Track Listing Announced for Studio Album of Gershwins' Strike Up the Band; Brent Barrett, Rebecca Luker Sing

News   Track Listing Announced for Studio Album of Gershwins' Strike Up the Band; Brent Barrett, Rebecca Luker Sing
PS Classics has released a track listing and cover art, and announced an early web release date, for its upcoming recording of George and Ira Gershwin's 1930 Broadway musical Strike Up the Band. The satire of war concerns chocolate as the reason for a battle with Switzerland. In an earlier 1927 version of the show, Swiss cheese was the inciting food.

The studio-cast album, featuring Brent Barrett and Rebecca Luker, will be available in stores on June 21, but is currently available for pre-order at the label's website,, where it will ship two weeks ahead of street date.

As previously reported in a exclusive, the studio album is being released more than 20 years after recording began. It's the 100th release by PS Classics, the Grammy Award-nominated label devoted to American theatre music and popular song.

A result of the late Mrs. Ira Gershwin's efforts to preserve the great Gershwin scores that predated the advent of the original cast recording, the 1930 Broadway score of Strike Up the Band was restored and partially recorded in 1990, during a period that also yielded studio cast albums of the Gershwins' Girl Crazy; Lady, Be Good!; Pardon My English and Oh, Kay!

A two-disc Strike Up the Band was previously released but that album represented the score as heard during the show's 1927 pre-Broadway tryout, when it closed before reaching Broadway.

The now-dawning 1930 version of Strike Up the Band was partially recorded in '90, but did not go through post-production or get released. The 1927 and 1930 versions of the same title were recorded at the same time, using the same cast. Only the former was released, though some tracks from the 1930 version appeared as appendix material on the earlier release. Fans of the 1927 version can now indulge in a whole new alternate score; the Gershwins made many revisions between 1927 and '30. Work on the recording of the 1930 score recommenced this past winter under the supervision of original producer Tommy Krasker, co-founder (with Philip Chaffin) of PS Classics.

The track listing is as follows:

1. Overture
2. Fletcher's American Chocolate Choral Society
3. I Mean to Say
4. "Not apologize exactly…"
5. Typical Self-Made American
6. "Have a nice talk?…"
7. Soon
8. Dream Music
9. The Unofficial Spokesman
10. Patriotic Rally
11. "Has the war started yet?…"
12. If I Became the President
13. Hangin' Around with You
14. Finaletto Act I
15. Strike Up the Band
16. Opening Act II
17. Mademoiselle in New Rochelle
18. I've Got a Crush on You
19. How About a Boy?
20. Soldiers' March
21. Dream Music II
22. Official Resume
23. Ring-a-Ding-a-Ding-Dong Dell
24. Finale Ultimo

Krasker, co-founder of PS Classics and album producer, told on May 2, "A mere listing of the tracks doesn't begin to suggest the many ways in which the Gershwins overhauled the score between its failed out-of-town tryout in 1927 and its triumphant Broadway premiere in 1930. In fact, in some cases, the track listings are deceptive. Both shows have Overtures but they're completely different; the same can be said for the Openings and Finales of Act II. 'How About a Boy' in 1930 is a completely different number from 'How About a Man' in 1927 — they both serve the same plot purpose, but the Gershwins chose to write a brand-new song in 1930, and it turned out to be a much bigger crowd-pleaser."

"And even in cases where the exact same song title appears in both versions, the songs themselves often underwent significant revisions. For example, for 'Typical Self-Made American,' a song that went over well in 1927, the Gershwins expanded it with an additional verse and refrain, which are marvelous. In 'Patriotic Rally,' on the other hand, a song whose Gilbert-and-Sullivan-inspired patter kind of laid an egg in 1927, the Gershwins substituted a dance refrain. And there are incredibly subtle changes throughout, sometimes as seemingly insignificant as changing the word 'the' to 'a' — but the Gershwins were perfectionists, and even where songs worked in 1927, they never stopped trying to refine and improve them. What I find most impressive about the overhauling of Strike Up the Band is that the Gershwins were able to simultaneously see the big picture while never losing sight of the smallest details."

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