Jerry Hadley is joined by Tony Randall, the Harvard Glee Club, and the voice of Mario Lanza for this delightful tribute to Sigmund Romberg, Rudolf Friml, and Victor Herbert, and the particular corner of the American theater that their music represented in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This is a fully realized recording that would probably not be possible to do in the 21st century -- with Paul Gemignani conducting the American Theatre Orchestra, there's no shortage of opulence or care with the accompaniments or the overall recording. What's more, though Romberg, Friml, and Herbert seem like names out of the distant past, even casual listeners may be surprised by how many of the melodies and lyrics they recognize -- though they're often grouped (for lack of an appropriate category) with classical composers, theirs was the stuff of popular music in their time, and some of this material, thanks to its reuse in movies right into the 1950s, has endured long past their time. Of course, in 1994, no one could have guessed that in not much more than a decade, Hadley would be gone and the economics of the music industry would make CD productions such as this as quaintly anachronistic as its content might seem at first glance.
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