Stage Door Records is pairing two rare London studio cast recordings on one CD with the February 22 release of On the Town/Broadway Melody. This stereo release celebrates the classic sound of the Hollywood musical. The Music for Pleasure label’s 1959 recording of On the Town wasn’t based on the original Leonard Bernstein/Betty Comden/Adolph Green stage musical but rather its MGM movie adaptation in which selections from the original score were supplemented by new (and less complex) tunes from Roger Edens with Comden and Green. Dennis Lotis, Lionel Blair, and Shane Rimmer took on the roles played in the film by Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, and Jules Munshin, while the shoes of Betty Garrett and Ann Miller were filled by Stella Tanner and Noele Gordon. Geoff Love served as musical director. The next year, EMI’s Columbia label released the second volume in its Famous Film Series: Broadway Melody. This LP featured songs from The Broadway Melody, Broadway Melody of 1936, and Broadway Rhythm, arranged and conducted by Tony Osborne. With songs by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed of Singin’ in the Rain fame and Cole Porter, Broadway Melody enlisted vocalists including Millicent Martin, Bruce Forsyth, David Hughes, and Gerry Dorsey – the latter of whom would go onto pop stardom as Engelbert Humperdinck. These reissues are made possible via current U.K. public domain laws. Look for On the Town/Broadway Melody from Stage Door on February 22 at Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.! It’s also shipping now directly from the label.
The Kritzerland label has announced its newest soundtrack reissue with the score to Otto Preminger’s 1963 film The Cardinal, composed and conducted by Jerome Moross (Hollywood’s The Big Country, Broadway’s The Golden Apple). The drama, based on the 1950 novel by Henry Morton Robinson, was based on the life of Cardinal Francis Spellman, touching on such then-controversial themes as interfaith marriage, racism, abortion, and even fascism. John Huston, Burgess Meredith, Robert Morse, Jill Haworth, Romy Schneider, Tom Tryon, Dorothy Gish, Maggie McNamara, and Carol Lynley were among its stars. Moross’ richly melodic score yielded the pop song “Stay with Me” with lyrics by Carolyn Leigh (“The Best Is Yet to Come,” “Witchcraft”) as sung by Frank Sinatra, and more recently, Bob Dylan. Kritzerland’s reissue has been licensed from Sony and derived from the original master tapes for the RCA Victor soundtrack: the two-track album masters and the three-track session masters. CDs are planned to ship by the third week of March, though those who purchase directly from the label frequently see their shipments arrive 3-5 weeks early. The Cardinal is a limited edition of 1,000 units.
Speaking of Jerome Moross: Quartet Records has also recognized the late composer with a 60th anniversary edition of his enduring, Oscar-nominated score to The Big Country. Director William Wyler’s 1958 western starred Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Charlton Heston, and Burl Ives, and was based upon Donald Hamilton’s serialized magazine novel Ambush at Blanco Canyon. United Artists Records released a 12-track, 30-minute soundtrack in mono and electronically-processed stereo, but in 1991, Screen Archives premiered the full, 76-minute score (with some tracks not included in the final version of the movie) sourced from Moross’ own tapes. La-La Land reissued that version in 2007, and it, too, went out-of-print. Quartet’s 60th anniversary version has been restored and remastered by Chris Malone (in true, original mono sound), who has fixed some imperfections found on previous CD releases. On the second disc, the label we has included both versions of the United Artists LP, the processed stereo and the mono, transferred from the master tapes. The Big Country is available now via Quartet and Screen Archives.