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Begin the Beguine

David Hughes


320 Kbps Released February 22, 2019
Stage Door Records

This week’s free song download comes from the newest recording from the Stage Door Records label, which contains a bevy of classic songwriting for both stage and screen. The album combines a pair of long-forgotten British studio cast LPs from fifty years ago, ones that pay homage to iconic American movie musical–making.

The first half of this release contains the music and songs from the movie version of Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green’s On the Town. There are the songs that you know from the stage version, notably “New York, New York” with a lyric that was revised to suit early 1950s audiences as well as the film codes. (New York, New York was no longer “a helluva town,” it was simply “wonderful.”) There are also the songs that Comden and Green wrote with Rogers Edens specifically for the movie. One of the highlights on the album is Noele Gordon’s pitch-perfect take on “Prehistoric Man,” the number originated by Ann Miller on screen, and as you listen you will find that without taps, Gordon more than holds her own.

The second half of the recording contains an album comprised of songs from the likes of Nacio Herb Brown, Arthur Freed and Cole Porter that were used in Broadway Melody films. This LP featured a bevy of future luminaries including Bruce Forsyth, who would go on to star in the London incarnation of Little Me and would become a national icon as a host of the U.K.’s Strictly Come Dancing; Millicent Martin, one of the three performers who brought Side by Side by Sondheim to the stage on both sides of the Atlantic, and Gerry Dorsey, who would later change his name to Engelbert Humperdinck!

Our free song comes from the second part of this release, and it beautifully ties in with our salute to Porter. It’s a lovely rendition of “Begin the Beguine.” Both David Hughes’ interpretation and the work of the orchestra (under the direction of Tony Osborne) are terrific, and the track showcases the sorts of delights in store for you on the entirety of the album.

After you’ve downloaded and listened to “Begin the Beguine,” you can sample from more of On the Town/Broadway Melody and purchase the CD by clicking here.

Track / Performer
Begin the Beguine by David Hughes

Music & lyric by Cole Porter

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