By Leonard Maltin | Leonard Maltin December 12, 2009 at 1:58AM
Those of us who have enjoyed Johnny Crawford’s orchestra over the past twenty-five years or more in Los Angeles have pestered him about releasing some recordings—and he’s finally answered our entreaties with this compilation of live performances. If you only know Johnny as the juvenile costar of the TV series The Rifleman...
years ago you may be surprised to learn that he later reinvented himself as a crooner, fronting a band that plays original dance-band arrangements from the 1920s and 30s. Johnny’s voice is light and appealing; he brings great charm to his renditions of old favorites like “Louise” and “Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams.” My favorite numbers are the ones that you won’t hear Michael Bublé or Harry Connick Jr. singing nowadays. These songs haven’t survived as standards but are treasured by vintage-music buffs just the same: “Sweepin’ the Clouds Away,” “The Day You Came Along,” “Look What I’ve Got,” et al.
Any band with a rhythm guitarist (the great John Reynolds) and a percussionist who isn’t afraid to use a woodblock is tops in my book. If you love this kind of music you’ll have a good time listening to Johnny Crawford. (Crawford Music)