At a dollar for this double record, I might as just of have walked out without paying for it. Besides all the really great Broadway songs from some of the greatest Broadway productions by some of the most talented people to grace the stage, this record also includes a detailed booklet of some of the more popular Broadway productions as well as a cover with illustrations from the famous New York cartoonist, Al Hirschfeld.
Hirschfeld, born in St Louis in 1903, moved to New York with his family and studied art. He became a commissioned cartoonist for The New York Times and as a self described “Characterist”, he drew countless portrayals of artists, performers, politicians, and other celebrities for just about every publication there was at the time.
This record, as suggested above, is a collection of iconic Broadway tunes from top productions such as Gypsy, My Fair Lady, South Pacific, Finian’s RainbowShow Boat, Kiss Me Kate, West Side Story, Pal Joey, and The Sound Of Music among others. Performers include Carol Channing, Julie Andrews, Rex Harrison, Ethel Merman, Carol Lawrence, Mary Martin, the list goes on and on. What more can I saw? Iconic performers giving performances from iconic productions. The booklet is also real neat as it has a bunch of pictures. It was released by Columbia Records in 1961.
For a sample, I was pulled in show many directions. I could have listed the whole album. However, I decided to go with three samples. First off , from On The Town, here is the signature song, “New York New York”. Written by Adolphus Green and Betty Comdon in 1944 with music by Leonard Berstein, the original version which ran 462 performances differed from the movie version, which cut all but three of Bernstein’s song. Comdon had a role in the Broadway play along with Green who is here on this track with John Reardon and Cris Alexander. Also different from the movie is the exclamation that New York is a H-E- double hockey sticks of a town. I realize this is a side note, but I would love to have been a fly on the wall for the filming of the movie version of this musical, just to see a perfectionist Gene Kelly swear and berate Frank Sinatra for missing cues.
I also went with Bye-Bye Birdie’s “Kids”, mostly as a tribute to the Simpsons who both parodies the song as well as the actor who sung it, Paul Lynde. He is joined by Marijane Maricle on vocals.
Great album. Great cover. Great packaging. Top Rated.