Fans of cast recordings can look forward to plenty of exciting releases due in the coming weeks!
Kritzerland has recently announced two new limited edition titles! First up is a two-for-one release with a pair of classic television specials. NBC's 1973 presentation of Cole Porter in Paris starred Perry Como, Diahann Carroll, Connie Stevens and others in a rousing celebration of the legendary songwriter's work. It was directed by Martin Charnin (Annie) and featured arrangements by Como's longtime collaborator Nick Perito. It's paired with Feathertop, a 1961 TV musical by Charnin and Mary Rodgers (Once Upon a Mattress) starring Jane Powell, Hugh O'Brian (Wyatt Earp), Cathleen Nesbitt (My Fair Lady), and Hans Conried (Captain Hook in Disney's Peter Pan), with support from Jackie Joseph, Shirley Mills, Pat Lloyd, and Anthony "Scooter" Teague. Both soundtracks were originally released as promotional LPs only; this two-fer marks their first-time commercial release. Cole Porter in Paris/Feathertop is limited to 500 copies.
The label also has a reissue of the musical revue Julius Monk Presents Pieces-of-Eight which opened in 1959 at New York's Upstairs at the Downstairs. This snapshot of the era's cabaret scene starred Gordon Connell, Jane Connell, Estelle Parsons (soon to be reprising her role on the rebooted Roseanne), Ceil Cabot, Gerry Matthews, and Del Close. William Roy and Carl Norman were at the piano for this vivid comic entertainment subtitled "A Pirate Parodic." Kritzerland's reissue marks the first CD appearance of this rare cast recording, and it, too, is limited to 500 copies. Both titles are scheduled to ship by the first week of May, but pre-orders made directly through Kritzerland typically ship three to five weeks early. Both titles are available for pre-order here!
Harbinger Records is following up its 2015 Songwriter Showcase Series release spotlighting Cy Coleman, You Fascinate Me So, with another title from the late pianist and composer. Coleman was the rare artist who was equally comfortable entertaining as a headline artist and working behind-the-scenes crafting the score of a big Broadway musical - whether Sweet Charity, On the Twentieth Century, The Will Rogers Follies, or countless others. Harbinger has dug deep into his archives as a nonpareil jazz pianist for the new release entitled A Jazzman's Broadway. This collection brings together his Jubilee LP of songs from Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg's Jamaica and his Westminster album of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song tunes, plus rare transcription discs of him playing another R&H classic, South Pacific. Coleman leads his trio also including bassist Aaron Bell and drummer Ray Mosca, as well as a vocal group, and drummer Ossie Johnson, flautist Romeo Pinque, and guitarist Skeeter Best. This collection of swinging New York jazz from the remarkable Cy Coleman is due from Harbinger on April 6 at Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada! It's also available digitally.
Stage Door Records is celebrating another great talent with a pair of releases from Flower Drum Song star Pat Suzuki. On April 20, the U.K.-based label will release a 2-CD Complete Album Series (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada) collecting four albums from the singer-actress, plus the 1-CD Singles and Rarities (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada) from 1958-1967. The Complete Album Series volume has 50 tracks from the Grammy-nominated artist, comprising all four of Pat's LPs recorded for RCA and its VIK imprint: The Many Sides of Pat Suzuki (1958), Miss Pony Tail (1958), Broadway '59 (1959), and Looking at You (1960). The latter collection boasts all of Pat's non-LP singles for the RCA, Capitol, and PDA labels, plus rare tracks from a never-completed or released LP. Among the selections here, Pat sings Broadway fare from shows including Whoop-Up!, Sail Away, The Gay Life, Stephen Sondheim's Anyone Can Whistle, and Frank Loesser's Greenwillow. The rarities collection is limited to 500 copies, and both titles are released in cooperation with Pat Suzuki.
Last but not least, on May 25, Universal's Verve/Decca Broadway imprint will mark the 75th anniversary of Rodgers and Hammerstein's landmark musical Oklahoma! with remastered reissues of the original Decca Records cast album on both CD and vinyl. Not only did Oklahoma! kick off the modern American musical with its integration of music and lyrics, book (dialogue), and dance, but it also ushered in the era of the original cast recording, as well. The album starring Alfred Drake, Joan Roberts, Howard da Silva, Celeste Holm, and Lee Dixon has been expanded with four previously released alternate takes from the original sessions: "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top," "I Cain't Say No," "Pore Jud is Daid," and the "Finale." It's all adorned with new artwork. Oklahoma!: 75th Anniversary will be available on CD (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada) and vinyl (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada).