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Hello, Dolly! (1964 Original Broadway Cast) Cast Recording

4.3 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Cast Recording, October 25, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

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Sitting in the balcony at the final preview of this 1964 Jerry Herman show, still very much in school and long before my career as a critic began, I knew somehow that I was witnessing theatrical history. Even as that callow youth, I was certain that Carol Channing had been born to play the role of Dolly Gallagher Levi, the meddling turn-of-the century New York widow who had been adapted from Thornton Wilder's straight play The Matchmaker. Channing has proved me right by playing the role ever since, of course, miraculously only improving with age. Beyond Dolly herself, however, the musical emitted a synergistic exuberance (at least five years before we used the word "synergy"). The supporting cast, including David Burns, Eileen Brennan, and Charles Nelson Reilly, were terrific. Herman's tunes and lyrics were sublimely crafted both to create their characters and stand alone. (The title song took on a life of its own.) The show's designers, librettist Michael Stewart and director Gower Champion, combined to transport the audience to 60 years earlier in little old New York. This wasn't all just my opinion: Hello, Dolly! won a record 10 Tonys. The original cast recording can still take you to that other time and place, even if you didn't see the original show. But, at the risk of offending my inner adolescent, the 1994 revival, naturally starring Channing, was even better--both on stage and on disc. --Robert Windeler
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Product Details

  • Performer: Jerry Herman, Carol Channing
  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: RCA Victor Broadway
  • ASIN: B000002W5P
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,923 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on June 3, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Well, fellas, RCA Victor has given us the "Broadway Deluxe Collector's Edition" of "Hello, Dolly!" and its almost a "wow." The new remastering is a slight improvement over the original CD release, but the small error in "Put On Your Sunday Clothes" hasn't been fixed. I suppose after 39 years the mistake is part of "Dolly!" cast album mystique. However, it shows the lack of attention to detail that mars this new edition. (Sony has it all over RCA in this respect.) On page 10 of the album's new booklet the title character of the musical is identified as Molly Gallagher Levi. Adding insult to injury, the "M," the first letter of the first word of the paragraph, is about four times larger than the other letters. Yes, it's fun to hear the Mary Martin, Pearl Bailey and Ethel Merman tracks, but they are hardly rare recordings. What about the "lost" "Dolly!" songs, tunes that were discarded from the show on its rough road to Broadway smashdom? "Hello, Dolly!" will always be a five-star cast recording and the highlight of this new edition is the brand new -- and totally captivating -- Carol Channing interview (tracks 20-26). The 1964 original cast recording (on LP, original CD and now deluxe CD) remains a five-star achievement because you can't improve on its "opening night" freshness and energy. However, I had hoped this new "Deluxe Edition" would be a bit more deluxe. It demands color photos and an interview with the great Jerry Herman!
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Format: Audio CD
Wow! Wow! Wow, fellas! What a time this is for 82-year-old Carol Channing! She just got married, the DVD of "Thoroughly Modern Millie" will be released on June 2 and now comes word that RCA will reissue the dazzling original Broadway cast recording of "Hello,Dolly!" (also on June 2) with cleaned up sound and bonus tracks by Channing's fellow Dollys: Ethel Merman, Mary Martin and Pearl Bailey. I wonder if they'll fix Channing's verbal error in "Put On Your Sunday Clothes" which has marred the recording for 39 years. No complaints! This 1964 recording is still the very best momento of one of the great theatrical experiences of a lifetime. Before you purchase the CD, make sure it's the new reissue.
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Format: Audio CD
This CD is a special treat for those of us who love classic Broadway musicals like "Hello, Dolly!" The CD contains all of the songs on the original LP and CD. The cast sings with all their might and the result is a wonderful recording; the CD has excellent sound quality! I got goosebumps when listening to the title song with Carol Channing! GRIN "Put On Your Sunday Clothes" and "Elegance" are rousing numbers; "Ribbons Down My Back" is a beautiful tender ballad.
There are quite a number of wonderful extras: a 10 minute interview with Carol Channing; two songs performed by Mary Martin in the 1965 London production of this stage musical; and two more songs performed with Pearl Bailey when "Hello Dolly!" was done with an all black cast in 1967 on Broadway. Of special note are two recordings of Ethel Merman singing songs written specially for her when she was picked to be the original Dolly (she turned down the part). Ms. Merman put these songs out on a 45 rpm record since she was not part of the original cast recording on January 19, 1964 (three nights after opening night on Broadway).
The liner notes are extensive and the listener is treated to some great photographs, too. (These pictures, though, are in black and white; and the notes could have been a bit more attractively packaged. I agree with the reviewer who notes that this CD could have had better packaging.)
All in all, this is an excellent audio CD recording of the original cast with splendid extras. A must for musical lovers and fans of the ladies who played Dolly over the years!
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A Kid's Review on August 26, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Recently I played Minnie Fay in this musical, Hello Dolly. Immediatly I went out and bought and read everything that had anything to do with it, including both the film and the original soundtracks. When I first listened to Carol Channing I thought she sounded like a frog, her voice wasn't very pleasent to listen to, and I preferred to hear Barbra Streisand instead. But after a while I started to like Carol, even on the soundtrack you could sense her charm and feel her natural stage presence. I realized that Dolly needed a character, not just a voice. The rest of the cast is also very good, although Cornelius's vibrato is very fast and it makes him sound like a nervous sheep at times. Irene has a very deep voice, which is shocking at first, but it is very well trained and beautiful. Minnie Fay sounds like Minnie Mouse, her voice is just so cute. I like both the film and the original version CD's, although I think that the original music sets the mood better, and the harmony sounds really good on this version. All in all this CD is worth all five stars, it is truly a classic musical.
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Format: Audio CD
Carol Channing and Dolly Levi are inseparable images in the American psyche. This is her great tour-de-force role, and this classic recording preserves all of it's fun and melody for everyone to enjoy. I saw Channing perform the role on stage two years ago, and she is still brilliant! The years of living with this character have produced comic nuances and subtleties that are unmatched by any other artist. A sublime performance! A sublime recording!
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