Various Artists

Broadway Through the Gramophone, Vol. 2

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

The first volume of British archival label Pearl's Broadway Through the Gramophone series, which collects medleys of songs from Broadway shows recorded between 1909 and the mid-1920s, concentrated on recordings of older shows dating back to the mid-19th century. This one features shows and recordings from 1909-1914, the recordings made contemporaneously with the original stage productions. Victor Records, in a precursor to the cast album, found that there was a market for the medleys, as recorded by the Victor Light Opera Company, which consisted of the label's leading recording stars, such as Ada Jones and the Revelers. (The 2001 equivalent would be to have Britney Spears and 'N Sync record songs from The Producers.) The singers were not credited individually -- and they are not identified here -- but pre-World War I audiences would have recognized their voices. And even today, comic singer Billy Murray's distinctive reedy baritone is obvious throughout. (Sometimes, the singing is so good you wish you knew who the vocalists were. For example, who is the woman doing those remarkable soprano trills in the medley from The Arcadians?) This was a period when Viennese operetta ruled Broadway, at least in the form of transferred productions often containing interpolations by American composers like the young Jerome Kern, who is heard on six tracks, including such hits as "They Didn't Believe Me" from The Girl from Utah. There are also major American composers like Victor Herbert, who has four excellent scores, including Naughty Marietta, which is full of familiar melodies ("Tramp Tramp Tramp," "Ah Sweet Mystery of Life," etc.), and Sweethearts. The transfers from old 78s retain a great deal of crackle and hiss, but the sound processing has not muffled the music, which comes through despite the static, making this another major contribution to the history of stage music.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
The Belle of Brittany, operetta
1 04:18 Amazon
The Arcadians, operetta
2 03:59 Amazon
Our Miss Gibbs, musical
3 04:04 Amazon
Madame Sherry, operetta
4 04:26 Amazon
Naughty Marietta, operetta in 2 acts
5 04:39 Amazon
The Spring Maid, musical play
6 04:12 Amazon
The Balkan Princess, musical play
7 03:51 Amazon
The Pink Lady, musical play
8 04:04 Amazon
The Quaker Girl, musical
9 04:26 Amazon
Der Graf von Luxemburg, operetta in 3 acts
10 04:24 Amazon
Oh! Oh! Delphine!!!, musical play
11 04:16 Amazon
The Lady of the Slipper, musical comedy in 3 acts
12 03:40 Amazon
Der Mann mit den drei Frauen (The Man With Three Wives), operetta in 3 acts
13 04:20 Amazon
The Sunshine Girl, musical play
14 04:09 Amazon
The Purple Road, musical play
15 04:00 Amazon
When Dreams Come True, musical play
16 04:22 Amazon
The Doll Girl, musical (contributed some songs)
17 04:22 Amazon
Adele, musical play
18 04:20 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Der Liebe Augustin, operetta
1 04:25 Amazon
Sweethearts, operetta in 2 acts
2 04:19 Amazon
3 04:25 Amazon
Oh, I Say!, musical in 3 acts
4 04:21 Amazon
The Little Café, musical play
5 04:27 Amazon
The Madcap Duchess, operetta in 2 acts
6 04:34 Amazon
High Jinks, operetta
7 04:22 Amazon
Iole, musical play
8 04:17 Amazon
The Girl on the Film, musical
9 03:55 Amazon
The Queen of the Movies, operetta
10 04:28 Amazon
Der Zigeunerprimas (Sari), operetta
11 04:31 Amazon
The Laughing Husband, musical (contributed some songs)
12 04:20 Amazon
The Midnight Girl, musical play
13 04:16 Amazon
The Beauty Shop, musical play
14 04:18 Amazon
Ziegfield Follies of 1914, musical
15 04:17 Amazon
The Passing Show of 1914, musical
16 03:45 Amazon
The Girl From Utah, items (10) from the musical play by S.Jones
17 04:37 Amazon
Miss Daisy, musical play
18 04:18 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick