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1968; An Alphabetical Look and An Announcement

An alphabetical look at the shows in 1968.

This month, we’re going to take a look at the musicals (and one play) that showed in 1968 in alphabetical order. But first, we’d like to take a moment to thank our loyal Footlight customers. Most of you are regular customers and have been faithfully buying from Footlight for years, and some for over a decade. You who have been with us for so long may have noticed some ups and downs in our customer service lately. What you may not have known is that Bruce has been maintaining Footlight by himself for a little over fifteen years now and has brought in some help with not only website maintenance, but shipping and order handling as well! We are now here for you as a team to process orders and feedback in a timely manner. Thank you for staying with us through this transition period.


Canterbury Tales was a London import. I saw the original in London and really preferred that version even though George Rose and Sandy Duncan were very good in the Broadway cast.

Darling of the Day by Jule Styne and E.Y. Harburg is a show that I saw just before I was married and was very pleased to find that they did record the show despite the short run. It was Broadway’s introduction to Patricia Routledge. She was always great even though none of the shows she was in had substantial runs in this country. I actually thought Vincent Price was more than acceptable, though most people blamed the failure on him. I did not feel that he was the case.


The Education of Hyman Kaplan was written by Oscar Brand and Paul Nassau. Starring Tom Bosley and Barbara Minkus. It had some wonderful songs and was directed by George Abbot but it was a near miss. It opened on the night of the assassination of Martin Luther King and that seemed to have been a very unfortunate event.

George M!, A musical about George M. Cohan had performance by Joel Grey as the title character. I did not find the story that compelling. The well known songs, I was not interested in hearing again – the little known songs were little known for a reason.

Golden Rainbow by Walter Marks was known best for the song “I Gotta Be Me” which made enough money to keep Mr. Marks living high on the hog. It starred Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé. I missed this musical because of my insistence upon sitting in a really good seat which is never available at the Shubert’s box office but luckily they did most of the songs in a little book this last year at 54 Below so I count on having seen it. This short version starred Steve Lawrence’s son, David, and Debbie Gravitte. David Lawrence looked like Steve Lawrence but did not quite sound like him.

The Happy Time by Kander and Ebb starred Robert Goulet and David Wayne. It had a most appealing score but the story was not very gripping. Gower Champion was way too interested in showing photographs rather than having traditional sets.

Her First Roman by Ervin Drake was about Cleopatra and Julius Caesar. This is an early show that I was able to see in Boston and again in New York. Cleopatra was fairly well played by Leslie Uggams and Richard Kiley played Caesar. It never had an official recording but many years later it was recorded and is available at Footlight.

Here’s Where I Belong by Alfred Uhry and Robert Waldman was based on East of Eden by John Steinbeck. The story was not as powerful as it had been in the movie and it closed opening night.

I am Solomon by Ernest Gold and Anne Croswell started in New Haven as “In Someone Else’s Sandals”. Again this one had a very short run because, despite the wonderful Dick Shawn and Karen Morrow, it was not enjoyed by the critics and thus closed. I sat in the balcony, watching the closing performance and I knew the songs had changed somewhat from the New Haven version. I particularly liked the orchestrations for the exit music but there were very few people in the balcony and before the exit music was over, everyone else but me had gone. Soon an usher came up to me and said “You gotta go”. This is unfortunately somewhat audible on my tape. Though it was not legal, I indicated by rolling my hand around like a tape that I was recording. So she then shouted to someone else “BRUNO, they don’t want to leave!”
Fortunately the exit music ended before Bruno got involved and I exited the Mark Hellinger theater.


Jacque Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris transferred to Broadway from off-Broadway and I did not bother seeing it on Broadway although I had much enjoyed it at the Village Gate off-Broadway.


Jimmy Shine was a play with music starring Dustin Hoffman. It had some folk songs written by John Sebastian but the show, despite Hoffman’s popularity, ended after a few months run.


Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat by Webber and Rice was their first hit and had, to me, a most appealing score.

New faces of ’68 was the last of the New Faces series which started in 1936 and had a moderate run at the Booth Theater.

Maggie Flynn by George David Weiss, Hugo and Luigi was a very old fashioned musical starring Shirley Jones, famous for her film musicals, and her husband, Jack Cassidy. Unfortunately the role of the husband was nothing like the typical Jack Cassidy role and I felt he was ill suited for the role. The song, “Mr. Clown“, was a bad choice for him.

Love Match by Maltby and Shire was a musical starring Patricia Routledge and Lawrence Guittard closed in California but it had a most appealing score and again the unfortunate Patricia Routledge as Queen Victoria.
We have two Love Match demos available here at Footlight and both come bundled with songs from other musical demos.
The first demo is included with a How Do You Do, I Love You backer’s audition. click here
The second demo is bundled with Mata Hari and How Do You Do, I Love You as well! click here

Promises, Promises was a big hit written by Burt Bacharach with a book by Neil Simon, starring Jill O’Hara and Jerry Orbach. I saw the preview in Boston and it worked well then but they added “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” which made it even better when it arrived in New York.

Your Own Thing by Hester and Apolinar was a moderate hit off-Broadway at the Orpheum and made an interesting cast album. It was purchased by the movies only to find out that they weren’t going to use the songs and they bought a Shakespeare story that was in the public domain and never made the movie.

Zorba was a thrilling out of town try out in New Haven. The opening “Life Is” was a sensational song and dance number. The original lyric was ‘life is what you do while you’re waiting to die’ when it was revived they thought that was too negative and took away “waiting to die”

We’ll give you a chance to buy The Education of Hyman Kaplan for the low price of $9.95

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1967

We’ll take a look at the shows that came out in 1967 alphabetically.

The first show alphabetically is Dumas and Son, This musical was written by Robert Wright and George Forrest and closed in California. We plan to offer a demo of Wright and Forrest singing the songs soon. This is a story about the man who wrote The Three Musketeers.

Hallelujah,Baby! by Jule Styne, Comden, and Green starred Leslie Uggams. It was allegedly rumored to have originally starred Lena Horne but she did not want to do the musical. Leslie Uggums gladly took her place and gave a wonderful performance. This show is also unique due to the fact that it’s the only show Jule Styne won a Tony Award for. He obviously deserved one for Gypsy and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Funny Girl. He joked about the show closing when he accepted the award.

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Henry Sweet Henry by Bob Merrill, despite being based on a popular film and having brilliant dances by Michael Bennett, failed to please the critics in the audience. I believe the roles played by Don Ameche and Carrol Bruce were especially uninteresting and the show came to a halt when the young people (notably Alice Playten) were not on stage.

The Original Broadway Cast version of Henry, Sweet Henry is available by clicking here.

Bob Merrill had told me that he had a friend who, when Funny Girl was playing in Philadelphia, had asked if he should invest in Funny Girl. Bob Merrill said that Funny Girl wasn’t going well and we wouldn’t suggest investing. The same investor asked if he should invest in Henry, Sweet Henry when it was out of town in Detroit and he said “Yes, I would invest in Henry, Sweet Henry” but it only ended up running a few weeks

The demo version of Henry, Sweet Henry (including The Happy Time demo) is available by clicking here. It includes many songs that were cut from the Broadway version.

How Do You Do I love You by David Shire and Richard Maltby Jr. was scheduled but only played a brief out of town tryout in Westbury. It starred Phyllis Newman and it revolved around her attempts to get married. Despite wonderful orchestrations by Jonathon Tunick and quite a few catchy songs, the show did not progress to Broadway.

How Now Dow Jones, by Elmer Bernstein (a famous film composer) and Carolyn Leigh, about the stock market and love relationships, had a semi-successful run and featured the popular song of the day “Step to the Rear” made popular by RCA recordings star Marilyn Maye. It was originally directed by Arthur Penn but he was replaced after Philadelphia and when I moved from NYC to Connecticut, it was the first show I saw at the Shubert Theater.

How to be a Jewish Mother  was another advice musical,with 5 or 6 songs by Mickey Leonard and lyricist Herbert Martin. The musical died out in Chicago and I happened to be on a visit to Milwaukee so I stopped in Chicago to see the show. It starred Molly Picon and Godfrey Cambridge. It was about the relationship between an older Jewish lady and a younger black man and how they bonded. It had a very brief run in NY.

