Fred Astaire is remembered and revered today as one of the most transcendent popular singers and gifted dancers of any generation. Born in 1899, he was performing regularly on the vaudeville stage with his older sister Adele by the age of five. He went solo in 1932, when Adele retired, but Hollywood was hesitant to pick up the talent. He was not considered to be sexy, handsome, or vibrant enough for the screen. He got a cameo part opposite Joan Crawford in 1933 at MGM, but it wasn't until he was paired with Ginger Rogers at RKO that he became a recognizable commodity. Now, Sony Masterworks is inviting audiences, young and old, to revel in his glorious early performances, which have been re-mastered for the 2-Disc album The Early Years at RKO.
Courtesy of Sony Masterworks. Cover art for Fred Astaire's The Early Years at RKO.