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Gypsy - A Musical Fable (1959 Original Broadway Cast) Cast Recording

47 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Cast Recording, May 18, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Jule Styne, a young Stephen Sondheim and a force of nature called Ethel Merman teamed to take Broadway by storm with this 1959 musical.

Considered by many to be the last great musical comedy, Gypsy tells the backstage tale of vaudeville entertainer turned stripper Gypsy Rose Lee and her overbearing mother, Rose. Stephen Sondheim's lyrics--composed in advance of Jule Styne's infectious music--provide a tight structure and natural language to the 1959 score, which produced more than its share of Broadway standards, including "Everything's Coming Up Roses," "Small World," "Some People," "If Momma Was Married," "Together Wherever We Go," and the climactic "Rose's Turn." Although the role of Rose has seen subsequent memorable interpretations by Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly, and Bette Midler, the show was written for Ethel Merman, and she remains the definitive stage mother.

For this 1999 release, the recording has been remastered with numerous short passages restored and four tracks added. Merman sings alternate lyrics to "Some People" and a medley of "Mr. Goldstone" and "Little Lamb," all with piano accompaniment. Two other tracks are songs cut in tryouts: "Momma's Talking Soft" (gently swung here by Laura Leslie) was a duet for June and Louise that provides some context to the later line "Momma's talking loud," while "Nice She Ain't" is crooned by Bernie Knee, who is infinitely more suave than Jack Klugman ever would have been. Expanded to 63 minutes, this essential cast recording is now even more essential. --David Horiuchi

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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
  1. OvertureGypsy Orchestra;Milton Rosenstock 4:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Gypsy: Let Me Entertain YouJacqueline Mayro;Karen Moore;Ethel Merman 1:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Some PeopleEthel Merman;Stephen Sondheim 3:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Gypsy: Small WorldEthel Merman;Jack Klugman 2:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Gypsy: Baby June and Her NewsboysJacqueline Mayro;Karen Moore;Gypsy Ensemble 1:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Gypsy: Mr. Goldstone, I Love YouEthel Merman 2:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Little LambSandra Church 2:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Gypsy: You'll Never Get Away from MeJack Klugman;Ethel Merman 2:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Gypsy: Dainty June and Her FarmboysLane Bradbury;Sandra Church;Gypsy Ensemble 2:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Gypsy: If Momma Was MarriedSandra Church;Lane Bradbury 2:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Gypsy: All I Need Is the GirlPaul Wallace;Sandra Church 4:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Gypsy: Everything's Coming Up RosesEthel Merman 3:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
13. Gypsy: Together Wherever We GoEthel Merman;Jack Klugman;Sandra Church 2:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
14. Gypsy: You Gotta Have a GimmickFaith Dane;Chotzi Foley;Maria Karnilova 4:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
15. Gypsy: Let Me Entertain YouSandra Church 3:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
16. Rose's TurnEthel Merman 4:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
17. Some People (Demo)Ethel Merman 4:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
18. Mr. Goldstone, I Love You / Little Lamb (Demo)Ethel Merman 5:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
19. Momma's Talkin' Soft (Demo)Laura Leslie 2:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
20. Nice She Ain't (Demo)Bernie Knee 2:31$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 18, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: 1959
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00000J28I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,380 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 26, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Love her or hate her, for all practical intents and purposes Ethel Merman (1908-1984) was the voice of the Broadway musical for more than thirty years: a larger-than-life, flamboyant woman with a larger-than-life voice that could rip a door off its hinges. Her roles are legendary, ranging from Kate in the Gerswhin's GIRL CRAZY to Reno Sweeny in Cole Porter's ANYTHING GOES to Annie Oakley in ANNIE GET YOUR GUN. Near the end of her Broadway career she capped all previous triumphs with what most regard as her signature role: Mama Rose in the Sondheim and Styne GYPSY.

Although generally based on the life of celebrated stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, the play focused less on Gypsy and her sister actress June Havock than upon Mama Rose, the bombastic and endlessly determined stage mother from hell who propelled both daughters to stardom largely against their own inclination. By turns hilarious and monstrous, comic and tragic, Mama Rose was perhaps the only role that made full use of Merman's dramatic talents--and it didn't stint her on music either. GYPSY is one helluva show, and this remastered release of the original 1959 cast recording caputures it at full throttle.

There may be other contenders, but to my mind GYPSY has the single finest overture ever written for a Broadway play, an explosion of brass that sends chills up the spine. And when Merman explodes with her first number, "Some People," she puts chills on the chills! Although backed by a superior cast that includes Jack Klugman, it's Merman's show all the way, peaking with the frightening "Everything's Coming Up Roses"--perhaps the single finest example of denial ever found in a musical--and finishing up with the devastating "Rose's Turn.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mark Andrew Lawrence on August 6, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Anyone considering a career in musical theatre should study this show: It brought together several top people whose collaboration brought out the very best in one another. This is Jule Styne's very best score. Sondheim's lyrics perfectely explain the story and charactres (you can easily follow the plot just by listening to the songs, athough a detailed synopsis is included); Arthur Lauents' swift-moving book provided the framework that holds the score together, and as a "star vehicle" they got the biggest star Broadway would ever know: Ethel Merman. But it wasn't just a Merman show: Sandra Church as the reluctant Gypsy and Jack Klugman as Rose's long suffering boyfriend provide admirable support. Less than a week after the triumphant opening, the cast recorded this album and it remains one by which others are judged. The early stereo sound is wonderful. The performances are exciting and each number tops the one it follows. The extra bits that have been edited back in (after 30 years on the cutting room floor) only add to the excitement. This was the apex of musical comdey. The era is gone. Merman, Styne, Klugman are no more... but the record is here to stay.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Murray on December 11, 1999
Format: Audio CD
"Some People." "Everything's Coming Up Roses." "Together." Ethel Merman got some of her most indentifiable songs from Gypsy, and this recording demonstrates why. But her powerful voice is only one reason to buy this cast recording--the music is excellent, and the rest of the cast extremely entertaining as well. Though the extra material included in this version isn't quite as essential as has been the case in other recordings in this series, this remastered version preserves this classic the way it was meant to be heard. Don't miss it!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Matthew G. Sherwin HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 26, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Let me entertain you

Let me see you smile

I will do some kicks

I will do some tricks

(Mama Rose)

Sing out, Louise! Sing out!

I'll tell you a story

I'll dance when she's done

(Mama Rose)

You're behind, honey!

Catch up! Catch up!

By the time we're through entertaining you

You'll have a barrel of fun!

Gypsy remains one of the very finest musicals ever produced. With music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim how could you go wrong? Well, they certainly didn't go wrong; and this original cast recording proves it.

I agree with people who believe that the overture for this musical is one of the finest ever written. It flows beautifully and seamlessly through portions of many of the musical arrangements for the songs in this musical. Impressive!

The musical score on this CD contains many songs that to this day remain instantly recognizable. "Let me Entertain You;" "Some People;" "Small World;" "Everything's Coming Up Roses" and "Together Wherever We Go" boast those catchy Jule Styne melodies and incredible lyrics that only Sondheim could have written.

"Let Me Entertain You" is the first song on this CD; and Ethel Merman as Mama Rose with Jacqueline Mayro as Baby June and Karen Moore as Baby Louise perform this flawlessly. The song flows so naturally that you completely believe that the two young girls are truly being coached by their domineering mother as they rehearse for a kiddie show in a vaudeville theater.
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