Illya Darling by Joe Darion (who wrote the lyrics to Man of LaMancha) and Hadjidakis was based on the very successful Greek film, Never on a Sunday, starring Melina Mercouri. The music unfortunately sounded very undistinguished, like it was the same song playing many times over. When the show was in trouble, they asked Stephen Sondheim to write a song for the show, but it was never added. They said it was not good enough which I highly doubt.
When I first got a a tape recorder I was anxious to try it out in a theater. The tape recorder was too big to carry in a pocket so I asked my girlfriend if she had a big purse and she said yes. She however did not want to see a Broadway show. I cleverly asked her if she would like to see Marlene Dietrich. My girlfriend was German and naturally looked up to the performer. I left the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre and was so excited to see how clear the recording was that I took it out of her purse and started to play it right in front of the theater. I’m pretty sure if Marlene Dietrich came out the stage door, she would not have been happy. But I as pleased because it was quite a good recording and I could make clear live recordings of other shows.

I was in Miluakee after seeing How to be a Jewish Mother and I read in Variety that Mata Hari by Martin Charnin and Ed Thomas was to close in Washington and not come into Broadway. I realized that I could go back to NY via Washington to catch a show. Unfortunately I had never been in Washington DC and got hopelessly lost and misdirected so that by the time I reached the National Theater it was too late to see the full show. I thought to myself that I could conceivably walk right in and see the second act at the very least. I went to a store to buy a bag to put the tape recorder in, waited for intermission and went back into the theater once the intermission was ending. I was really blown away by the music and I said “I have to see and record the first act”. Fortunately there was a Wednesday matinee so I went to a hotel and started to play the recording in my hotel room and I thought that this was just a miracle. That I was listening to such clear music that I’d always have in my possession was just an absolute miracle. I went to see the matinee and recorded the first act. I did not see a reason to record the second act again so I didn’t. I went back stage, back to the alleyway behind the national theater and started to play the tape of the first act and one of the actresses, Helen Ross, came up to me and said “Is that my show?!” I said probably, yes it is! She was happy and I told her I would make a copy of this for her and we became friends as she lived in NY.

Sherry (James Lipton and Lawrence Rosenthol) had a troubled out of town tryout. Morton Decosta was fired in Boston and Joe Layton took over. George Sanders, the original star was perfect. I knew from a recording someone else had made on a tape recorder. Sanders left the show in Boston because his wife was dying in Los Angeles. He was replaced by Clyde Revil, who while a very good actor, was not as right for the part as Sanders had been. The show was to have been recorded by RCA but they never did. Years later Robert Sher and I tried to record and James Lipton told us that the orchestrations were lost. I thought to myself we had found the orchestrations for Breakfast at Tiffany’s at the library of congress, maybe they would have something there and they did they had the orchestrations from the Broadway theater and a studio cast recording was made starring Nathan Lane, Bernadette Peters and Carol Burnett. It’s a wonderful recording and if you haven’t purchased it yet, I would advise you to do so.

Over the next several months, we’re offering a great price on the 1995 York Theater recording of Mata Hari for $9.95! 

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1966

The first show was a flop but most enjoyable: A Joyful Noise by Oscar Brand and Paul Nassau. It starred John Raitt and had a very brief run. We have a very excellent sounding live recording through the sound system available.

Next came another flop which also great songs, A Time for Singing, based on the film, How Green Was My Valley. It was written by John Morris and the lyrics were by the director Gerald Freedman. It had the wonderful Tessie O’Shea. The story did not go well in the second act and the show closed.

Annie Get Your Gun was revived with Ethel Merman but I was unfortunately dissuaded from seeing the show when a couple reviewers said how old she was. I should certainly had seen the show as everyone speaks highly of it and it is a very attractive recording.

Next came a show that I certainly wish I had seen and planned to see, Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Bob Merrill. Live and Studio casts are available on our website. The reason I didn’t see the show was that the show closed after three previews. We put out a live recording that a collector made and also a studio cast that I’m very proud of with Faith Prince. This was the last show I was to miss for 52 years.

Click here to be redirected to the live version.
Click here to be redirected to the studio cast.

Next came a show that I didn’t see on Broadway, Cabaret, by Kander and Ebb. I purchased a ticket after a long box office wait some six months in the future I put it some place safe. I have never found the safe place and since I paid in cash there was no proof that I ever had a ticket. I would have eventually seen it on Broadway but I went to England and it was playing there with Judi Dench. I do believe Judi Dench was much superior to Jill Hayworth but at least I saw the show which fits my criterion.
We have two versions of the show available, the demo and the 1986 London cast.
Click here for the demo.
Click here for 1986 London cast version.

