Bye Bye Birdie [A Decca Broadway Original Cast Album]

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Exceeding expectations, Bye Bye Birdie, the first hit for the team of Lee Adams and Charles Strouse, ran for 607 performances on Broadway. Opening on April 14, 1960, the show tells the story of a scheme by the agent of a rock singer to recoup some of the money he spent promoting this Elvis Presley-type singer before he has to leave to meet his military commitment. The scheme involves a contest where the teenage girl winner was to kiss the star, Conrad Birdie, played by Marty Wilde, on the Ed Sullivan Show. The scheme gets sidetracked by Birdie's interfering mother, the contest winner's steady, and the long-suffering agent's girlfriend. The London version opened in 1961, as the irrepressible Chita Rivera repeated as the pining girlfriend, Rose Grant. Peter Marshall got the agent's role, originated by Dick Van Dyke, and a legitimate rock star, Marty Wilde, played Conrad Birdie. Because of its uniquely American character, the show was not nearly as successful on London's West End as on Broadway, closing after only 268 performances. Even though the show was made into a movie and TV special, it didn't produce any songs that were to become entries in the Great American Popular Songbook. "Put on a Happy Face," "A Lot of Livin' to Do," and "Kids" made it to the front door, but never quite got in. Even though the show was not that well received, the London cast album is quite good. Perhaps Marshall did not quite define the role of Albert Peterson as did Van Dyke. But then Van Dyke was someone special. This release is one of a series of reissues by Decca of original cast musical recordings using 24 bit digital technology to get a bright clear sound.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Bye, Bye Birdie, musical
1 2:42 Amazon
2 3:22 Amazon
3 3:02 Amazon
4 2:43 Amazon
5 3:50
6 4:07 Amazon
7 3:11 Amazon
8 3:18 Amazon
9 2:08 Amazon
10 1:35 Amazon
11 2:03 Amazon
12 2:48 Amazon
13 1:32 Amazon
14 3:04 Amazon
15 1:08 Amazon
16 3:20 Amazon
17 4:00 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick