Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's final collaboration was a "revisical" of their 1927 show A Connecticut Yankee, for which they wrote six new songs. It opened on Broadway on November 17, 1943, and Hart was dead five days later. But the new material, particularly the lengthy, comic account of husband murdering, "To Keep My Love Alive," proved that the lyricist had maintained his wit to the end, and the show ran until March 1944, a good showing for a revival. Decca Records, which had recently succeeded with the first real original Broadway cast album, Oklahoma!, another Rodgers project, brought the cast into the studio and came out with a five-disc 78 rpm album of A Connecticut Yankee that preserved Vivienne Segal's memorable portrayal of Morgan Le Fay. Using three of the new songs plus standards like "My Heart Stood Still" and "Thou Swell," Decca produced another good argument for the recording of stage casts. The album languished in subsequent decades, however, and, as chronicled in the notes to the 2001 reissue, the original masters were destroyed after a tape transfer in the 1960s, after which the tape was lost. It turned up again in 2000, however, making the reissue possible. Given the running time of less than 32 minutes, bonus tracks were a must, and they come in the form of four songs from Rodgers and Hart's 1940 musical Higher and Higher sung by Shirley Ross of the original cast, among them the standard "It Never Entered My Mind," and four songs from the duo's 1942 musical By Jupiter sung by popular 1940s radio star Hildegarde. By Jupiter was Rodgers and Hart's longest running musical, though it never produced a hit because of the recording ban. Hildegarde demonstrates that "Everything I've Got" and "Nobody's Heart" deserved to become hits, however.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
|A Connecticut Yankee, musical|
|Higher and Higher, musical|
|By Jupiter, musical|