Chu Chem was scheduled to open next but closed in Philadelphia. By Mitchel Leigh, there is no live recording of this but we do sell the demo.

Click here for the Chu Chem demo.

I Do! I Do! by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones with Mary Martin and Robert Preston was impossible to get a good ticket for and closed during, I believe, a newspaper strike. I did see the show with the matinee cast, Carol Lawrence and Stephen Douglass in Westbury as well as three or four other later productions.

It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s Superman by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams had an appealing score with the best song, You’ve Got Possibilities. The lead role of Superman was not Bob Holiday, He was very wooden and did not perform well. The best actors were Jack Cassidy and Linda Lavin.

Mame was a big hit by Jerry Herman. The producers had wanted a big Broadway name but Jerry Herman had been very impressed by Angela Lansbury in Anyone Can Whistle and got his choice.

PousseCafé by Duke Ellington, Marshall Barer and Fred Tobias also played in 1966. The score may not have been substantially written by Duke Ellington as people now think. It was Billy Strayhorn as Duke didn’t seem that interested and may have passed this assignment along to his assistant. I found the star of the show, Theodore Bikel, to be very touching as he played an old teacher who is seduced by a sexy cabaret performer, Lilo. There is a jazz recording that does not really treat it like a Broadway show but there are only live recordings of the Broadway version.

Next came Show Boat, by Kern and Hammerstein. With an all star cast (again Stephen Douglass, Barbara Cook, and Constance Towers) it had a pleasant enough score.

Sweet Charity by Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields was full of hit songs and starred a most appealing Gwen Verdon. Directed by Bob Fosse, this was to be made into a Hollywood film a few years later with Shirley MacLaine.

The Apple Tree by Bock and Harnick was also most appealing because of Barbara Harris. I found the three stories to be one less appealing than the last. The best was Adam and Eve which I would like to have seen as an entire musical. The second, the Lion or the Tiger, never did tell us whether the wife chose to let her husband free to be with a sexy lady or to be fed to the tiger.

The Three Penny Opera was revived with Raul Julia, Caroline Kava, C.K. Alexander with a new translation and is quite interesting because of the new lyrics.

Next came Wait a Minim, a South African musical with authentic South African songs that were very joyous to hear.

The last show Walking Little Happy by Cahn and Van Heusen, starred the very lively English star, Norman Wisdom. Most of the songs were first rate but the story about the mean father who didn’t really want his daughter marrying Norman Wisdom was disappointing.

Until Next Time,
Bruce Yeko

For our readers, we have a special discount on Joyful Noise at the special price of $17.95

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1965

February 6th, 1965. An important musical in my life, Kelly, by Moose Charlap and Eddie Lawrence, opened and closed on this day so it had to be added to the list of shows that I did not see. As years have passed, I’ve become more and more fascinated by this musical and have issued two recordings of the music. One is a composer demo in which they sing and tell the story of Kelly. The second is the York Theater cast which starred Brian D’Arsy James. It was given a reading and I did a recording after the reading which led to a subsequent short run of Kelly. The recording needed as many male singers as possible so I and a young friend Gavin Rehfeldt added our voices to the rousing title song. After a couple rehearsals the musical conductor said “I’m hearing something I don’t like.” I assumed it was probably me as the other people were singers and I was not. As it turns out, it was the great George S. Irving and the writer, Eddie Lawrence. He said to Eddie, “Eddie, you’re not singing the melody.” Eddie said “I’m trying to be funny.” The response to this was “This is an ensemble number, you can’t be funny.” He said to George S. Irving “You’re dominating the entire song.” So the two of them were eliminated and whichever males were left sang the title song.

Next up was Baker Street by Ray Jessel and Marian Grudeff. This was Alexander Cohen’s attempt to have a hit musical (something he never succeeded at) and had quite an appealing score and wonderful singers, Inga Swenson and Fritz Weaver. The show had troubles out of town and Hal Prince came in and did what he could in a short time. Bock and Harnick were added as writers but the songs they wrote were no better… in fact, maybe not as good as the Ray Jessel songs.

