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Purlie (1970 Original Broadway Cast) Cast Recording

33 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Cast Recording, August 21, 1990
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$8.99
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$8.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Purlie (1970 Original Broadway Cast) + Purlie Victorious
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 21, 1990)
  • Original Release Date: 1970
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: RCA Victor Broadway
  • ASIN: B000003EWA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,622 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Anbinder on August 30, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Ask someone about the great musicals of the 60s and 70s, and invariably you get "Hair," "Godspell," "Bye Bye Birdie," "Grease," and maybe "Jesus Christ Superstar." And maybe for pure popularity, that about covers it - but for the best music and singing, nobody outdid Cleavon Little and Melba Moore in the highly underrated and shamefully now-lesser-known "Purlie."
You might not get away with a revival of this musical in the 21st century; even though historically accurate, the musical's depiction of black sharecroppers in the early 20th century South is a little bit stereotyped and unflattering. But showcasing the typical conflicts for southern blacks in that time and place also makes for some amazingly great songs; "Down Home" lets Purlie and his sister argue about the benefits of living up north where it's "free" vs. south where it's familiar, and "First Thing Monday Morning" depicts in grand, beautiful spiritual style how it's easy to have dreams, but sometimes even easier to put them off until tomorrow.
The gospel-tinged music isn't just spiritually moving, it's darn fun as well. And while Sherman Hemsley (later of "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons" comes close to stealing the show with "Skin a Cat," the real gem here is a young Melba Moore, who rips into her songs like her life depends on it, and really makes you believe she's in love with Purlie.
It's tragic that there aren't more revivals of this show, and that so few fans of musical theatre don't know it better. If you arrived at this page because you're surfing through musicals in general, here's your chance to fill a serious gap. It should be an essential part of a true Broadway fan's collection.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Rowland on March 7, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Purlie, the musical based on the play "Purlie Victorious" written by Ozzie Davis, is a wonderful adaptation. The music is moving, thought- provoking, funny and just plain enjoyable. The story opens with the spirit-filled "Walk Him Up" being performed at the funeral of Old Captain, the local plantation owner. We then go back a few weeks to see the arrival of Purlie Victorious, a young black man who had left a few years earlier after being whipped by Old Captain. He has come back, not for revenge, but simply to sort-of con Old Captain out of some money, an inheritence, left in his care. Purlie's intention is to buy the local church building, affectionately called Big Bethel, and become a "New-Fangled Preacher Man". He has brought along a young girl named Lutibell Jenkins, who is the one they are hoping to pass off as a long lost relative who can claim the money Old Captain is holding. Lutibell, however, is only going along with it because, as she tells in the title song, "Spring don't spring to charm the bees/the flowers flower just for Purlie/Purlie my Purlie/ You just thrill me through and through/ Purlie you're to good to be true/ Purlie I'm in love with you". She's got it bad. Purlie's cousin, Gitlow, has his own ideas about how to handle Old Captain, which he describes in the aptly named "Skinnin' A Cat". Meanwhile, throughout all of this, Charlie, Old Captain's son, is trying to write a folk song ("Barrels of War" and "The Unborn Love") and understand why his dad still treats blacks the way he does. Old Captain tries to explain in "Big Fish, Litle Fish", but Charlie just won't get it. He's too nice a kid.Read more ›
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Andre W. Maloy on September 14, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This was the first Broadway Show that I had every seen, now I am singing and have been off-broadway. The singing was great and I wish I could find this on VHS. I still have the original Albam and have just ordered the CD. I studyed "I Got Love" in voice class and use it sometimes for auditions. I GOT LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, FOR THIS PLAY AND IT'S MUSIC.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Helmsing on November 6, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I own over 100 different compact discs of various musical theatre shows. It's taken me almost 10 years of browsing and searching for that one musical that I can call my favorite. "Purlie" is it. Everything I like about American musical theatre is in "Purlie." I won't write much more than to say I never write Amazon reviews, but if you're waffling on whether to buy this one or not -- it's 70s Broadway at its best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LD400RN on April 17, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had heard the opening number "Walk Him Up the Stairs" and one other song "I Got Love" and wanted to get more familiar with this score. I'm glad I did. Each song is great and helps propel the plot along as it should. "Walk Him Up the Stairs" is incredible in it's enthusiasm, all-out singing,and infectiousness. Likewise, Melba Moore (a Tony winner for this show) delivers an incredible rendition of "I Got Love". The rest of the cast are very good performers and the score does not suffer ever in their and the fine chorus' hands. The engineering is a bit crude but I'm willing to forgive that given the recording's age. The liner notes are of a fold-out nature and really offer no insight into the making of the show or its life on Broadway but the synopsis is good. It's sold at a good price, fun, and a good investment. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
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Purlie (1970 Original Broadway Cast)
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