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

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

by Harold Arlen
     
 
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,

Overview

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/24/2006
Label:
Drg
UPC:
0021471907827
catalogNumber:
19078
Rank:
163687

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Lil Augie is a natural man
  2. Any place I hang my hat is home
  3. I had myself a true love
  4. Legalize my name
  5. Cakewalk your lady
  6. Come rain or come shine
  7. Lullaby
  8. Sleep peaceful (Mr. Used-To-Be)
  9. Leavin' time
  10. It's a woman's prerogative
  11. Ridin' on the moon
  12. I've Got the World on a String, song
  13. Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive, song
  14. Come rain or come shine, song (from the musical "St. Louis Woman")
  15. Let's Fall in Love, song
  16. One for My Baby (and One More for the Road), song
  17. It's Only a Paper Moon, song (written for The Great Magoo)
  18. Blues in the Night, song (from the film "Blues in the Night")
  19. Somewhere Over the Rainbow (for the film "The Wizard of Oz")
  20. That Old Black Magic, song (for the film "Star Spangled Rhythm")
  21. Man (Gal) that Got Away, song
  22. Two Ladies in de Shade of de Banana Tree
  23. Stormy Weather, song (from the Cotton Club Parade of 1933)

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Harold Arlen   Primary Artist,Vocals
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
Edward Jablonski   Liner Notes
Truman Capote   Lyricist
Ted Koehler   Lyricist
Countee Cullen   Book
Lu Ann Graffeo   Art Direction

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