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Alan Jay Lerner's 100th!


Book writer--lyricist Alan Jay Lerner would have turned 100 on August 31, 2018. To celebrate this landmark date, Erik's and Ken's columns focus on the work of the man who gave us musicals such as BrigadoonMy Fair Lady, and Camelot. They're fascinating considerations of Lerner's achievement and legacy.

To complement Ken's and Erik's columns, I'd like to offer up the following two albums for your consideration:

  • Leading Men Don't Dance  - There are a trio of great songs with Alan Jay Lerner's lyrics on this recording, two with music by Frederick Loewe and one with a melody from Burton Lane.
  • LoveMusik - You'll find a marvelous little-known Alan Jay Lerner lyric on the cast recording for this musical about composer Kurt Weill and his wife, Lotte Lenya. The track is "The Illusion Wedding Show," and the number was originally heard in the musical Love Life under the title "The Illusion Minstrel Show."

Remember, if you need to add any of the recordings mentioned here and in the guys' blogs to your collection, you can find links to them in the carousels on the BwayTunes.com homepage. 

The sparkling wit, heartfelt simplicity, and classic elegance of Alan Jay Lerner's lyrics are showcased in this week's Spotify playlist. It includes the big numbers that we all know and love, as well as some fantastic rarities - including one swell track from a very young Frank Sinatra!

As we celebrate what would have been Alan Jay Lerner's 100th birthday, we've got a terrific free track for you. It's the inimitable Maxine Sullivan singing "Too Late Now" from Royal Wedding.

Take a look at the marvelously diverse array of new music that we've gotten for you, particularly:

  • Summer: The Donna Summer Musical - One of Broadway's newest hits, this show takes a whirlwind tour through the fascinating life and electrifying music of pop diva Donna Summer.
  • Desperate Measures - Shakespeare's Measure for Measure gets a contemporary, country-western spin in this musical that's enjoying a highly acclaimed and popular off-Broadway run.

In addition to these albums, you’ll want to check out these new releases, which can be found in the main carousel at the top of the home page and in the “New and Recommended” one at the bottom of the page.

  • Carousel - Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1945 classic has gotten a much-discussed revival with a great array of vocalists! Five of them, in fact, are Tony nominated. Listening to this new album will help you understand why.
  • My Fair Lady - Lerner and Loewe's beloved musicalization of Shaw's Pygmalion is delighting audiences at Lincoln Center Theater, and this new cast recording will let you savor the joys of both the writers' work and the lead performances of Harry Hadden-Paton, Lauren Ambrose, and Norbert Leo Butz.
  • Mean Girls - The new musical based on the Tina Fey movie has some bubbly tunes from Jeff Richmond and Nell Benjamin that prove to be wonderfully infectious! Plus there are some great performers delivering them, notably Tony nominee Taylor Louderman.
  • Hair - 50th Anniversary Cast Recording - It's hard to believe that this rock musical is squarely hitting middle age. This new album from England reminds us of how the tunes are still remarkably vibrant.
  • Frozen - You can enjoy the Broadway incarnation of this hit movie at long last! Caissie Levy and Patti Murin headline this company and are in great voice, and there are also 12 new tunes by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez to enjoy.
  • Sing Happy - The amazing Audra McDonald's recent New York Philharmonic concert is captured in all its glory on this release. What makes it particularly exciting are the number of songs on here that she's never recorded before.
  • Prince of Broadway - The recording of this celebration of the career and vision of director-producer Harold Prince allows listeners to savor both his genius and the history of musical theater while delighting in some terrific new interpretations of classic songs.
  • Hello Again - A host of Broadway vets, from Tony winners Audra McDonald and Martha Plimpton to Cheyenne Jackson and Sam Underwood, are featured on this soundtrack recording for the movie version of Michael John LaChiusa's 1993 musical.

September 15 is National Greenpeace Day. It commemorates the founding of the organization that asks us all to focus on the environment and issues that contribute toward us making a better planet.

I thought it might be interesting to see how Ken and Erik would commemorate this unofficial holiday and asked them to come up with short lists of some of their favorite songs about the earth, the environment, nature, etc.

One example I gave them was "Old Man River" from Show Boat. Where would you start this list?


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