June 02, 1980 12:00 PM

Bernadette Peters

While she’s better known as a comedienne (All’s Fair on TV, the movie The Jerk) and for her friendship with Steve Martin, Peters has had extensive experience in stage musicals and is a genuinely accomplished singer. This, her first solo album, has an enticing mix of material, most of which is superior to its bulleted hit single, a Midleresque put-on of the 1960 rocker Gee Whiz. Peters shows a touchingly sensitive way with a lyric on If You Were the Only Boy, honky-tonks nicely through Pearl’s a Singer and delivers You’ll Never Know in much the same style as Helen Forrest sang it with Harry James’ band in the ’40s. Then James himself shows up, adding some lovely trumpet fills behind Peters’ bluesy reading of I Never Thought I’d Break, by Peter Allen and Dean Pitchford. Bernadette did not have to pose nearly nude for the cover painting by magazine artist Alberto Vargas to gain attention. She’s clearly got a great set of pipes.

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