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Martina and Dino

Country Standard Time Editorial, September 2006

Martina McBride is one of country's best singers out there today. Her career has steadily been on the upswing with her powerful, soaring voice and a lot of good material.

Which leads us to the decision to record Dean Martin's "Baby, It's Cold Outside." Now if McBride was recording it as her own release, that would be fine. It would also make sense given that she will embark later this year on her fourth holiday season tour.

But the problem is that not only do you hear McBride's voice on the recording, you also hear Martin's.

This is not the first time this idea has been tried. Hanks Sr., Jr. and III recorded an entire album together decades after the original Hank was long dead. More recently, Anita Cochran did a song that interspersed snippets of Conway Twitty. Fortunately, the song was a bust.

And we see problems with the new version of "Baby, It's Cold Outside." Of course, there never was any intention of Martin to record with McBride, so what we are left with is either an ill-conceived decision by the estate of Martin or an attempt by the music powers that be to cash in as well. From an artistic standpoint, we take issue with this decision because once commercialism rules, true artistry is dead.