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Babes in Arms [1951 Studio Cast]

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Review

After the original Broadway cast album became a viable commercial entity in the 1940s, {@Columbia Records} executive {$Goddard Lieberson} decided to assemble studio casts to record albums of songs from musicals that pre-dated the trend. Broadway star {$Mary Martin} had been contracted to {@Columbia} in the wake of the massive success of her show {+South Pacific} (and its chart-topping {@Columbia} cast album), and after she cut the solo album {^Mary Martin Sings for You} (1949), {$Lieberson} had her head up studio-cast albums for {$George and Ira Gershwin}'s {+Girl Crazy} from 1930, {$Dietz & Schwartz}'s {+The Band Wagon} from 1931, {$Cole Porter}'s {+Anything Goes} from 1934, and {$Rodgers & Hart}'s {+Babes in Arms} from 1937. {$Lieberson} was more concerned with getting good versions of a show's songs on disc than he was with respecting the characterizations on-stage. For {^Babes in Arms}, he added two obscure but talented Broadway singers to join {$Martin}: {$Jack Cassidy}, who would go on to Broadway stardom, and {$Mardi Bayne}, whose credits included a minor role in {+South Pacific} and who remained obscure (indeed, this was her only recording). But he paid no attention to the characters who had sung the songs on-stage. {$Martin} handled several numbers sung by the lead female character {%Billie Smith} ({&"Where or When,"} {&"My Funny Valentine,"} {&"The Lady Is a Tramp"}), but she also sang {&"Johnny One Note,"} which the character {%Baby Rose} sang on-stage. {%Baby Rose}'s other numbers, {&"Way Out West"} and {&"Imagine,"} were done by {$Bayne}, while {$Cassidy} sang as solos and in duets with {$Bayne} some songs sung by the major male character {%Val LaMar}, and also ones done by various minor characters, such as {&"Babes in Arms,"} {&"I Wish I Were in Love Again,"} {&"You Are So Fair,"} and {&"All at Once."} But with a show like {+Babes in Arms}, in which the songs had only a tangential relationship to plot and characters to begin with, this switching around didn't matter much. What did matter was that {$Martin} got to sing some prime {$Rodgers & Hart} material and gave wonderful performances, while {$Cassidy} and {$Bayne} held their own. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Overture Studio Cast Recording 3:17
  3. 2 Where or When Studio Cast Recording 3:58
  4. 3 Babes in Arms Jack Cassidy 2:45
  5. 4 I Wish I Were in Love Again Jack Cassidy 2:37
  6. 5 Way Out West Mardi Bayne 3:11
  7. 6 My Funny Valentine Studio Cast Recording 4:6
  8. 7 Johnny One Note Studio Cast Recording 2:49
  9. 8 Imagine Mardi Bayne 3:31
  10. 9 All at Once Jack Cassidy 3:9
  11. 10 The Lady Is a Tramp Studio Cast Recording 3:52
  12. 11 You Are So Fair Jack Cassidy 3:17
  13. 12 Finale Studio Cast Recording 3:43

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