The list author says: "Now for part 2, which includes the obscure musical 'Jimmy.'
If you search amazon for 'Jimmy," you'll come up with 10,446 items. After scanning through the first 300, I decided to call it quits and write about it here in the introduction. Backed by Warner Bros. Studios, this 1969 musical biography of infamous New York Mayor James J. Walker (with Frank Gorshin, Anita Gillette, and Julie Wilson) is, in the words of NY Times critic Clive Barnes, "a musical with only three flaws — the book, the music and the lyrics." Steven Suskin is kinder in his April 27, 2009 'On the Record' column for playbill.com. 'What is it that makes some bad musicals of the 1960s more listenable than more successful, later shows?' he asks. Good question. For the answer, read his column.
The remaining shows on the list - with the exception of 'DisinHAIRited' - have all appeared on CD. Arkiv Music's library of shows and show related reissues can be accessed at arkivsong.com. Quotes are from 'TheaterMania Guide to Musica Theater Recordings.'
[From the web site: [An ArkivCD] is a reissue of an out-of-print or otherwise generally unavailable recording. It is produced by ArkivMusic and fully authorized by the original record label. The music on the disc is exactly the same as the original. The cover art, spine, and back cover are faithfully reproduced though slightly modified, and the packaging includes all liner notes. ArkivCDs are made from high-quality discs that will play in most modern CD players.]
If, like me, you have an older Philips based CD player, you might have to play these CD-Rs in your car stereo or computer. A small price to pay for having these recordings back in circulation."
"More complete than Bernstein's studio recording with John Reardon, Betty Comden, and Adolf Green, but not as spirited. However, it belongs in your collection. Michael Tilson Thomas conducts. The cast includes Thomas Hampton, Tyne Daly, and Frederica von Strade. Jay Records also has a fine 'complete' recording."
"Kurt Weill's American folk opera. John Mauceri conducts the Scottish National Orchestra and Chorus. Josephine Barstow, Samuel Ramey, Angelina Reaux, and the great American tenor Jerry Hadley sing the major roles. The dialog may sound stilted, but, hey! This is opera."
"Even though it was 'just a TV show,' Cole Porter's final musical is given the full Broadway treatment: Orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett, libretto by S.J. Perelman. A dream cast: Cyril Ritchard, Dennis King, Una Merkel, Basil Rathbone, Anna Maria Alberghetti, and Sal Mineo. Really, Sal Mineo."
"I have this Dutton Labs import. Arkiv's reissue comes from the domestic London/Decca Weekend Classics, so I'm guessing the liner notes are very slim compared to those on the import. Anyway, glorious voices, gorgeous singing, and, as amazon reviewer Alan writes, 'ostentatiously spectacular sound.' Good addition to OBC and Lincoln Center recordings."
"As of 2002, this disc is back in the Decca Broadway catalog. As you can surmise from the two-fer packaging, neither score is close to complete. Sony has an excellent mono 'Desert Song' in its vaults. Nelson Eddy is surprisingly good, and Doretta Morrow is wonderful, as always. The 2003 Encores! cast recording of 'The New Moon' is absolutely first rate."
"Not top-drawer Jerry Herman. Nevertheless, this disc is worth having just for the performances of Dody Goodman and Charles Nelson Reilly - and, as David Barbour writes: '. . . the notably dirty 'Save the Village.' An enjoyable listening experience."
"Gerard Alessandrini puts it best: '. . . less effective and less theatrical than other [recordings]. Still, it's historically important because of its completeness; aside from the original overture, it offers every song verse and fully orchestrated versions of songs dropped from the show before it opened.' Should be in your collection."
"This too, is back in print. Gregg Smith leads a fine recording of 'The Red Mill' on a 1979 Vox Turnabout LP; Ohio Light Opera's live recording is on Albany Records; Gordon MacRae and Lucille Norman sing beautifully on Aneater Records' amazing remaster of a Railroad Hour radio broadcast. There is no recording of the complete 'Toyland' score."
