The discs, in limited printings of usually 2,500, are on the Rhino Handmade label, which offers specialty collectible product — individually numbered and billed as "limited editions" — via its website (www.rhinohandmade.com). Some discs eventually end up in stores or on amazon.com and other sites.
The movie version of the 1947 Yip Harburg-Fred Saidy Burton Lane musical fantasy Finian's Rainbow was directed by a young Francis Ford Coppola and was released in 1968, reassigning some numbers to Astaire, who played Clark's aging Irish father, Finian. The Rhino release represents the CD debut of the soundtrack and includes three previously unreleased tracks (overture, entr'acte and exit music). The song, "Necessity," billed as an outtake on the website songlist, is included on the disc.
The "Finian's Rainbow" movie cast included Keenan Wynn as Sen. Rawkins and Don Francks as Woody. Steele, the caffeinated British actor-dancer known from "The Happiest Millionaire" and Half a Sixpence, played the randy leprechaun named Og (or Ogg, as some credit indicate).
The score includes such classics as "Look to the Rainbow," "Old Devil Moon," "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?" and "If This Isn't Love."
Rhino Handmade reintroduced the theatre music of early 20th-century songwriters Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby in the spring with the CD premiere of the soundtrack to M-G-M's "Three Little Words," the 1950 musical biopic of Kalmar and Ruby that starred Fred Astaire, Red Skelton, Arlene Dahl, Vera-Ellen. Lyricist Kalmar (1884-1947) and composer Ruby (1895 1947) had their biggest successes with musicals and revues in the 1920s, penning "All Alone Monday," "I Wanna Be Loved By You," "Thinking of You," "Hooray for Captain Spaulding," "Nevertheless," "So Long, Oo-Long," "Who's Sorry Now?," "Where Did You Get That Girl?" and "Three Little Words."
Their shows include The Ramblers, Animal Crackers, The Five O'Clock Girl, Helen of Troy, New York, Top Speed, No Other Girl and more.
A teen-aged Debbie Reynolds played the "Boop-boop-a doop" girl, Helen Kane, in the picture. Her singing vocal was dubbed by Kane herself.
The disc — like "Finian's Rainbow," available in a limited edition of 2,500 — includes six tracks from the Astaire M-G-M picture, "Yolanda and the Thief," viewed by many as a bizarre experiment, directed by Vincente Minnelli. The 1945 musical fantasy has songs by composer Harry Warren and lyrics by Arthur Freed.
The Rhino Handmade movie-musical catalog also includes the soundtracks to "Mame" (now listed as out of print), Cole Porter's "DuBarry Was a Lady," Lerner and Lane's "Royal Wedding," and M-G-M Judy Garland vehicles "Summer Stock" and "In the Good Old Summertime," among others.