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One tiny flaw in an otherwise brilliant recording
on September 6, 2014
This is by far the best recording of this wonderful show that I have ever heard. I first got it in 1961 when I was in college. The performances are all spot-on. Preston was amazingly into it that early in the run of the show. (Original cast albums are traditionally recorded on the first Sunday after a show opens...unless, of course, the show has closed by then!) There is no comparison between Barbara Cook in this recording and Shirley Jones on the soundtrack. Barbara was (and is) one of the purest, loveliest sopranos ever to grace the Broadway scene. Shirley was too soft-focused, a vocal equivalent of shooting a scene with Vaseline on the lens. (And her "Being in Love" was no substitute for "My White Knight".) The Buffalo Bills got to sing all their songs here. (Some were cut from the movie version.) Iggie Wolfington as Marcellus Washburn was far, far better than Buddy Hackett (though no one could make a good song out of "Shipoopi").
So why didn't I give this five stars? Simply the sound quality. Capitol Records put so much echo onto it that it makes it sound like it was recorded in a rain barrel. All the other recordings of the show I have deliver better sonics, but nothing could ever match and certainly not surpass this gem.