Okay, this is a very weird story, so please bear with me.
Of late, I've been going to sleep while listening to old radio episodes of The Jack Benny Program over at the invaluable INTERNET ARCHIVE. I've been a Benny fan since I was a kid, but totally because of his television work; the radio stuff, which I hadn't heard until recently, turns out (for my money) to be even smarter and funnier.
One of the best things about the show is the ensemble cast, and that includes crooner Dennis Day, who is absolutely hilarious in the comedy sketches. That said, however, when I was a sprout I absolutely detested Day's musical numbers. All that Irish tenor crap just made me cringe; I considered it the worst kind of cornball kitsch sentimental ickiness on God's green earth. And don't get me wrong, I love and appreciate lots of pre-rock pop -- c'mon, early Sinatra? You'd have to be a complete moron not to dig that. But Day, and all that in Dublin's fair city shit? Beyond the pale as far as I was concerned.
But a funny thing happened in the last few months -- listening to the Benny shows, I began to really really look forward to Day's non-comedic performances. And it's starting to freak me out.
Exhibit A: From 1951 (and an episode of the show I listened to for the first time last Tuesday), here he is singing a song (that was apparently a hit for him) entitled "Mary Rose."
Okay, call me a doddering old fluff, but that really gets to me. For starters, the song is genuinely sweet, and the orchestral arrangement -- especially the Irish flutes and strings on the instrumental break -- is lovely. And for another thing, Day's voice is objectively beautiful and he's geniunely musical; his phrasing is great.
I think what I'm saying is -- I'm getting really ridiculous in my old age and somebody please shoot me now. I mean, if you had told my twenty-something self that I would be grooving to this record in my declining years I would have assumed you were huffing drugs too potent for me to have even imagined.