 

Next up is Do I Hear a Waltz by Richard Rodgers and Stephen Sondheim. This would seem to have been a wonderful idea but Sondheim was very reluctant to work with Richard Rodgers and only did so out of loyalty to Oscar Hammerstein, his mentor. Rodgers also seemed to have a negative attitude toward things and nobody showed him reviews in which his work was criticized. I also feel that the casting of Elizabeth Allen was not a good choice as I have never cared for her in any show she has done. The end of the show is also very down, as it looks like the heroine has been lied to and there is no hope of anything promising happening to her.

Decline and Fall of the Entire World as told by the eyes of Cole Porter played off-Broadway and was produced by Ben Bagley and had quite a successful run. A CD was made which is now available.

Half a Sixpence starring Tommy Steele and written by David Henicker was a big hit in London and an even bigger hit and a later movie in the United States.

Flora the Red Menace was the Broadway debut of Kander and Ebb and produced by Hal Prince and directed by George Abbot. It was also the Broadway debut of Liza Minnelli. She was quite wonderful and most of the songs are quite wonderful. The thing that was not so wonderful was the idea of her being a communist sympathizer. This took place in the 30’s but I don’t see how that was an appealing musical comedy idea. It had a reasonable run but did not make its money back.

Roar of the Grease Paint by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse was a big hit. It had started in London starring Norman Wisdom but got bad reviews. David Merrick told Anthony Newley that if he would take over the starring role, he would take it to Broadway. He did and along with Cyril Richard ran for close to two years with song hit after song hit in the score.

Pickwick, based on a Dicken’s story, had a score by Cyril Ornadel and Leslie Bricusse. The problem here was the story didn’t have much happening and despite the thrilling voice of Harry Secomb it had a modest run of a few months and produced one hit song which was written, music and lyrics, by Leslie (“If I ruled the world”).

The next flop was called Drat! The Cat! written by Ira Levin, famous for his horror stories, with music by Milton Schafer who had written Bravo Giovanni!. It starred Lesley Ann Warren. The problem in my opinion was that it was a spoof and not all that funny. Everything was over the top. It only ran a few performances. It was more memorable for me in that a young lady named Judy Jacobson lived in my floor apartment dwelling and she consented to go to see the show. She was not overly eager to see a Broadway musical, as most of my friends weren’t. No one wanted to see Broadway musicals. I enticed her by offering her an expensive dinner at the very trendy Sign of the Dove. The meal was much better than the musical. She never wanted to see another musical after that.

On a Clear Day You Can See Forever opened in the fall by Allan Jay Lerner and Burton Lane, had a most appealing score and a performance for the ages by Barbara Harris. John Cullum is also top notch and it’s wonderful to hear a large chorus sing the title song. The story on ESP and going back in time didn’t always make the most sense.

Skyscraper, the first fall musical, by Cahn VanHusen, a book by Peter Stone, was not very interesting. The biggest problem was that the three stars, Julie Harris, Charles Nelson Riley, and Peter Marshall, were not top notch Broadway Singers, in fact as great an actress as Julie Harris was, she should have never been picked to sing. The score is also not top notch with a few exceptions.

A big hit, Man of LaMancha, opened in a tent in Greenwich Village in Washington Square Park. The superlative score is by Joe Darion and Mitch Leigh. It tried out at the Good Speed Opera House. I decided to see it on a snowy winter night. When I arrived at this new theater, I found the prices to be quite expensive for the time so rather than getting my usual up front seat I got the cheapest seat. As it turns out this was quite a ways away from the stage! Because of the weather and because no one knew about the show, the attendance was probably at around 30% capacity. I thought I should get a better seat before the show started. Especially because they said that Richard Kiley was somewhat indisposed and would not be acting on stage but would be singing the songs. I thought certainly they would not object to my moving to a much better seat, of which there were hundreds. As soon as I did so an usher rushed over and asked to see my ticket. I told him I had a seat way up there, but because of Richard Kiley not acting and there being minimal attendance, no one should object to my moving seats. She said I had to talk to the head usher about it, and to do so I must leave the theater. I told her I would ask for my money back, trying to make it seem that it was much more trouble than it was worth to send me off and hoping she would just let me off the hook. She told me “the box office is right over there”. I said “okay” and left, thinking that I would see it after it opened in a somewhat closer location. Alas, the show opened to rave reviews and there were no seats available so I did not see it for some time.
An ex-girlfriend Emma Macagba (who had also not been interested in seeing musicals) called me and asked if could I take her to see it. We had stopped dating so I was surprised to hear from her. My only reluctance was that I was engaged to be married to Doris Chu but decided that it would not be a problem to just take someone to see a musical.


I might mention that we have the London complete recording of the Man of LaMancha.

Anya by Wright and Forrest was at the glamorous Ziegfeld Theatre. It was the story of Anastasia who may or may not have been shot by the Russians. The movie and the recent Broadway show by Flaherty and Ahrens did much better telling the story. Originally it was to have starred George London, a well known opera singer. During rehearsals he never sang at full volume. When questioned he said that he was saving his voice for the live performance. The truth came out that he had lost a lot of his voice and could never sing again and had to be replaced by Michael Kermoyan. The score is orchestrated by Don Walker was delightful to hear.
I have also reissued Anastasia Affair which has quite a few changed songs by Wright and Forrest and features a wonderful cast.

The next show, Great Scott!, about poet Robert Burns, played the Theater 4 which had almost exclusively flop shows and this did not change with this musical.

The last musical the Yearling with music by Michael Leonard and lyrics by Herbert Martin was produced by The Fantasticks producer Lore Noto. It was based on the Gregory Peck Movie. I planned a trip to England being sure that I would be back before the show opened as it had done very badly in Philadelphia. I returned to find they had run out of money in Philadelphia. They had come a week earlier to NY and closed the opening night (as there are no good deer actors who can act on a Broadway stage as they can in a movie where they can take so many takes). For such a flop show, it had quite a few hits, some of them recorded by Barbara Streisand.

I wanted to offer you loyal customers and readers of the blog an exclusive discount on Anastasia for $6.95 if you click here.
Each discount so far is available for three months after the time of posting.

Till next time, Bruce Yeko.

 

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1964

I started 1964 at a musical four blocks away from me called The Athenian Touch. It was most famous for starring Butterfly McQueen. Famous for her role in the movie Gone With the Wind. It was done in a very campy style and somewhat entertaining. We may look for a CD to offer to you customers down the line.

The next show was a little more popular. Hello Dolly with Carol Channing. Of course everyone knew that title tune from the Louis Armstrong recording. I’m afraid that while I enjoyed the show the thing that I remember the most is that Natalie Wood was sitting a few rows in front of me and I was happy to look at her during the show. I never saw any of the later Dollies. I did see all the Channing revivals. But my best Dolly experience was a French production with Annie Cordy.

I went back to off-Broadway for the third show, Cabin in the Sky by Vernon Duke and John Latouche. It was another show that had an orchestra on the capital LP was in the theater but was only a few instruments. It was revived by encore and everyone was hoping that there would be a recording with a really big orchestra, but this never happened.

I had a little trouble with the next show, Rugantino. This was an Italian musical that was brought over by Alexander Cohen with the original cast with subtitles above the actors above the stage translating the lyrics into English. I bought the New York Times and found they were planning on closing the show so of course I had to see. I bought a ticket for the Saturday matinee of the closing weekend. I was sitting in my seat when another patron came and said “I think you’re sitting in my seat”. It turned out we both had a ticket for the Saturday matinee with the same seat location. The usher came and said that my ticket was not a real ticket. I said I bought it at the box office and I need to see this show because it’s closing. What they decided to do was to put a chair next to the seat and I set in the chair next to my original theater seat. There was an Italian LP which we now offer on CD. The music is well worth hearing.

The next show was Foxy by Johnny Mercer and Robert Emmett Dolan, starring Bert Lahr. I enjoyed the music and asked Don Tippin, a conductor who years later would be a good friend, whether RCA would really be recording the cast album. He said unfortunately they would not. Somebody took a reel to reel tape recorder in a briefcase and recorded the show and years later I put it out on LP. That LP is now a CD with bonus tracks of Johnny Mercer singing his score.

(Johnny Mercer)

Next came What Makes Sammy Run by Erwin Drake starring Steve Lawrence. The opening song was “I Got a New Pair of Shoes” which to this day I can not understand why he was singing about this. The only song I really like is “A Room Without Windows”.

