St. Louis Woman [Original Broadway Cast] / Harold Arlen and His Songs

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
This CD combines two albums, the original Broadway cast recording of St. Louis Woman from 1946 and Harold Arlen's 1955 LP Harold Arlen and His Songs. Both albums feature music composed by Arlen, and both were released originally by Capitol Records. The St. Louis Woman album, in fact, was Capitol's first-ever venture into Broadway show recording, initially pressed on 78s. That's no surprise because, even though the musical was a flop that ran only 113 performances, Arlen's lyricist, Johnny Mercer, was also a principal in Capitol. That coincidence was fortuitous. The show's score was far superior to its staging, with such memorable songs as "Come Rain or Come Shine," ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
This CD combines two albums, the original Broadway cast recording of St. Louis Woman from 1946 and Harold Arlen's 1955 LP Harold Arlen and His Songs. Both albums feature music composed by Arlen, and both were released originally by Capitol Records. The St. Louis Woman album, in fact, was Capitol's first-ever venture into Broadway show recording, initially pressed on 78s. That's no surprise because, even though the musical was a flop that ran only 113 performances, Arlen's lyricist, Johnny Mercer, was also a principal in Capitol. That coincidence was fortuitous. The show's score was far superior to its staging, with such memorable songs as "Come Rain or Come Shine," "Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home," and "Legalize My Name." Pearl Bailey, actually the third-billed female performer, became the most recognizable name in the cast, and she ably handles both "Legalize My Name" and the equally amusing "It's a Woman's Prerogative." But the whole score is terrific, and the recording is amazingly clear for the 1946 vintage. It is also short, running less than half an hour, hence the decision to pair it with a rare reissue of the Arlen performance album. Arlen was much more than just a songwriter, however. He had come up as a singer, and his 1933 recording of his own "Stormy Weather" was a big hit. His versions of his own songs here are outstanding. He has an excellent tenor voice and a confident performing style. One can't help but wonder what sort of career he might have had if he had worked in an era when songwriters were allowed to be performers, too not that he did so bad sticking mostly to composing!. That speculation makes Will Friedwald's annotations all the more dismaying. "Generally speaking, the rise of the singer-songwriter in the 1960s was perhaps the single worst disaster ever to befall pop music, and served to trivialize both professions," the revisionist Friedwald writes boneheadedly. On the contrary, one listen to Harold Arlen and His Songs will make the music fan wish that the rise of the singer/songwriter had occurred at least ten years earlier, if not 20 or 30.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/24/2006
  • Label: Drg
  • UPC: 021471907827
  • Catalog Number: 19078
  • Sales rank: 132,758

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Harold Arlen Primary Artist, Vocals
Original Cast Recording Indexed Contributor
Pearl Bailey Vocals
Peter Matz Conductor
Harold Nicholas Vocals
Robert Pope Vocals
June Hawkins Vocals
Ruby Hill Vocals
Technical Credits
Harold Arlen Composer
Peter Matz Arranger
Arna Bontemps Book
Hugh Fordin Executive Producer
Will Friedwald Liner Notes
Ira Gershwin Lyricist
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg Lyricist
Johnny Mercer Lyricist
Billy Rose Lyricist
Alan Silverman Remastering
Edward Jablonski Liner Notes
Truman Capote Lyricist
Ted Koehler Lyricist
Countee Cullen Book
Lu Ann Graffeo Art Direction
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