MASTERWORKS BROADWAY Announces Fall 2011 Releases
NEW YORK, Oct. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — MASTERWORKS BROADWAY, recently praised by the Wall Street Journal for its ongoing reissue campaign, continues to make good on its promise to open its vaults with more classic cast recordings previously unavailable in the CD era. Babes in Arms (1951 Studio Cast) and Blackbirds of 1928/Shuffle Along (1953 Studio Cast) are joined by a new reissue of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies in Concert (1985 Concert Cast) and the first digital release of Jerry Herman’s TV musical Mrs. Santa Claus (1996 TV Soundtrack). All releases will be accompanied by new album pages and photos on MasterworksBroadway.com.
Babes in Arms was the first serious attempt to record one of the most successful, hit-laden original Broadway scores created by composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Lorenz Hart. The decision was an interesting one, coming at the height of the popularity of Rodgers’ second, more famous collaboration with Oscar Hammerstein II – and at a time when old Broadway musicals were generally considered to be quaint but hopeless relics. For this recording, which honors the original score and generally follows the original order of the songs, the label sought the insurance of featuring a big star in Mary Martin, then shining brighter than ever following the success of South Pacific. The Columbia recording, also starring Jack Cassidy and Mardi Baynee, was produced by Goddard Lieberson under Lehman Engel’s direction. The October 24 release, the first authorized since the LP era using the original mono master, will be available as a digital download and as disc-on-demand, with the original cover art and new liner notes, via Arkivmusic.com and Amazon.com.
In celebration of the acclaimed new Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies, a new 2-CD eco-friendly softpack of Follies in Concert will be released on October 24. Recorded live at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City on September 6 -7, 1985, Follies in Concert finally gave one of Sondheim’s most ravishing scores it’s complete due, and revealed the previously neglected show as a masterwork of the American musical theater. Featuring an all-star cast recruited by the composer, Follies in Concert quickly passed into theatrical legend and is now referred to in the same manner as a major historical event. The reissue also includes Stephen Sondheim’s score to the film Stavisky.
The 1953 studio recordings of songs from the pioneering all-black musicals Shuffle Along (1921) and Blackbirds of 1928 (1928) are the only representations of these landmark scores in their original context. Shuffle Along introduced the Eubie Blake-Noble Sissle hit “I’m Just Wild About Harry,” and Blackbirds of 1928 gave the songwriting team of Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields their first Broadway success with such classics as “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” and “Diga-Diga-Doo.” Eubie Blake conducts and plays piano on the four songs from Shuffle Along, featuring Thelma Carpenter and Tony nominee Avon Long. Carpenter and Cab Calloway share the four songs from Blackbirds of 1928, with Lehman Engel conducting. The November 15 release of these recordings is the first using the original masters and will be available as a digital download and as disc-on-demand, with the original cover art and new liner notes, via Arkivmusic.com and Amazon.com.
Just in time for the holidays, MASTERWORKS BROADWAY digitally reissues the soundtrack to the 1996 Yuletide television special, Mrs. Santa Claus on November 15. The holiday film reunited Broadway composer Jerry Herman with Angela Lansbury who had glittered in two of his musicals, Mame and Dear World. Set in 1910, the show chronicled the misadventures of Santa’s wife (or Mrs. North as she whimsily called herself) who, having failed to convince her husband that he should take a rest, decides to drive his sleigh herself on Christmas eve. With a cast that included Charles Durning, Michael Jeter and Terrence Mann, the Hallmark presentation provided Jerry Herman with a renewed opportunity to write catchy songs, most notably for his star, who delivered with her usual gusto such lilting tunes as “Mrs. Santa Claus,” “Almost Young,” and “Whistle.”
SOURCE MASTERWORKS BROADWAY