Next came Funny Girl starring of course Barbra Streisand. I was forced to take a seat far away from my normal first ten rows as they said there were no such tickets available for months. It was enjoyable even from the mezzanine, but I don’t know why I never got a ticket to see it in my normal seat.

The next show, Anyone Can Whistle by Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents, starring Angela Lansbury and Lee Remick. It got mixed reviews so I thought I might have to see it before the Columbia Cast Album came out. I was shocked to find that I bought the Monday paper of the following week saying that the show had already closed. I realized that the New York Times would tell me about a show closing only if they were told by probably Thursday which didn’t happen. I kept thinking to myself “They need to do it again for me!” That of course didn’t happen but I have seen the show four times the last being an encore with Donna Murphy and Sutton Foster. I love the songs but the show still is a little too avant-garde.

The next show was a hit High Spirits by Hugh Martin and Timothy Grey starring Tammy Grimes and Bea Lillie. This has always been one of my favorite scores.

The next show Café Crown by Albert Hague and Marty Brill was another problem in my trying to see everything. In this case, I chose not see it because they had no reduced price previews as all shows did in those days. I also read that the show had posted a closing notice BEFORE the opening. I thought I’m not going to pay $9.95 to see this show. Today, I would have seen it. The score though Is a big disappointment as Albert Hague was not in top form and I still wonder why Marty Brill was writing the lyrics when he had never done this before. A live recording does exist.

Fade Out Fade In by Jule Styne, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, starring Carol Burnett was a much better show but not as good a book as some. Carol Burnett really didn’t want to stay in the show because she was offered a TV show.
Songs from Fade Out – Fade In are featured in Lost Broadway and More Vol. 5.

Next came the huge hit, Fiddler on the Roof by Bock and Harnick, starring Zero Mostel. This was most enjoyable but it was before Zero started amusing himself doing the show which caused the producers to ultimately fire him at the end of his one year contract. Sheldon Harnick, who I became friends with when I recorded the Body Beautiful a few years later, told me that the music publisher Tommy Valando who published the majority of Broadway shows, said that as much as he liked the scored he didn’t think anyone would record any of the songs as pop releases. He was pretty wrong.

Oh What a Lovely War which was a British hit with vintage songs directed by Joan Littlewood did not seem to me to be my kind of show. They made a movie with a lot of top English stars and I did enjoy that.

I had gone to Philadelphia because Harold Rome said there might be 10 inch records of his Call Me Mister show at a Philadelphia records store and I figured while I was there I would see the tryout of  Golden Boy by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams. There were a few songs, one of them being cut, but I was happy to see the show again as my next Broadway show. We sell an interesting demo where Sammy Davis sings most of the songs himself. We highly recommend this demo.

Next came an off-Broadway shore called The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. This had been one of my favorite movies by Danny Kaye when I was 13 years old. The off-Broadway musical was a big disappointment. It was written by people who had never written a show and I was surprised Columbia records had bothered recording it.

Ben Franklin in Paris by Mark Sandrich JR. and Sidney Michaels starring Robert Preston. We have a demo that has many cut songs sung by the authors.

Something More! by Sammy Fain and the Bergmans with a couple guest tunes by Jule Styne and starring Barbara Cook and Arthur Hill. My. Hill Proved that not every actor could talk-sing the way Rex Harrison had. Anyone would have been better in his role. It has one song that I now love called “Better all the time”. We have the live recording and the demo (pictures here).

Ernest in Love by Lee Pockriss and Anne Crosswell off-Broadway is maybe my favorite off-broadway musical ever. It opened at the same time as The Fantastics getting better reviews than The Fantastics but it only ran a few weeks and The Fantastics have set records for the longest run ever musical. Go figure!

I Had a Ball, the score by Jack Lawrence and Stan Freeman, Starring Buddy Hacket and Karen Morrow. The songs by Karen Morrow are extraordinary. We feature the cast album and the demo.

The last show was Babes in the Wood, by Rick Besoyn this was not nearly as good as Student Gypsy. We do have a demo that was song by a number of cast members along with the demo of another show Chu Chem.

As our monthly special, we are offering:

Jolson the London musical which was a hit for $2.95 and

Jack by Will Holt and Tom Sawyer for $6.95,

Thank you for reading and we hope to see you next month!
– Bruce Yeko