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Richard RODGERS (1902-1979)
With a Song in My Heart : the Songs of Richard Rodgers
Lorenz Hart (1895-1943) Songs from Garrick Gaieties; The Girl Friend; One Dam’ Thing After Another; A Connecticut Yankee; Present Arms; Spring is Here; Simple Simon; Love Me Tonight; Hallelujah, I’m a Bum; Mississippi; Jumbo; On Your Toes; Babes in Arms; The Boys from Syracuse; Too Many Girls; Pal Joey
Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960) Songs from: Oklahoma!; Carousel; State Fair; South Pacific; The King And I; Flower Drum Song; The Sound of Music
Various artists and orchestras including Jessie Matthews, Paul Whiteman, Hutch, Ruth Etting, Jeanette MacDonald, Frank Sinatra Bing Crosby, Dinah Shore, Lena Horne, Mary Martin, Sophie Tucker, Allan Jones, Doris Day, Alfred Drake, Perry Como, John Raitt, Judy Garland, Dick Haymes, Ezio Pinza, Peggy Lee, Gertrude Lawrence, Johnny Mathis and Shirley Bassey.
rec. Hart: 1925-1949; Hammerstein: 1943-1961
Detailed track-listing at the foot of this review
RETROSPECTIVE RTS 4223 [78.32 + 78.52]

This is one of those treasuries that the contents - the artists mentioned above and track-listings given at the foot of this review - just sell themselves without blandishments or embellishments by a reviewer. They will certainly resonate as popular music classics of their times with fans of a certain age. From sweet-voiced - but a little bit nicely plumy - Jessie Matthews singing ‘My Heart Stood Still’ to Doris Day bewitching us with her rendition of ‘Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered’ there are so many magical Rodgers and Hart memories recaptured here on CD1. The breezy style of the 1920s in the opening track of ‘Manhattan’, and then a little further on the title song from The Girl Friend you can visualise those flappers flapping. Then there is the unmistakeable chocolate-coloured voice of Hutch ‘With a Song in My Heart’ and further on Jeanette MacDonald sans Nelson Eddy singing with that remarkably clear diction, ‘Isn’t It Romantic’ while one of Frank Sinatra’s earliest recordings, but with that unmistakeable style, comes up with ‘You Are Beautiful’. Soon afterwards he joins with that lovely expressive voice of Dinah Shore in ‘My Romance’. The distinctive laidback crooning of Bing Crosby can be heard in ‘It’s Easy to Remember’.
 
CD 2 recaptures all the magic of the super-successful musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein II. The first four tracks concentrate on the more romantic songs from Oklahoma! with the exception of the title song. In a way this is a pity because the inclusion of one of the comic songs would have helped balance the selections such as ‘Kansas City’ and ‘I Cain’t Say No’. Carousel with so many heart-stopping songs must surely be regarded as the team’s masterpiece, a show that really bordered on the operatic. The four songs here are quite representative but again a lighter-shaded piece would have been welcome like ‘June is Bustin’ Out All Over’. Thankfully we have ‘I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair’ amongst the five songs from South Pacific. There is similar variety amongst the five hit numbers from The King And I and from The Sound of Music. It is good to hear Perry Como sing ‘No Other Love Have I’ which was originally used in the outstanding documentary series Victory at Sea.
 
The 20-page booklet includes the erudite notes of Ray Crick.
 
A must for Richard Rodgers’ admirers.
 
Ian Lace  

Detailed track-listing 
CD1: Rodgers and Hart
1) ‘Manhattan’ from Garrick Gaieties- Ben Selvin and his Orchestra; rec. 1925.
2) ‘Mountain Greenery’ from Garrick Gaieties- Frank Crumit (vocal and ukulele with Jack Shilkret (piano); rec. 1926.
3) ‘The Girl Friend’ from The Girl Friend- George Olsen and his Music; rec. 1926.
4) ‘The Blue Room’ from The Girl Friend- The Revellers; rec. 1926.
5) ‘My Heart Stood Still’ from One Dam’ Thing After Another- Jessie Matthews with Hutch (Leslie A. Hutchinson) (piano); rec. 1927.
6) ‘Thou Swell’ from A Connecticut Yankee- Ben Selvin and his Orchestra; rec. 1927.
7) ‘You Took Advantage of Me’ from Present Arms!- Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra featuring Bing Crosby and Bix Beiderbecke (cornet); rec. 1928.
8) ‘With a Song in My Heart’ from Spring is Here- Hutch (vocal and piano); rec. 1930.
9) ‘Ten Cents a Dance’ from Simple Simon- Ruth Etting; rec. 1930.
10 ‘Isn’t it Romantic?’ from Love Me Tonight- Jeanette MacDonald with Nat Finston & his Orchestra; rec. 1932.
11 ‘Lover’ from Love Me Tonight- Paul Whiteman & his Orchestra with Jack Fulton (vocal); rec. 1933.
12 ‘You Are Too Beautiful’ from Hallelujah, I’m a Bum- Frank Sinatra with Alex Stardahl & his Orchestra; rec. 1945.
13 ‘Blue Moon’ (standalone song) Glen Gray & his Casa Loma Orchestra; rec. 1934.
14 ‘It’s Easy to Remember’ from Mississippi- Bing Crosby with Georgie Stall and his Orchestra and The Rhythmettes; rec. 1935.
15 ‘My Romance’ from Jumbo- Dinah Shore & Frank Sinatra with Axel Stardahl & his Orchestra; rec. 1947.
16 ‘There’s a Small Hotel’ from On Your Toes- Hal Kemp & his Orchestra with Maxine Gray (vocal); rec. 1936.
17 ‘Where or When’ from Babes in Arms- Lena Horne with Lou Bing & his Orchestra; rec. 1941.
18 ‘My Funny Valentine’ from Babes in Arms- Mary Martin with Lehman Engeal & his Orchestra; rec. 1949.
19 ‘Johnny One Note’ from Babes in Arms- Wynn Murray with Ruby Newman & his Rainbow Room Orchestr; rec. 1937.
20 ‘The Lady is a Tramp’ from Babes in Arms- Sophie Tucker with Harry Sosnik & his Orchestra; rec. 1937.
21 ‘Falling in Love with Love’ from The Boys From Syracuse- Allan Jones with Charles Previn & his Orchestra ; rec. 1940.
22 ‘This Can’t Be Love’ from The Boys From Syracuse- Benny Goodman (clarinet) and his Orchestra with Martha Tilton (vocal); rec 1938.
23 ‘I Didn’t Know What Time it Was’ from Too Many Girls- Margaret Whiting with Frank DeVol and his Orchestra; rec. 1946.
24 ‘I Could Write a Book’ from Pal Joey- Frank Sinatra with Axel Stardahl & his Orchestra; rec. 1952.
25 ‘Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered’ from Pal Joey - Doris Day with The Mellomen and John Rarig & his Orchestra; rec. 1949.

