A Voice Of Distinction
Bob Manning Of The 1950’s Era?
By Frank E. Dee
In 1953 Bob Manning was riding high with a hit song titled: "The Nearness Of You," recorded on the Capitol label. This song in 1953 landed on the charts, which launched Manning with a follow-up hit album; "Lonely Spell." The same album had been re-released in 1994.
The media always tried to classify and label Manning’s voice to be identical to Dick Haymes’ voice. As far as this writer is concerned…this was like comparing Dean Martin’s voice to Perry Como’s voice, or Crosby to Russ Columbo. One would have to be tone deaf not to be able to identify the difference in voice quality, tone placement between the two voices.
Manning’s voice was rich, full, and well placed, with a great quality of tone. His phrasing of lyrics, were smooth, like an instrument of a cello. He also had a range he could use, if he so chose to do so. If you happen to have the CD or the Album of "Lonely Spell," you will notice his range and phrasing and smoothness all combined into his magical vocal instrument. There definitely was a vocal difference between Manning’s voice and Haymes’ voice.
I remember Manning’s hit recording of "The Nearness Of You" and his hit album "Lonely Spell." I had purchased the album at that era of time, when it was popular, and enjoyed many a happy moment dancing to the Manning sound of his plush, style of easy does it. His album was an album for lovers of all ages.
In my opinion, Bob Manning would not have sounded well in singing jump tunes or up beat tunes if you will. There are singers however who can cross over to singing a jump tune as well as sing a ballad, who are great in both styles of singing, but not all singers can do both, and sound good in doing so.
Manning’s voice was one of those voices for singing ballads. He could take a ballad and do wonders with the lyrics with his tone quality, and phrasing. Haymes also was great, and I for one am not disputing the fact that he wasn't a great singer. However as I mentioned Manning's voice all around quality was entirely different from his.
If you find
time to sit down, put on his CD or his album, and listen very, very, closely,
and hear his delivery, his pitch, his phrasing and his tone placement.
Bob Manning’s bass baritone voice speaks for itself.