1965 Lincoln Center Cast

Carousel [1965 Broadway Revival Cast]

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Richard Rodgers was the president and producing director of the Music Theater of Lincoln Center, a repertory organization that put on limited-run, summer revivals of Broadway musicals at the newly opened Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City in the 1960s. One of the shows for 1965 was Rodgers' own Carousel, marking its 20th anniversary. John Raitt, the original male lead, returned to the role he had originated. The show opened on August 10 and was well-received. RCA Victor, which contracted to record many of the Lincoln Center shows, also did this one. The result was an excellent album. Carousel was recorded originally back in 1945, just at the start of the boom in original Broadway cast albums, and was designed for 78 rpm records. Even the 1956 original soundtrack album was relatively brief. But this 1965 Carousel album ran over 50 minutes (very long for an LP and not bad even for the 1987 CD reissue), notably including a version of the opening scene between Billy Bigelow (Raitt) and Julie Jordan (Eileen Christy) that ran over nine and a half minutes. As such, this was the most complete version of the score yet released. The 48-year-old Raitt, with many performances of the show under his belt, was more mannered than the 28-year-old Raitt had been, but he still owned the role, and the rest of the cast was good. With Rodgers looking on, this Carousel outdistanced the 1956 movie soundtrack, and, if it was not as fresh as the original Broadway cast recording, came a close second.

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