Just Out Of Reach: Rarities From Nashville Produced By Chet Atkins (CD) by Perry Como

January 15, 2014


Perry Como was one of the superstars of American music during the 1940s and first half of the 1950s. His television variety program ran from 1949-1967 and his Christmas specials were broadcast for years. While the rock era eventually eroded his popularity, he remained active on stage and in the recording studio until near his death in 2012.

While Como’s career spanned nearly seven decades, one of his lesser known periods was his time recording in Nashville with producer Chet Atkins. Those sessions resulted in three of his more popular albums, The Scene Changes (1965), And I Love You So (1973), and Just Out Of Reach (1975).

Real Gone Music in conjunction with RCA has now released 23 tracks from those sessions including his entire Just Out Of Reach album. In addition to the complete album there are outtakes from both of his 1970s albums and a number of non-album singles releases. The missing pieces are the And I Love You So, which was the strongest of the three releases and The Scene Changes album.

Como may have been in Nashville and country legend Chet Atkins may have been his producer but he was far from a country artist. He was a laid back crooner who was able to adapt just about any type of song to his style. John Loudermilk’s “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye,” the Lennon/McCartney tune “Here There And Everywhere,” and Kris Kristofferson’s “Loving You Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again)” are all examples of his easy listening style no matter what the song.

The six outtakes are all being released for the first time. Sometimes unreleased tracks were unreleased for good reasons. While such songs as “It Was Such A Good Day,” “Yellow Beach Umbrella,” “Take A Look At Me,” and “Take Me Home” may be a pleasant for his fans, they pale next to his better material.

The highlight of the album is the non-album single releases. “Love Don’t Care (Where It Grows),” “Walk Right Back,” and “Wonderful Baby” may not be among his better known hit songs but they are Como at his understated best. His Spanish recording of “And I Love You So” makes one wish for the original version.

The common denominator is producer Cher Atkins. Otherwise, it is a disjointed compilation made up of one average album and some bits and pieces. Just Out of Reach: Rarities From Nashville Produced By Chet Atkins is not a starting point for exploring the Perry Como legacy. It is a release mainly for his fans.

Catch A Falling Star by Perry Como

October 10, 2013

Perry Como was a recording star in the 1940s and 1950s and in addition had a hit television series. His career would not be as successful as the rock and roll era progressed but in 1958, her had his last number one (barely).

“Catch A Falling Star” remains one of his better known songs and on March 24, 1958, it topped the Most Played By DJ’s chart for one week. It didn’t even come close on the Top 100, stalling at number nine.

Como’s career would last 50 years and he spent it all recording for the RCA Label. “Catch A Falling Star” was the last of his 14 number one songs.

Round And Round by Perry Como

April 25, 2013

Perry Como had a career that spanned over six decades. He was one of the few Big Band era artists that continued to have success during the rock and roll era. Nearly 50 0f his 82 chart singles came after the beginning of the rock era. Much of his success at the time was due to his successful television show, which ran 1948-1963.

“Round And Round” was a typical Perry como song. It entered te BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Hot 100 on February 23, 1957. It peaked at number one on the Best Sellers In Store Chart (1 week) and Most Played By Disc Jockey’s Chart (2 weeks). It remained on the charts for 29 weeks.

It may have been the Elvis Presley era but Como’s career showed no sign of slowing down.

Hot Diggity by Perry Como

January 21, 2013

“Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis Presley” kept a number of big hits from reaching number one as it ruled the American Singles Charts for two months during the spring of 1956.

If there was ever a song that was different from “Heartbreak Hotel,” it was “Hot Diggity” by Perry Como. It stalled at number two on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Best Sellers In Stores, Most Played In Jukeboxes, and Top 100 Charts. However, on May 5, 1956, it spent one week on top of the Most PLayed By Disc Jockeys Chart, which gave Perry Como another number one hit.

“Hot Diggity, Dog Diggity, boom what you do to me” were words that made the song memorable. It may not have been Como’s biggest hit, but it remains one of his most popular.

Wanted by Perry Como

August 13, 2012

As the 1950s pre-rock ‘n’ roll era progressed, Perry Como kept on clicking. His weekly TV show, 1949-1963, was a constant hit and provided exposure for his music and his records sold in the hundreds-of-millions of copies.

One of the biggst hits of his career, (which is saying alo), came during the first half of 1954 when “Wanted” topped all three BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Charts.

Beat Sellers In Stores Chart – 4/10/54 – 8 weeks at number one.
Most Played By Disc Jockeys Chart – 4/28/54 – 7 weeks at number one.
Most Played In Jukeboxes Chart – 5/1/54 – 8 weeks at number one.

“Wanted” was typical of the era. Como’s smooth vocal just made the listener relax. Songs such as this may not have changed American msic but they made it alot more pleasant.

Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes by Perry Como

June 22, 2012

Perry Como was the vocal superstar of the late 1940s and early 1950s and would remain popular for nearly a half century.

He returned to the top of the BILLBOARD Pop Charts with the first big hit of 1953. “Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes” topped all three of the charts.

Best Sellers In Stores Chart – 1/10/53 – 5 weeks at number one.
Most Played By Disc Jockeys Chart – 1/24/53 – 3 weeks at number one.
Most Played In Jukeboxes Chart – 1/17/53 – 4 weeks at number one.

It was an up-tempo and peppy song that ran counterpoint to many of his ballads. It remains one of his well-know songs.

If by Perry Como

April 15, 2012

Patti Page and her “Tennessee Waltz” had dominated the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Charts during the first two months of 1951. Her signature hit was finally replaced by one of the biggest hits of Perry Como’s career.

“If” was originally written during 1934 and just hung around for awhile until Como, 1912-2001, went into the studio November 28, 1950 and recorded his version. Released during early 1951 it went to number one on all three BILLBOARD charts.

Best Sellers In Stores Chart – March 3, 1951 – 6 weeks.
Most Played By Disc Jockeys – March 3, 1951 – 8 weeks.
Most Played In Jukeboxes – March 31, 1951 – 5 weeks.

“If” would continue to cement his status as a superstar of the era. He had a popular weekly television show, 1949-1963. Como was also a rare artist that stayed with the same label his entire career. He signed with RCA during 1943 and over the course of his 50 plus year career, that is where he remained.

Hoop-Dee-Doo 78 by Perry Como with The Fontaine Sisters

March 28, 2012

While Guy Lombardo and Anton Karas were dominating the BILLBOARD Best Sellers In Stores Chart and Most Played In Jukeboxes Chart with their versions of “The Third Man Theme,” good old Perry Como reached the top of The Most Played In Jukeboxes Chart on June 3, 1950 with his “Hoop-Dee-Doo.” It remained at number one for two weeks.

It was an up-tempo oom-pah song complete with accordians and trumpets. The Fontaine Sisters provide the vocal support. It helped solidify his position as one of the superstars of the 1940s and 50s.

Some Enchanted Evening 78 by Perry Como

February 28, 2012

Perry Como, 1912-2001, was a superstar of the 1940s and 1950s and his active career spanned over half a century. He placed over a hundred songs on the American singles charts. He was also married to the same women for 65 years.

Many of his songs have stood the test of time well as he had a smooth and soothing vocal style.

“Some Enchanted Evening” reached number one on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Singles Chart, August 20, 1949 and remained in that position for five weeks.

Chi-Baba, Chi-Baba 78 by Perry Como

January 30, 2012

Perry Como was at the height of his career during the late 1940s and early 1950s. Just about every release was successful.

“Chi-Baba, Chi-Baba (My Bambino Go To Sleep)” was released during 1947 and it reached the number one position on BILLBOARD MAGAZINE’S Singles Chart, June 28, where it remained for three weeks.

It was a gentle lullaby that resonated with the record buying public of the day as it sold over one million copies. It was another in the long line of number one hits for Perry Como.