- Audio CD (February 21, 2006)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Original recording remastered
- Label: Drg
- ASIN: B000CQNVQC
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #500,386 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
Golden Boy 1964 Original Broadway Cast
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Sammy Davis Jr. had already scored 14 pop hits by the time he made his Broadway-musical debut in this Clifford Odets classic. The interracial kiss between Sammy and Paula Wayne drew lots of attention at the time, but what interests us is this fabulous jazz score, featuring many tunes that became staples of Sammy's nightclub act.
Golden Boy already had quite a showbiz legacy by the time this 1964 Broadway musical debuted. Clifford Odets's heavy drama was originally produced (sans music) in 1937 as part of New York's Group Theater, featuring in its cast, among others, Lee J. Cobb, Elia Kazan, and Francis Farmer; John Garfield starred in a 1952 Broadway revival of Golden Boy, while the film version was what turned William Holden (in the title role) into a star. Sammy Davis Jr. was already a star--the Rat Pack was in full bloom--when he made his Broadway musical debut as the title character in the Charles Strouse-Lee Adams transformation of Odets's original play, directed by soon-to-be-great film director Arthur Penn, no less. Davis's presence added a racial theme to this story of a prize boxer, addressed in such songs as "Colorful." Unfortunately, the Strouse-Lee score isn't nearly as impressive as their earlier Bye Bye Birdie--no standards were created here--although the fine "Gimme Some," with its rock & roll progression, could have been an outtake from that show. And "Don't Forget 127th St." is the kind of grand production number Broadway rarely delivers anymore. Sammy, meanwhile, is in full, uh, Sammy glory here, and a few of these songs were part of his nightclub repertoire during the mid-'60s. His fans will undoubtedly cheer this remastered rerelease on CD at last. --Bill Holdship
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Everythin about this show is supreb. However,WARNING. some of the arrangement are different from the origianlOne GREAT number was not included which happens to be a book-end to the finale.As for Sammi Davie Jr, What a talent.The direction was by Arthur Penn,of Bonnie and Clyde fame.This is a forgotten treasure,to say the leat
Having noticed that GOLDEN BOY had been discontinued and that a hole existed in my collection between GOLDEN APPLE and GOLDEN RAINBOW, I ordered a used copy to fill the gap. Based on prior reviews, I was prepared for a so-so Strouse & Adams score, so I was pleasantly surprised when I finally heard it. Frankly, I think that GOLDEN BOY is one of the strongest scores by the prolific team responsible for BYE, BYE BIRDIE; ALL AMERICAN; IT'S A BIRD. . . IT'S A PLANE. . . IT'S SUPERMAN!; APPLAUSE; ANNIE.
Originally released on a Capitol LP, this 1999 remaster on Razor & Tie (a division of EMI) definitely deserves to remain in the catalogue. Documenting the talents of Sammy Davis, Jr. and the great Billy Daniels, the score is considerably better that those for APPLAUSE and IT'S A BIRD. . . IT'S A PLANE. . . IT'S SUPERMAN!, both still in circulation. The subtle references to poverty and race in "Night Song" and not-too-subtle ones in "Colorful" and "Don't Forget 127th St." are lyricist Lee Adams in his prime. Charles Strouse's melodies are also fine.
Although 1962's NO STRINGS featured inter-racial leads, GOLDEN BOY was the first Broadway musical to make a real issue of race differences. And as liberal-minded as many of us claim to be, I'd venture there were many theatre goers shocked to see a black man (Davis) romance a white woman (Paula Wayne) on stage. With the proper cast and a little updating, GOLDEN BOY could probably do well on Broadway today. The themes and issues are still relevant, although the male lead probably would have to become a basketball player or hip-hop artist.
GOLDEN BOY is not a great show, but it has a lot to recommend it. Let's hope that DRG or Fynsworth Alley decides to resurrect it. I'd advise anyone interested in the history of Broadway musicals to snap up the remaining copies ASAP. (see note)
P.S. A minor correction to Amazon's editorial review: Bill Holdship states that Sammy Davis, Jr. made his Broadway debut in GOLDEN BOY. Not so. It was MR. WONDERFUL in 1957.
NOTE (1/12/06) ---- DRG's reissue is due on February 7. Get it!
Most recent customer reviews
at the recording session - his voice was a bit ragged and...Read more