Bob Cannon
May 20, 1994 AT 04:00 AM EDT

If you bought Kathie Lee Gifford’s Sentimental album last year and still think a hole needs to be filled in your musical universe, consider it plugged. Mercury Records has reissued It’s Time for Regis!, a long-out-of-print 1968 album of show tunes and standards by Kathie Lee’s kaffeeklatsch partner, Regis Philbin. Besides the thrill of his jaunty renditions of evergreens such as ”Pennies From Heaven” and ”Where or When,” you get ”Swanee” done as a demented hybrid of Dixieland and Motown; liner notes are supplied by Joey Bishop, on whose late-’60s talk show Rege served as second banana. In what is surely a first, Philbin is keeping mum about this uncovered evidence of his short-lived recording career. But not Bishop. ”I have to admit,” he quips, recalling the album, ”his singing gives lots of hope to lots of people who can’t sing.”

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