"This gem by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg should never have been deleted. The title refers to feminist/industrialist Dolly Bloomer, who was credited with inventing the . . . You guessed it! High points: 'Evalina,' 'The Eagle and Me,' 'Right as the Rain,' 'Sunday in Cicero Falls,' and the ballet 'Liza Crossing the Ice,' Maybe too corny for today's audiences, but ideal for concert staging."
"Grown up Baby June (Havoc) headlines what Marc Miller calls 'a silly piece of wartime escapism. . . . As musical theater, it's forgettable; as a crash course in tired-businessman entertainment of the period, it's peachy.'"
"If I had three wishes, one of them would be for a modern, complete recording of 'Roberta,' with Alfred Drake as the male lead and the original Robert Russell Bennett orchestrations. Likewise, a complete 'Vagabond King.' Guess I'll just have to be grateful for Lehman Engel's 1952 studio recording."
"Why RCA licensed Arkiv to issue this is a mystery to me, since it's never been out of their catalog. David Barbour: 'The show sends Sondheim fans into a tizzy for having snatched away the Best Musical Tony Award from "Sunday in the Park with George," but in my book, the Tony voters were right.' Agreed. George Hearn's delivery of 'I Am What I AM' is a standout."
"Likewise, Sony with 'Dear World.' Very underrated score, in my opinion. Angela Lansbury gives a remarkable performance, winning her second Tony Award. Listen to her sing 'And I Was Beautiful.' A special moment if ever there was one. Matthew Murray, obviously not a fan, wrote: '"Mame meet Madwoman" was a gambit never destined for success on stage or on disc.' I disagree."
"Also still in the Sony/RCA catalog. I have RCAs original CD, so don't know how this really differs. I've read that RCAs Deluxe Editions included some extra remastering. If it removed some of the glare RCA is infamous for, then it might be worth replacing the 2003 version. Masterworks new eco-friendly release does not, I understand, have this edition's additional remastering."
"Here's another case where DRGs reissue has the cover art of the original LP rather than RCAs first digital release of the recording. Most famous for the song 'Shalom,' the show had the great Yiddishe Theater's Molly Picon, and the fine voices of opera's Robert Weede and Mimi Benzell, and the under appreciated Tommy Rall. Saw the show at the Biltmore in Hollwood with the original cast. Memorable."
"Also never out of print. I'm beginning to see a pattern with all these Jerry Herman titles. What can one say about 'Mame' that hasn't already been said? Is there anyone who doesn't own a copy? Also available in eco-friendly packaging."
"The only reason for this show was to showcase the talents of comedian Buddy Hackett, so he doesn't bring much to this recording. But, as David Barbrour writes, '. . . with Richard Kiley and Karen Morrow on board, what could be bad?' Grab up everything ever recorded by Ms. Morrow; you won't be disappointed. 'I've Got Everything I Want' is a particular standout."
"An Arkiv exclusive. The then current (1969) Broadway cast, along with the authors Jim Rado, Gerry Ragni, and Galt MacDermot, went into the studio and recorded this collection of songs which never made it into HAIR or were dropped from the show. Never before on CD, it is also available as a digital download from amazon.com."
"Believing that RCA would never release this on CD, I ordered the Sepia import, which comes from the LP. Lots of noise reduction. Wish I'd waited. Not one of Jule Styne's best efforts; 'Every Street's a Boulevard in Old New York' is the only song I care about, with the (now) chilling lyric 'These bridges and these buildings will never come down.' Fine Hugh Martin vocal arrangements."
"The opening of 'Carousel' is one of the most perfectly executed moments in Broadway history, and John Raitt, Eileen Christy, and Susan Watson are brilliant. Reid Shelton is in fine voice as Enoch Snow, as is Katherine Hilgenberg as Nettie. Jigger is played by Jerry Orbach."
"I'd owned the LP for years, so when this 50th Anniversary CD version became available, I snapped it up. This was the first ever 'complete' recording of Oklahoma!, and although the orchestrations are not the originals, they sound enough like Robert Russell Bennett to pass. 'It's a Scandal, It's an Outrage' available only here. Lee Cass is a menacing Jud, and Kaye Ballard an outstanding Ado Annie."
