Satins and Spurs, with a libretto by William Friedberg and producer/director Max Liebman, and songs by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, was a musical written for television and broadcast live in 90 minutes on NBC September 12, 1954. It starred 33-year-old movie actress (Betty Hutton) as a cowgirl who comes to New York to appear at a rodeo, and falls in love with a photographer played by Kevin McCarthy (whose singing was dubbed by Earl Wrightson), their romance complicated by his urban sophistication and her rural rough edges. The story contained obvious similarities to Annie Get Your Gun, which Hutton had starred in on film, and it made use of her energetic style. This original TV cast recording (recorded and released prior to the broadcast, and thus not a soundtrack) reveals that Livingston and Evans' songs have been tailored to Hutton's talents, giving her a chance to show off her extroverted, outsized approach to singing. There is even the suggestion that she might have been able to find a place in the emerging world of rock 'n' roll, had she had a different background and been a little younger, as "The Little Rock Roll" anticipates the rock revolution, and she sounds right at home. Sadly, that was not to be. In fact, Satins and Spurs, an intended comeback for a performer who had burned her bridges in Hollywood two years before, was poorly received, and even precipitated a temporary retirement by Hutton. That's a shame, since the album reveals the musical to have been a good vehicle for her talents.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann