Various Artists

This is the Army (Original All-Soldier Cast); Call Me Mister (Original Cast Members)

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In 1942, Irving Berlin organized This Is the Army, an all-soldier musical to benefit war relief that updated his similar World War I show Yip! Yip! Yaphank. It ran on Broadway from July 4 to September 26, then toured the U.S. and around the world over the next three years. Berlin himself reprised "Oh, How I Hate to Get up in the Morning" from Yip! Yip! Yaphank, and other songs included the stirring "This Is the Army, Mr. Jones," the romantic "I Left My Heart at the Stage Door Canteen," and the African-American-oriented "What the Well Dressed Man in Harlem Will Wear." Songwriter Harold Rome's 1946 musical revue Call Me Mister successfully commented on the immediate postwar world, opening on Broadway on April 18, 1946, and running 734 performances through January 10, 1948. Betty Garrett achieved stardom singing the hit "South America, Take It Away," in which a USO hostess complains about rhumba rhythms, and she also had fun with "Little Surplus Me," while "Military Life" took a less-than-reverent look at veterans. Decca Records recorded both shows and issued 78 RPM albums in 1942 and 1946, respectively. Columbia Special Products and the bootleg label JJA have combined them on single LPs since then, and now that the recordings are out of copyright in Europe, Jasmine has done the same on this CD, which also adds later material such as "My British Buddy," which Berlin wrote for the London opening of This Is the Army. (The JJA LP also featured this material.) Paul Pelletier's liner notes are informative, and since the recordings had been out of print in the U.S. for a long time before this release, they are welcome.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
This is the Army, revue
1 3:03
2 2:17
3 2:50
4 3:14
5 1:05
This is the Army, revue
6 2:03
7 2:54
8 2:47
9 2:59
10 3:15
11 2:50
12 1:20
Call Me Mister, musical play
13 3:07
14 3:11
15 3:10
16 3:08
17 3:00
18 3:05
19 2:03
20 3:02
21 3:16
22 2:43
blue highlight denotes track pick