1962's Greatest Hits/The Shifting Whispering Sands

1962's Greatest Hits/The Shifting Whispering Sands

by Billy Vaughn


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Collected together here on a single 26-track disc are two prime albums from saxophonist and orchestra leader Billy Vaughn, one of the greats of easy listening music. After taking a job as music director at Dot Records, the Kentucky-born musician went on to form his first orchestra in the mid-'50s and would dominate the Billboard charts over the coming decade and a half with his smooth pop arrangements and his golden alto sax, which would cover many of the lead melodies. Though his band would become the go-to backing orchestra for many other pop stars, these two albums were recorded in what is considered his prime solo era (1957-1963). 1962's Greatest Hits (released in early 1963) is just that, a collection of some of that year's best-known songs like the Tornados' "Telstar," Ray Charles' "I Can't Stop Loving You," and Henry Mancini's classic "Moon River." The Shifting Whispering Sands (from 1962) employs Vaughn's creamy "twin sax" sound to a set of Western-themed songs like "Cool Water," "Home on the Range," and the two-part title cut complete with its spoken word tale of the Western desert. Both are definitive works from a major star of the easy listening era.

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