Masterworks Broadway Reissues Discs of Follies in Concert and Babes in Arms Oct. 24

News   Masterworks Broadway Reissues Discs of Follies in Concert and Babes in Arms Oct. 24
The fall releases from Masterworks Broadway, drawing from a deep vault of recordings held by Sony, include Oct. 24 reissues of a studio recording of Babes in Arms and the 1985 Follies in Concert. Studio recordings of songs from Shuffle Along and Blackbirds of 1928, plus the TV soundtrack of Jerry Herman's "Mrs. Santa Claus," will get released in November.

Cover art for Follies in Concert
Cover art for Follies in Concert

All releases will be accompanied by new album pages and photos on

The 1951 Columbia studio-cast recording of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's Babes in Arms stars Mary Martin, Jack Cassidy and Mardi Baynee. It was produced by Goddard Lieberson under Lehman Engel's direction. The studio recording was produced "at a time when old Broadway musicals were generally considered to be quaint but hopeless relics," according to the label. The recording "honors the original score and generally follows the original order of the songs" in the 1937 show (which was produced before the era of the modern cast album). The Oct. 24 release, the first authorized since the LP era using the original mono master, will be available as a digital download and as disc-on-demand, with the original cover art and new liner notes, via and

Masterworks bills the recording as "the first serious attempt to record one of the most successful, hit-laden original Broadway scores" created by composer Rodgers and lyricist Hart. (There have been at least two complete stereo restorations since that time, including an Encores! concert cast recording.)

Coinciding with the acclaimed new Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's Follies is a new two-CD "eco-friendly softpack" of Follies in Concert. Recorded live at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City on Sept. 6-7, 1985, Follies in Concert "finally gave one of Sondheim's most ravishing scores its complete due, and revealed the previously neglected show as a masterwork of the American musical theatre." (Since the release, other recordings have offered more complete documents of the score by composer-lyricist Sondheim, but the 1985 recording was the most complete document at that time.) The reissue also includes Stephen Sondheim's score to the film "Stavisky."

Anticipating the holidays, Masterworks Broadway will digitally reissue the soundtrack to the 1996 Yuletide television special "Mrs. Santa Claus" on Nov. 15. The holiday film reunited Broadway composer-lyricist Jerry Herman with his Mame and Dear World star Angela Lansbury. "Set in 1910," according to Masterworks notes, "the show chronicled the misadventures of Santa's wife (or Mrs. North as she whimsically called herself) who, having failed to convince her husband that he should take a rest, decides to drive his sleigh herself on Christmas Eve. With a cast that included Charles Durning, Michael Jeter and Terrence Mann, the Hallmark presentation provided Jerry Herman with a renewed opportunity to write catchy songs, most notably for his star, who delivered with her usual gusto such lilting tunes as 'Mrs. Santa Claus,' 'Almost Young' and 'Whistle.'"

This marks the first digital release of "Mrs. Santa Claus."

The 1953 studio recordings of songs from the pioneering all-black musicals Shuffle Along (1921) and Blackbirds of 1928 (1928) "are the only representations of these landmark scores in their original context," according to the label. Shuffle Along introduced the Eubie Blake-Noble Sissle hit "I'm Just Wild About Harry," and Blackbirds of 1928 gave the songwriting team of Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields their first Broadway success with such classics as "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" and "Diga-Diga-Doo."

Eubie Blake conducts and plays piano on the four songs from Shuffle Along, featuring Thelma Carpenter and Tony nominee Avon Long. Carpenter and Cab Calloway share the four songs from Blackbirds of 1928, with Lehman Engel conducting. The Nov. 15 release of these recordings is the first using the original masters and will be available as a digital download and as disc-on-demand, with the original cover art and new liner notes, via and

Masterworks Broadway is a label of Sony Masterworks. For email updates and information on Masterworks Broadway visit


The goal of the label's ongoing reissue campaign is to release classic cast recordings previously unavailable in the CD era.

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