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Of Thee I Sing [Cast Recording, Original recording reissued]

George Gershwin , Jack Carson , Paul Hartman Audio CD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Of Thee I Sing + Strike Up the Band 1930 (2011 Studio Cast)
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Product Details

  • Performer: Jack Carson, Paul Hartman
  • Composer: George Gershwin
  • Audio CD (May 7, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording, Original recording reissued
  • Label: DRG Theater
  • ASIN: B0000658H7
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,995 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Prelude And Wintergreen For President
2. Who Is The Lucky Girl To Be?/The Dimple On My Knee/Because, Because
3. Never Was There A Girl So Fair/Some Girls Can Bake A Pie
4. Love Is Sweeping The Country
5. Of Thee I Sing
6. Finaletto: The Supreme Court Judges/Here's A Kiss For Cinderella/I Was The Most Beautiful Blossom/Some Girls Can Bake A Pie (Reprise)/Of Thee I Sing (Reprise)
7. Hello, Good Morning
8. Mine
9. Who Cares
10. Garcon, S'il Vous Plait/The Illegitimate Daughter/Because, Because (Reprise)/Who Cares (Reprise)
11. The Senate Roll Call-Impeachment/Jilted/I'm About To Be A Mother
12. Trumpeter Blow Your Horn/Finale

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, lively, and full of character! October 17, 2004
By Sean
Ethan Mordden sited this recording as the finest of all Gershwin show recordings, and I would be hard-pressed to disagree with him.

Even though this was first recorded (and flopped) in 1952, when I put this CD on it still has the ability to crack me up in 2004. There is so much fun and character throughout the all the performance (including the orchestra) that it becomes so easy to forgive all of the musical... well... musical "weaknesses," let's call them.

Everything from the "one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine supreme court judges" to the number about taxation is hilarious. The chorus is insane and inspired. And Leonore Lonergan as beauty contest winner Diana Devereaux is really the star of this recording. As Marc Kirkeby stated in his liner notes for the Broadway Angel reissue of this recording, "a southern accent was clearly beyond her." However, I have a soft spot for her off-the-wall performance, and although her voice cracks at times ("Ah could throw mah arms right around yo' necks!") and at other times she is merely reduced to screaming ("Oh, jitled AM I!"), she has completely won me over.

Don't miss this recording. At like other reviewers have pointed out, the recording is of the perfect length so as to be funny but never get old.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid, avoid, AVOID! August 18, 2002
It pains me to say this, but I have absolutely NOTHING positive to say about this CD of the poorly casted, weakly orchestrated, unsuccessful 1952 revival of the Gershwin Brothers' masterpiece "Of Thee I Sing". The score is severely truncated and the tempo seems to be rushed in order to fit as many songs as possible on the original LP. References to 1950s politics were added to the text to contemporize the book, but now seem hopelessly outdated. The singing is remarkably unspectacular all around, but one singer in particular, Lenore Lonergan as Diana Devereaux (who only got the part because she was married to one of the producers), is absolutely awful! (One critic perfectly described her singing sounding "like Bernadette Peters with her finger stuck in a light socket". It also doesn't help that her Southern accent comes and goes throughout the CD.) Do youself a favor and find the 1987 concert recording of "Of Thee I Sing/Let Them Eat Cake" no matter the cost, and skip the 1952 revival CD without another thought!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A terrific though not definitive recording May 25, 2009
By Alan
This cast recording of the 1952 revival of this landmark musical is not perfect, but it has a lot going for it.

Unlike the later recording on Sony (now out of print), this one documents a full production of the show, not a concert version. While the Sony recording has many virtues (most of all that it contains the entire score, including the exciting overture, and that it uses the original orchestrations), many of the performers do sound like they've only performed the show in concert. In contrast, this 1952 recording conveys (as Ethan Mordden wrote in his book "Broadway Babies") "a theater performance to the life." Although this recording suffers from cuts to the score, there is a liveliness and sense of conviction here that I feel is missing a bit on the Sony recording.

The orchestrations for this production (credited to Don Walker) are fine if not quite as delightful and appropriate as the original orchestrations.

Describing Lenore Lonergan's performance on this recording, another customer reviewer here quotes the liner notes for the earlier CD issue of this recording (the line about her singing sounding like Bernadette Peters with her finger in a light socket). What that reviewer doesn't mention is that those liner notes go on to state, "Listen to her sing 'Now my hot southern blood is boilin',' and tell me you don't love her, at least a little bit." Well, I love her a lot on this recording, though I do admit she makes a few spectacularly bizarre sounds. It did take me two listenings to love her, but once I got used to her, I thought she was a hoot.

For my taste, Jack Carson and Betty Oakes as John and Mary are preferable to Larry Kert and Maureen McGovern on the Sony recording.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars politics November 3, 2006
Verified Purchase
I would love to get this play on DVD. This is a wonderful politial satire. You miss some of the jokes by only having the soundtrack. However since it is not out on DVD, the CD is great to have. The gershwin music and lyrics are great.
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