I was so excited to write my "Essential Barbara Cook On Disc" — until I started working on it. This is hard! Barbara Cook is widely recognized as a peerless interpreter of the Great American Songbook and a muse to some of the greatest composers of the last century, and her work on record is extensive, to say the least. She made her Broadway debut in the 1950s, appearing as a leading ingénue in a string of landmark musicals and, in the 1970s, crossed over successfully into the cabaret and concert arena, where she's been arguably the preeminent singer of our time, recording almost countless albums. They are all wonderful.
In the interest of moderation, I've tried my best to keep this list down to a reasonable length — these are but a selection of my favorite Barbara Cook recordings, nowhere near exhaustive. And forget about any kind of ranking. I'll go to my death before I choose one of these over another. I present them in chronological order.
Click through to read my choices for the essential recordings of Barbara Cook.
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