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By the Decade: The1940s

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We've got another look at a decade in Broadway history for you this week. Erik and Ken are sharing some thoughts about their favorite musicals of the 1940s. You'll find they've written about some of that era's big hits (Oklahoma!, naturally) and also some of its lesser-known shows. Both columns had me fascinated from start to finish (and I learned a thing or two to boot)!

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

  • Jerome Robbins' Broadway - Yes, I know this is a show from the 1980s, but the 1940s were when Robbins started his Broadway career, and in addition to songs from On the Town, you'll find this album has tunes from other 1940s shows such as Billion Dollar Baby and High Button Shoes.
  • Somethinig for the Boys - PS Classics has lovingly restored this forgotten from Cole Porter. The album is a terrific listen an features some terrific Broadway talent, including Andrea Burns, Danny Burstein, and Elizabeth Stanley.

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. 


Broadway hits (and many forgotten gems) from the 1940s make up this week's Spotify playlist. Take a listen as you tour through the dawn of the book musical and what we think of as being Broadway's Golden Age. 


Kirsten Childs' Bella: An American Tall Tale takes you on a raucous, unconventional trip through the Wild West. It's a fantastic listen, and we're delighted to have a free track download from the just-out original cast recording for you this week. 


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

  • Mythic - Marcus Stevens and Oran Eldor have brought the Greek gods to marvelous, contemporary life in this new musical. That's delighted audiences in the U.K. and now can works its magic on all of us in the U.S. thanks to this original cast recording.
  • Bella: An American Tall Tale - The Playwrights Horizons cast that deftly delivered Kirsten Childs' comically revisionist look at the mythos of the Old West sounds fantastic on this album, where the music fuses contemporary sounds with traditional Broadway ones and Americana.

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.

  • Company - This gender-swapped production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's 1970 classic has been generating a lot of buzz both in the UK and here. It's promised for Broadway in the not-so-distant future. Take a listen to this new cast album to discover what the excitement's about!
  • Unbreakable - Soloists Britney Coleman, Marcus J. Paige, and Lisa Vroman, along with songwriter Andrew Lippa, join the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus for this exciting new cast album of a show that traverses more than a century of the gay experience in America.
  • Follies - Stephen Sondheim's ravishing score for this 1971 musical sounds pretty incredible on this new recording that preserves last year's highly acclaimed London revival cast (from the Royal National Theatre). It's a marvelous addition to the collection.
  • Songs for a New World - This Jason Robert Brown score gets showcased beautifully on a new album that features the cast that presented the show last summer as part of City's Center's Off-Center seriesWhat's great about this recording is that it comes on two CDs meaning it is longer than any previous release of this much-loved show.
  • Band Geeks: The Musical - You'll find some giddy merriment at work in this tuner that's finally come to disc. A romp through the world of high school marching bands, Band Geeks sets toes a-tappin' and mouths a-smilin' from start to finish.
  • The Dancing Years - A rare treat awaits listeners with this new, complete recording of Ivor Novello and Christopher Hassell's 1939 operetta about a man who's in love with two women. Swirling melodies and gorgeous vocals abound on this beautifully assembled studio cast album.
  • Brigadoon - Kelli O'Hara and Patrick Wilson are both in fine voice on this beautiful recording of Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner's classic musical. We're all very happy to have a recording of this Encores! presentation.
  • "Loser Geek Whatever" - In anticipation of the Broadway bow of Joe Iconis' Be More Chill, the producers have released this nifty EP featuring three different versions of one of the show's terrific tunes.
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Imogen Heap's Drama Desk Award winning score for the epic theatrical adventure featuring J.K. Rowling's renowned boy wizard has been marvelously transformed into four suites for this new recording. 
  • Will He Like Me? - Philip Chaffin lends his voice to over a dozen classic Broadway tunes and, in the process, creates a moving song cycle.

Cole Porter's classic musical Kiss Me, Kate is back on Broadway courtesy of Roundabout Theatre Company

Headlined by Tony Award winner Kelli O'Hara the show promises to be a popular hit and bring such songs as "Another Openin', Another Show," "So in Love," and "Wunderbar" back into our consciousnesses.

We've never done a Cole Porter tribute, so next time out Ken and Erik will be writing about this songwriter who gave us not only these songs, but others such as "Love for Sale," "It's All Right by Me," "Anything Goes," and of course "Let's Do It." You can hear some superlative renditions of Porter's grand songs on Mabel Mercer Sings Cole Porter (a classic as far as I'm concerned).


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