Fine-Tuning With Fred

Rounding up the best of Astaire’s movie music


Fred Astaire

The Early Years at RKO

CD $11.88 (Turner Classic Movies/Sony Masterworks)

In a career that spanned more than 75 years, Astaire, the most sublimely debonair singer, dancer and actor to ever sweep through Hollywood, made 31 movie musicals. This splendid roundup features tunes that he sang in such classic 1930s films as Flying Down to Rio, Top Hat and Shall We Dance, often introducing audiences to the works of Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern and George and Ira Gershwin. Backed by big bands and orchestras, Astaire swings, bops and croons through “Night and Day,” “Cheek to Cheek,” “The Way You Look Tonight,” “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off” and more than 25 other tracks, two (“The Yam” and “I Used to be Colorblind”) with his longtime onscreen partner Ginger Rogers.

—Neil Pond, American Profile Magazine

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