With its world tour theme, it was an unabashed revisitation of the concept explored in the duo's acclaimed RCA Records album, Fancy Meeting You Here, released in 1958. That album had been brilliantly arranged by Billy May, and he was called upon again to write the charts for this sequel.
That Travelin'Two-Beat lacks the flair of the original, however, mainly because of the musical restrictions it put upon itself. As its title implies, the album took popular songs from around the world, but then set them all to Dixieland two-beat arrangements. While the result was still entertaining, and remains so, it was never going to emulate its precursor, in which May's celebrated inventiveness was given full rein.
Nonetheless, songs such as Roamin' In The Gloamin, The Poor People Of Paris and Knees Up, Mother Brown suit the Dixieland treatment well. The songwriters Jay Livingston and Ray Evans supplied the title track and added new lyrics and countermelodies to the other, more-established songs.
Crosby and Clooney were firm friends, who often performed together on TV, radio and stage, and their natural chemistry, combined with the light-hearted song selection and May's effervescent studio presence, makes this album good fun. Although it was recorded six years after Fancy Meeting You Here, it is perhaps best listened to as a pleasant hors d'oeuvre to its meatier, elder sibling.
That Travelin' Two-Beat was re-released on CD in 2001 on the Collectors' Choice label, combined with another Crosby album from 1965 (this time without Clooney), Bing Crosby Sings The Great Country Hits.