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Goddard Lieberson


Ken is on vacation this week, but Erik shares some terrific thoughts on and insight about a man who would be turning 108 on April 5: Goddard Lieberson. If it's a name you don't know, he was a record producer behind some of our most cherished cast recordings, who ultimately became the president of Columbia Records and, in that capacity, ensured the company's ongoing commitment to preserving musicals on LP.

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

  • Girl Crazy - In 1951 Goddard Lieberson produced this studio cast recording with Mary Martin. It represented the first time that much of the Gershwins' glorious score had been available for listeners. There have been ones since, but this album still sparkles.
  • It's a Bird, It's a Plane...It's Superman  - This tuneful, somewhat goofy musical about the Man of Steel, I think, is a great example of Lieberson's eclectic tastes in musical theater. Yes, he could recognize the greatness of Blitzstein's or Bernstein's or Sondheim's music, and he could also see the value in the genuinely entertaining theater song, such as "You've Got Possibilities."

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. 

Our tribute to Goddard Lieberson has resulted in one of the most classic Spotify playlists I've ever assembled. To spice things up I've tried to pick lesser-known tracks from the myriad albums he produced. Hoping you enjoy my choices!

Ghostlight Records extraordinary new album, The Jonathan Larson Project, contains a host of never-before recorded songs from the man who wrote Rent. We're delighted to have a track from it for you for this week's free song.

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

  • Tina: The Tina Turner Musical - Adrienne Warren garnered raves for her performance in London as this rock-star powerhouse, and now the U.S release (in advance of the show's Broadway bow) allows us all to hear what audiences and critics were cheering.
  • The Jonathan Larson Project - Larson's gift for fusing pop sounds and musical theater ones is well known, thanks to Rent and tick...tick..BOOM! This new album showcases this talent with cut songs from those shows as well as ones from unproduced shows and specialty material.

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.

  • Ain't Too Proud - I hear audiences have been cheering this musical that charts the fortunes of Motown's the Temptations. This cast recording has been released to coincide with the show's recent Broadway opening.
  • Three Points of Contact - Some of Broadway's finest, including Jenn Collela, Gavin Creel, and Lindsay Mendez, have lent their voices to this studio cast recording of a new musical by Ryan Scott Oliver. It's a pretty fantastic listen.
  • Heathers - After an acclaimed and often extended off-Broadway run, Kevin Murphy and Laurence O'Keefe's musical version of the 1989 movie of the same name is taking London by storm. That production's cast album is now available over here!
  • Cruel Intentions: The 90s Musical - Also just out is the cast recording of this show that had audiences roaring in its off-Broadway run last season. This one uses a bevy of 90s hits, including "Colorblind," "I Want It That Way," and "Genie in a Bottle," as it transports the story of Les Liaisons Dangereuses to the world of Manhattan prep schools.
  • 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.
  • 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.

You'll get our next newsletter just before the end of the 2018-2019. As it arrives there will still be two new musicals left to open: Tootsie and Beetlejuice.

Both of these shows are based on movies, and their pedigree will serve as the "prompt" for Erik and Ken's columns. They're going to be writing about the relationship between stage and screen. How they choose to approach it will be up to them.

I figure as a way of jump-starting them I'll throw out the original cast recording of a show based on a movie, the always-infectious 42nd Street.


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