Playbill Records Signs Betty Buckley; Two Recordings Due

News   Playbill Records Signs Betty Buckley; Two Recordings Due
Playbill Records has signed Tony Award-winning singer-actress Betty Buckley. The label will release two Buckley recordings within the next six months: the never-before-released "Betty Buckley 1967" and the brand-new "Quintessence."
"Betty Buckley 1967" will be released on the Playbill Records/Sony BMG Masterworks Broadway label.
"Betty Buckley 1967" will be released on the Playbill Records/Sony BMG Masterworks Broadway label.

"Betty Buckley 1967" will arrive in stores Oct. 16 on the Playbill Records/Sony BMG Masterworks Broadway label. The CD will be available for pre-order on beginning Oct. 1. "Quintessence" is scheduled for arrival Valentine's Day 2008.

A special limited vinyl pressing of "Betty Buckley 1967" is now available for pre-sale; see below.

"Betty Buckley 1967" is produced by Betty Lynn Buckley. Executive producers are Philip S. Birsh and Richard Jay-Alexander.

"Betty Buckley 1967" was recorded by the Tony-winning Cats star in Fort Worth, TX, when she was 19. She was accompanied by musicians Charlie Baxter, John Monaghan and Wayland Smajstrala; T Bone Burnett engineered the recording. The 11-track CD reveals a voice whose beauty is second to none, one that is filled with optimism and joy.

In the liner notes for the disc, Buckley writes, "We made this recording as an archive and because my Mom felt we needed it. We went to T Bone Burnett. His was the only recording studio in town. His Mom Hazel Vernon and my Mom were friends. . . . It is remarkable how deftly he engineered this recording. The dynamic spread of my voice wasn’t even an issue. Also I marvel at the fact that we, the trio of musicians and I just walked in and recorded this straight down without a problem, without second takes and overdubs. "When you're young you just don't know any better and it all came out pretty all right. I didn't think anything about it at all. I sent one copy to Rodger Hess who was an agent at International Famous Agency who had signed me after my appearance as a guest entertainer in the Miss America Pageant that fall. It was a Christmas gift, a thank you for his belief in my talent. The other copy I gave to my boyfriend and its conflicted message about love and us was clear at least to me. I wonder if he kept it."

In separate liner notes, senior editor Andrew Gans says, "From the moment the recording begins — with Bye Bye Birdie's 'One Boy' — one can't help being uplifted by the joyous sounds of Buckley's voice. Just listen to the ease in which the notes pour out of her or the way she effortlessly switches from bigger sounds to more gentle ones.

"She may have only been 19, but Buckley was already imbuing her singing with an actress' sensibilities, and her phrasing and musicality were well beyond her years (check out her wonderful version of 'They Can't Take That Away From Me'). Even her song list is surprisingly eclectic for a teenager: a mix of Broadway ballads, standards, pop songs and even a tune in Spanish.

"Picking a favorite is nearly impossible. Would it be her sly 'C'est Magnifique,' her free-spirited 'Call Me,' a lilting 'They Were You,' the utterly charming 'My Funny Valentine,' the belty 'Who Can I Turn to?' or 'I Wanna Be Free' with all its pure, innocent ache? I am also particularly fond of Buckley's 'Quando Calienta El Sol.' When she switches from Spanish to English, her joy in singing the lyric 'Love me with all of your heart, that's all I want love!' is utterly contagious. "And when this young woman sings, 'When I give my heart, it will be completely' (in 'When I Fall in Love'), there is no doubt it is as sincere a statement as it is beautifully sung. In fact, listening to these 11 tracks back-to-back, it is no wonder Buckley landed her first Broadway role (Martha Jefferson in 1776) during her first Broadway audition on her very first day in Manhattan."

The complete track listing for "Betty Buckley 1967" follows:

"One Boy"
"C'est Magnifique"
"Quando Calienta El Sol" ("Love Me With All of Your Heart")
"They Can't Take That Away From Me"
"They Were You"
"Call Me"
"I Wanna Be Free"
"Where Is Love?"
"Who Can I Turn To?"
"My Funny Valentine"
"When I Fall in Love"

"Quintessence," due in February 2008, celebrates Buckley's 17-year working relationship with musical director and pianist Kenny Werner. Backed by a quintet of musicians, Buckley offers renditions of "Amelia," "Anyone Can Whistle," "Blame It On My Youth"/"I've Grown Accustomed to His Face," "Cry Me a River," "Dindi"/"How Insensitive," "Get Here," "Heart Like a Wheel"/"The Water Is Wide," "Like a Lover," "No One Is Alone," "So Many Stars," "Something's Coming," "Stardust," "Surrey with the Fringe on Top" and "Where Do You Start?" More details to follow.

Betty Buckley offered acclaimed performances in Sunset Boulevard, Carrie, Song & Dance, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, 1776 and Promises, Promises. She won a Tony Award for her performance as Grizabella in the Broadway production of Cats, and she starred on the London stage in Promises, Promises and Sunset Boulevard, earning an Olivier Award nomination for her work in the latter. Also a TV ("Eight Is Enough") and film (Tender Mercies) star, the actress-singer devotes much of her time to concert appearances around the world. Her solo CD, "Stars and the Moon: Betty Buckley Live at the Donmar Warehouse," was nominated for a Grammy Award and is available on the Concord Records label. The actress was also seen on the final three seasons of the acclaimed HBO series "Oz" as well as in the Lincoln Center revue, Elegies: A Song Cycle.

To pre-order the limited edition vinyl LP of "Betty Buckley 1967," click here. (The CD version of "Betty Buckley 1967" will be available for pre-sale shortly.)

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Betty Buckley's unreleased debut album will be available on the Playbill Records/Sony BMG Masterworks Broadway label.
Betty Buckley's unreleased debut album will be available on the Playbill Records/Sony BMG Masterworks Broadway label.
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