Various Artists

Rodgers and Hart Revisited, Vol. 1

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This was Ben Bagley's first compilation of the little-known songs of Broadway composers, recorded in 1960. Bagley, who had a background assembling and producing stage revues, conceived a kind of revue album, using four performers, Dorothy Loudon, Danny Meehan, Charlotte Rae, and Cy Young, to sing songs that had been cut from shows written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart in the 1920s and 1930s or, if used, long since forgotten. He began with the first song from the team's first successful show, The Garrick Gaieties in 1925, and demonstrated that Hart's wit and Rodgers' melodic gifts were just as apparent in songs like "At the Roxy Music Hall" and "I Blush" as they were in their more famous compositions. The spirited performances gave life to songs that, often through no fault of their own, happened to have been written for shows that failed or scenes that were replaced. Theater buffs were delighted, and Bagley went on to record dozens of follow-ups, including four more volumes of Rodgers and Hart. The 1990 CD reissue added eight newly recorded songs, all from the unsuccessful 1940 musical Higher and Higher, performed by Ann Hampton Callaway, Arthur Siegel, and Sandy Stewart, among them "It Never Entered My Mind," which had gone on to become a standard.

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