Song:Why Shouldn't I
Album:The Reprise Years
Though Rosemary Clooney was very successful recording novelty songs like Come On-a My House for Columbia Records producer Mitch Miller in the 50s, she hated those songs and really wanted to be a jazz singer. So she left Columbia in 1958 for MGM. At the same time, she became addicted to prescription drugs and her marriage to Jose Ferrer was headed for a 1961 divorce. After recording a few albums for MGM and then Coral Records, she moved to RCA in 1959. RCA tried several things with Rosemary including pairing her with Bing Crosby on the 1960 album How The West Was Won. They also had her record children's songs and country songs. While she was going through her divorce, Rosemary began a relationship with arranger and conductor Nelson Riddle who was best known for his work with Frank Sinatra. They first worked together on the 1961 album Rosie Solves The Swingin' Riddle!. They recorded the album Love in 1961 but RCA decided not to release it and they dropped Rosemary. Riddle asked Frank Sinatra to sign Rosemary to his new label Reprise. He did that and bought the masters for Love from RCA. Why Shouldn't I is a Cole Porter song written for the 1935 musical Jubilee. Reprise released Love and Rosemary recorded two more albums for Reprise. Then she split up with Riddle and remarried Ferrer and left Reprise. She divorced Ferrer again in 1966 and suffered a nervous breakdown in 1968. This Rhino comp covers Rosemary's Reprise recordings. Rosemary Clooney's career was revived when she signed with Concord in 1977 and they let her record jazz. She re-recorded Why Shouldn't I on the 1985 album Rosemary Clooney Sings Ballads featuring jazz musicians like Warren Vache, Scott Hamilton and Ed Bickert. Rosemary Clooney continued to record for Concord until her 2002 death. Here's Rosemary Clooney performing Why Shouldn't I on the March Of Dimes show 1961. I may look at her jazz albums in the future but the video influenced my look at her 60s recordings.