Beautiful Girl: The Essential Barbara Cook On Disc

By Ben Rimalower
09 Nov 2013

The King & I: 1964 Columbia Studio Cast Recording

Having played a brief run as Mrs. Anna in The King & I in 1960 at City Center, Cook got to record the role opposite in Theodore Bikel in 1964. It's hardly the ideal cast recording of The King & I, but no one has sung this music better than Barbara Cook. Just try to resist her warm soprano on such Rodgers and Hammerstein classics as "I Whistle A Happy Tune," "Getting To Know You," "Hello, Young Lovers," "Shall I Tell You What I Think Of You?" and "Shall We Dance?" Even better, this album includes a bonus reprise of "Something Wonderful" for Cook, and the richly modulated anthem fits her substantial instrument like a glove.