CD2: Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II
1) ‘Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’ from Oklahoma! - Alfred Drake with Jay Blackton & his Orchestra; rec. 1943.
2) ‘The Surrey With The Fringe On Top’ from Oklahoma! - Alfred Drake with Jay Blackton & his Orchestra; rec. 1943.
3) ‘People Will Say We Are in Love’ from Oklahoma! - Joan Roberts and Alfred Drake with Jay Blackton & his Orchestra; rec. 1943.
4) ‘Oklahoma!’ from Oklahoma! - Alfred Drake with Jay Blackton & his Orchestra; rec. 1943.
5) ‘If I Loved You’ from Carousel - Perry Como with Russ Case & his Orchestra; rec. 1945
6) ‘Soliloquy’ from Carousel - John Raitt with Joseph Littau & orchestra; rec. 1945
7) ‘What’s the Use of Wond’rin’ from Carousel - Jan Clayton with Joseph Littau & orchestra; rec. 1945.
8) ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ from Carousel - Judy Garland with Lyn Murray & his Orchestra & Singers; rec. 1945
9) ‘It Might as Well Be Spring’ from State Fair (film musical) Dick Haymes with Victor Young & his Orchestra; rec. 1945
10) ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ from South Pacific - Ezio Pinza with Salvatore Dell’Isola & orchestra; rec. 1949.
11) ‘Bali Ha’i’ from South Pacific - Peggy Lee with David Barbour & his Orchestra; rec. 1949
12) ‘I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair’ from South Pacific - Mary Martin with Salvatore Dell’Isola & orchestra & female chorus; rec. 1949.
13) ‘I’m in Love With a Wonderful Guy’ from South Pacific - Mary Martin with Salvatore Dell’Isola & orchestra & female chorus; rec 1949.
14) ‘Younger Than Springime’ from South Pacific - William Tabbert with Salvatore Dell’Isola & orchestra; rec. 1949.
15) ‘Hello Young Lovers’ from The King And I - Gertrude Lawrence with Frederick Dvonch & orchestra, rec. 1951.
16) ‘Getting to Know You’ from The King And I - Gertrude Lawrence with Frederick Dvonch & orchestra, rec. 1951.
17) ‘We Kiss in a Shadow’ from The King And I - Doretta Morrow & Larry Douglas with Frederick Dvonch & orchestra, rec. 1951.
18) ‘Shall We Dance’ from The King And I - Gertrude Lawrence and Yul Brynner with Frederick Dvonch & orchestra, rec. 1951.
19) ‘No Other Love’ from Me And Juliet - (adapted from the instrumental Beneath the Southern Cross in Victory at Sea) and with Perry Como and Henri René & his Orchestra & Chorus; rec 1953.
20) ‘You Are Beautiful’ from Flower Drum Song - Johnny Mathis with Ray Ellis & his Orchestra; rec. 1958.
21) ‘The Sound of Music’ from The Sound of Music - Mary Martin with Frederick Dvonch & orchestra; rec. 1959.
22) ‘My Favourite Things’ from The Sound of Music - Mary Martin and Patricia Neway with Frederick Dvonch & orchestra; rec. 1959.
23) ‘ Edelweiss’ from The Sound of Music - Theodore Bikel with Frederick Dvonch & orchestra; rec. 1959.
24) ‘Climb Ev’ry Mountain’ from The Sound of Music - Shirley Bassey with Frederick Dvonch & orchestra; rec. 1959. 


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