"This is from the Rodgers & Hammerstein period at Arkiv. Never deleted by Sony, this is second-tier R&H with some really lovely music. Miyoshi Umeki, Janita Hall, and Pat Suziki are all swell. Robett Russell Bennett evokes the sound of the Orient better here than does Don Sebesky for the 2002 revival, which, if I may say, was a complete disaster."
"Yul Brynner's indelible performance put the focus the King; this recording brings the focus back to Anna, where it was originally intended. Lee Venora and Frank Poretta are superb as the ill-fated lovers; Patricia Neway a 'supremely stately' Lady Thiang. Gorgeous sound. The best recording is the 1977 revival with Brynner, but this one is also essential."
"Like the Lincoln Center Revival of 'The King and I,' 'Over Here!' has not been dropped from the catalog. A vehicle for the two remaining Andrews Sisters, Patty and Maxine, the score unashamedly recreates the style and sound of the group's hit songs. Not great, but loads of fun."
"Bernstein's operatic recording of 'West Side Story' may not be to everyone's liking, but who's to say the Master couldn't do it this way if he wanted to? None of the principals sound like teenagers, but the voices are glorious, nonetheless. Jose Carreras, Kiri Te Kanawa, Tatiana Troyanos, and Kurt Ollman. DG maintains the composer's 2-CD complete recording."
"This is a strange recording, combining two separate Carmens (Wilhelmenia Fernandez and Sharon Benson) and two Joes (Damon Evans and Michael Austin) from the 1991 London production. The results are mixed and also confusing. Gregg Baker comes off best as the boxer Husky Miller. My favorite recording is the 1962 studio recording with Grace Bumbry."
"It's a shame that this musicalization of Lorraine Hansberry's 'A Raisin in the Sun' is nearly forgotten. 'Stunning vocals tell the story' [David Barbour] of the Younger family. Virginia Capers, Joe Morton, Ernestine Jackson, and Debbie Allen, along with Judd Woldin and Robert Brittan's score, make 'Raisin' an unforgettable experience."
"One of the handful of musicals I must do before I die. Along with 'Of Thee I Sing,' the best work of the Brothers Gershwin. Every song is a winner, fabulously interpreted by Brent Barrett, Roberta Luker, Jason Graae, Juliet Lambert, Beth Fowler, and Don Chastain. Also included are six songs from the 1930 rewrite, including, 'Soon' and 'I've Got a Crush on You.' Essential, essential, essential."
"Leslie Uggams received the 1967 Drama Desk Award and the 1968 Tony for her stunning Broadway debut in this Arthur Laurents, Jule Styne, Betty Comden and Alfred Green concoction. Laurents' patronizing book kept the audience away in droves, but, fortunately, it doesn't interfere with the enjoyment of listening to this CD."
"Meredith Willson's third Broadway show, a musical version of the movie 'Miracle on 34th Street,' is also the least of his shows. In fact, it's not very good at all. The only good moment is 'It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christman/Pine Cones and Holly Berries.' The recording does not recreate the magic of Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. I saw the show, with the original cast, in LA."
"This revival is notable for Sandy Duncan's overshadowing of the star, Judy Carne, but then Ms. Carne had to complete with the memory of Julie Andrews' triumphant American Broadway debut sixteen years earlier. This recording includes previously unrecorded material, includint the Act II finale. I own the LP. I'm grateful for the Arkiv reissue."
"Upon second thought, I've decided to include this, all we have of Leonard Bernstein's final Broadway musical, '1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.' For really fine performances of 'The President Jefferson Sunday Luncheon Party March' and 'Duet for One,' there's John McGlinn's wonderful 'Broadway Showstoppers,' also an ArkivCD. Judy Kaye is fantastic in the duet."
"Arkiv's reissue has a cover different from the Decca Broadway release. 'Principal casts include: Kitty Carlisle, Wilbur Evans, Felix Knight, Lisette Verea, Lauritz Melchior, Jane Wilson, Lee Sweetland, Gloria Lane. Recorded on December 20-21, 1943 & April 27-28, 1950. Originally released on Decca 10" LPs.Includes liner notes by Eric Meyers.All tracks have been digitally remastered. - Arkiv Website"