#263 Grace Bumbry – Carmen Jones

Have you heard of Grace Bumbry? I suspect not. Me neither. Why not? We should have. She’s still alive! She was the first black singer to perform at Bayreuth singing in Wagner’s Tannhauser in 1961, whereafter she was known as the Black Venus. Because; racism, this caused some controversy at the time but the resulting … Continue reading #263 Grace Bumbry – Carmen Jones

#1266 The Sound Of Music – An Original Soundtrack Recording

I’m making a case for this being the best musical or all time. Not the best filmed musical - that of course would have to be Cabaret. But in terms of the consistent quality of the songs, Rodgers and Hammerstein have reached for the stars here and grasped them with both hands. It helps that … Continue reading #1266 The Sound Of Music – An Original Soundtrack Recording

#957 Oscar Peterson – My Fair Lady & West Side Story

Two discs for the price of one! Not only that, but a Very Special Price. Only 36 shillings and 6 pence, which is about £1.80 in today’s money. Although I doubt my grandfather paid that much when he bought it. This record is another one from his collection and features a sticker in his handwriting … Continue reading #957 Oscar Peterson – My Fair Lady & West Side Story

#553 George Gershwin – Rhapsody In Blue & An American In Paris

Rhapsody in Blue has already popped up on the Randometer, with Stefano Bollani’s recording of the original version for jazz band; this is the more commonly performed fuller orchestral version. And it is s'wonderful. I won’t repeat what I attempted to write about it last time, but will focus briefly on the other Gershwin classic … Continue reading #553 George Gershwin – Rhapsody In Blue & An American In Paris

#1116 The Rocky Horror Picture Show – Original Soundtrack

My first introduction to Rocky Horror was hearing a friend of a friend recite Frank N. Furter’s "come up to the lab" speech as if it was a Shakespearean soliloquy as part of his A level Drama Studies exam. I loved it, without understanding the context or having heard the music. I must have seen … Continue reading #1116 The Rocky Horror Picture Show – Original Soundtrack

#367 Doris Day – The Doris Day Songbook

Doris Day is perhaps best known these days for her film roles (I adore her in Calamity Jane!) but for me, she’ll always be first and foremost a singer. During the 40s she recorded many classic jazz and swing tunes. This record is a compilation produced in Germany which I bought at the Utrecht Record … Continue reading #367 Doris Day – The Doris Day Songbook

#1244 Barbra Streisand – And Other Musical Instruments

This is a very recent (£1 eBay) purchase, and I’m delighted that it’s come up on the randometer. I read about it on one of those 50 weirdest albums listicles somewhere on Tinterweb, and was intrigued by the write up, not least because you don’t expect Babs to be amongst the usual suspects of Metal … Continue reading #1244 Barbra Streisand – And Other Musical Instruments

#285 Carousel – Original Musical Soundtrack

This is one of my grandfather’s records, which he probably bought for 50p in Woolworths. It’s a limited selection for a World Record Club release; a studio production rather than a cast recording, and perhaps as a result loses some of the atmosphere and context of the stage show. Carousel is Rodgers and Hammerstein’s second … Continue reading #285 Carousel – Original Musical Soundtrack

#781 Henry Mancini – All Time Greatest Hits

This is my wife’s CD, but now sits on our shared shelves, of which about 10 CDs are hers (and 6 of those Queen) and the remaining 990 mine. This is mainly to do with a) her moving house/country and having to downsize in the process, and b) her younger brother ‘borrowing’ and then giving … Continue reading #781 Henry Mancini – All Time Greatest Hits

#437 Duke Ellington – Mary Poppins

Allmusic.com describes Ellington as the “Greatest all-round musical figure of the 20th century” and they’re not wrong. He was a titan, not just in his field of jazz, but in pretty much anything he turned his hand to - leading his band for nearly 50 years, composing and arranging multiple jazz standards, writing Broadway musicals … Continue reading #437 Duke Ellington – Mary Poppins