Memories of Old Broadway: 60 Vintage Recordings of Songs from the Musical Stage, 1904-1

Memories of Old Broadway: 60 Vintage Recordings of Songs from the Musical Stage, 1904-1


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Memories of Old Broadway: 60 Vintage Recordings of Songs from the Musical Stage, 1904-1

The subtitle of Take Two Records' three-hour, triple-disc set Memories of Old Broadway is "60 vintage recordings of songs from the musical stage, 1904-1934," and that's what it delivers, in chronological order, both by the opening date of the show in which each song was featured, and the year the recording was made. Of the 60 tracks, 17 are performed by the actual artists who introduced them on-stage, and another seven are by artists who appeared in the shows in which the songs were featured. In several other cases, the performer is the songwriter. Still, more than half of the selections are pop interpretations of show tunes. Thus, the album is not only a musical history of Broadway, but also a history of popular music over a 30-year period. And it scores heavily on both counts, presenting one song standard after another. Indeed, the song titles and songwriters are frequently better remembered than the performers, who include still-familiar names like Fred Astaire, Al Jolson, and Kate Smith, along with a host of singers and bandleaders nearly lost to history. In many cases, that obscurity is unjustified; for example, Billy Murray, the most successful recording artist of the first quarter of the 20th century, and the definitive interpreter of the songs of George M. Cohan, heard here on three tracks, deserves wider recognition. Annotator Gerald Bordman writes that Jim Bedoian, who assembled this collection, whittled its 60 songs down from an initial list of 300, which should give a sense that this is really a sampler more than a full-fledged chronicle. But it still works well as a collection of musical highlights. (The tracks have been mastered from records, with sound restoration applied, and the results are quite listenable, though one must forgive the hiss on the earliest selections.)

Product Details

Release Date: 01/17/2012
Label: Take Two Records
UPC: 0734021051023
catalogNumber: 510
Rank: 142620

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Rudolf Friml   Piano,Soloist
George Gershwin   Piano,Soloist
Fred Astaire   Vocals
Harold Arlen   Vocals
Leslie Hutchinson   Piano
Frank Luther   Vocals
Dick Robertson   Vocals
Fran Frey   Vocals
Johnny Marvin   Vocals
Bob Borger   Vocals
Three Waring Girls   Vocals
Sylvia Froos   Vocals
Scrappy Lambert   Vocals
Eddy Thoms   Vocals

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Irving Berlin   Composer
Jimmy McHugh   Composer
George M. Cohan   Composer
Oscar Hammerstein   Composer
Cole Porter   Composer
Silvers   Composer
Jim Bedoian   Producer
Gerald Bordman   Liner Notes
Eliscu   Composer
Friml   Composer
Greg Parks   Cover Art

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