the Silvery Moon, The Pajama Game and Calamity Jane gave Doris the opportunity to really show off her singing chops.

As I mentioned, the CD will be available on September 5 in the United Kingdom only and Sony Music will determine a release date for American distribution shortly after that. Let’s hope that happens because, after all, shouldn’t America have the album recorded by America’s girl next door? Apple pie, baseball, and Doris Day — it doesn’t get more American than that.

Doris has been out of the public arena for far too long. We’ve missed her. When she left us and chose her puppies instead, we understood, but we were hurt. No one likes to be jilted. But you know what? When your sweetheart comes back after all these years just to sing to you, well… all is forgiven. Welcome back, Doris.

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