At a time when revue was still a major entertainment force composers Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz collaborated on ‘Inside U.S.A’, suggested by John Gunther’s book, with the sketches developed by the likes of Moss Hart etc. It starred Beatrice Lillie and Jack Haley and ran for 399 performances on Broadway. Unusually, this “cast” recording was recorded before the Broadway opening to beat the ASCAP strike, which silenced all commercial recordings for much of 1948. Consequently, the leads Lillie and Haley got to record their numbers including “Atlanta”, a track dropped from the actual show, but songs belonging to the supporting cast members were recorded by “pop” singers Perry Como and Billy Williams. Como charted with “Haunted Heart”, the hit ballad from the show. The Bea Lillie and Jack Haley tracks are on CD for the first time. A cover recording of highlights from the show was made by Buddy Clark and Pearl Bailey. The six songs are also included here. ‘The Band Wagon’ was an earlier revue by the Schwartz and Dietz team which starred Fred and Adele Astaire on Broadway in 1931, in their last show together before Adele left to marry, and shortly before Fred diverted to the silver screen. The film version was made by MGM in 1953 starring Fred Astaire, Nanette Fabray and England’s Jack Buchanan. On this CD we have included highlights from the show recorded by The Astaires, a selection from the film soundtrack, and four rare studio cast tracks on CD for the first time performed by Broadway veterans Harold Lang, George Britton and Edith Adams.
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