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Music Review

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Lost Broadway 1961


Music: Various
Lyrics: Various
Performed by: Various
Label: Stage Door Records
RRP: £9.99
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STAGE 9063
5 055122 190639
Release Date: 31 May 2019

At one time, there were several labels releasing cut and forgotten songs from Broadway and West End musicals. These days, you would expect even more to be released, given the ease of research and the speed at which recordings can be released. However, there is only one player to mention, and that’s the excellent Stage Door Records. And whilst they sometimes face criticism for the albums they release (due to our rather lacking copyright laws) they should really be applauded for releasing such treasure troves as Lost Broadway 1961.

This is the first in a new series of albums that will focus on celebrating Broadway's forgotten and obscure musicals. With each album dedicated to specific years in Broadway history, the Lost Broadway series launches with Lost Broadway 1961, a particularly abundant year in the Broadway calendar for musicals whose residencies were short lived but should not be forgotten.

Presented as a Deluxe 2CD Set, Lost Broadway 1961 features over 55 tracks including over 20 tracks appearing on CD for the first time. The album includes a complete disc of Original Broadway Cast Recordings and a companion disc of 'Covers And Rarities', showcasing pop covers and other rare recordings from the Broadway musicals of 1961 (including the musicals 13 Daughters and The Conquering Hero, shows that weren't afforded a Broadway Cast Album due to their limited runs).

The selections featured on Lost Broadway 1961 include a broad range of musical styles and genres from prolific musical theatre writers including Jerry Herman, Jule Styne, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Noel Coward, Bob Merill and Richard Adler. The featured musicals are 13 Daughters, The Conquering Hero, The Happiest Girl In The World, Milk And Honey, Subways Are For Sleeping, Sail Away, Let It Ride!, Donnybrook!, Carnival, The Gay Life, Kean and Kwamina.

The choice here is mind boggling - an album like this must take so much research and effort. There’s some great scores and performances here, each featured by their merit. Carol Lawrence’s tracks from the much-underrated Subways Are For Sleeping were the highlight from disc one for me, but I also loved Jerry Orbach’s ‘Her Face’ and as always, Sally Ann Howes is a delight. Disc two for me presented the more interesting items, as you would expect from ‘covers and rarities’. I’d heard a couple of these before, but never sounding as good as they do here. I’m not going to single any out, but with 32 tracks on this CD alone, there’s something for everyone.

Another first class release from Stage Door Records, and a must for fans of musical theatre, yet again proving that there’s much that is worth rediscovering from the lost recordings of Broadway times gone by.


Ian Gude

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