February 12 - 18, 2023
Year of Release: 2001
Oh What A Beautiful Mornin'
The Surrey With The
Fringe On Top
Kansas City Ballet
I Can't Say No
Many A New Day
Many A New Day Ballet
People Will Say we're In Love
Pure Jud Is Daid
Out Of My Dreams
Out Of My Dreams Ballet
The Farmer And The Cowman
The Farmer And The Cowman
All Er Nothin'
All Er Nothin' Ballet
People Will Say we're In Love
Oh What A
Overture (LP Version)
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It's been a long, long time, since I've seen the 1955 film, Oklahoma! But what I always remembered, was the great music it had. Gordon MacRae and Shirley
Jones were the stars of the movie. I always remembered Gordon MacRae's song "Cara Mia," which I had the 45 of. (Jay & The Americans would also have their own
version of "Cara Mia.") Shirley Jones is most famous and remembered as the mother in the TV series, The Partridge Family. From Oklahoma!, I
had a few of the 45s. (I can't really remember if they were from this soundtrack or not, but the songs "Oh What A Beautiful Mornin'," "People Will Say We're In
Love," and the title song "Oklahoma!" were the one that I remembered.
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein were the creators of Oklahoma! as the original soundtrack was #1 on the Billboard Albums chart, for seven weeks in
1956. The movie was first released in October, 1955. The original recorded was in six-channel stereo at MGM Studios, from May to July, 1954, under the direction
of Fred Hynes (sound supervisor). Originally released on Capitol Records, the 3 track master tapes were produced, edited and mastered at the Captitol Records Melrose
Avenue studio, in Los Angeles by John Palladino (engineer). The original soundtrack album, Capitol W-595, was released on August 1, 1955. The stereo album, Capitol
SW-595, was released circa 1958. The original album debuted on the Billboard charts on September 17, 1955, reaching #1 and holding that position for four
weeks (seven?). The album remained on the charts for a total of 305 weeks, and was Captiol Records' very first "Gold Record," awarded by the RIAA for sales of more
than 500,000 copies.
The newly restored edition of Oklahoma! was digitally remixed and remastered from the original MGM six-channel stereo magnetic film session recordings,
and the 1958 Capitol Records half-inch, three-track 15-ips stereo master tapes. The new and restored edition was released in 2001. 12 songs were originally
released for the 1955 soundtrack. The new and restored edition included 10 unreleased recordings, from the original magnetic film soundtrack.
The unreleased "Overture" and "Main Title" leads this restored soundtrack, as they feature a medley of songs from the soundtrack, including "Oh,
What A Beautiful Mornin'," and of course, the title theme song. The orchestration on this overture cannot be beat. It is just beautifully orchestrated
throughout. Gordon MacRae's "Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin'" is one of the greatest movie soundtrack songs. (I often think of the short rendition of this song
by Rochester, from the Jack Benny radio show. LOL!) Of course, MacRae's version is a classic. "The Surrey With The Fringe On Top" is another great song,
as MacRae, Shirley Jones, and Charlotte Greenwood provide the vocals.
"Kansas City" (Gene Nelson, Charlotte Greenwood, Men's Chorus) is a great happy-go-lucky tune. (And no, is NOT the cover song of the same song title that
the Beatles did. LOL) The "Kansas City Ballet" is next, as it was unreleased from the original soundtrack. Gloria Grahame's "I Can't Say No" is one
of those broadway-type sounding songs, and easily fits a movie soundtrack. (This one can be put on the "least-favorites.") Shirley Jones and the Girls' Chorus
provide another broadway-type song, "Many A New Day," and it is very well-done, with Shirley's voice in good Broadway-type style. It blends into the next
(unreleased) track, "Many A New Day Ballet." The main two stars of this movie, Gordon McRae & Shirley Jones returns with the classic "People Will Say We're
"Pure Jud Is Daid" combines singer Gordon MacRae with actor Rod Steiger. (Yes, the Rod Steiger from the famous movie In The Heat Of The Night.
Another Broadway-styled song, the duo of MacRae/Steiger does a good job. MacRae does most of the singing, of course, and Steiger's singing pipes are not bad.
Shirley Jones and the Girls' Chorus returns, with "Out Of My Dreams" and the unreleased "Out Of My Dreams Ballet." It's more on the spoken voice
method here, as it was from the movie, that leads into the song. And again, Shirley does a great job with her vocals. The "Out Of My Dreams Ballet" is a
surprisingly 14 minute track. This "ballet" is outstanding, with it's great orchestration.
The unreleased "Entr'acte" is another happ-go-lucky orchestrain, and features "People Will Say We're In Love." It's a short piece, yet the
happy-go-lucky sound continues with The Farmer And The Cowman" (Gordon MacRae, Charlotte Greenwood, Gene Nelson, J.C. Flippen, James Whitmore, Gloria Grahame,
Mixed Chorus) and it's "The Farmer And The Cowman Ballet." Likewise, "All Er Nuthin'" (Gloria Grahame, Gene Nelson) and the unreleased "All Er
Next is "People Will Say We're In Love (Reprise)." The reprise is unreleased, and much shorter than the original. And the original version is quite better
than the reprise. The main theme "Oklahoma!", and you just can't wait for that familiar line - "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhklahoma! where the wind comes sweepin' down
the plain..." And the "Finale: Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin'" is another unreleased track, where on the original, MacRae is the only voice. On the finale,
he is joined by Shirley Jones and the entire company. And, it's a short rendition, and it ends with another finale of the title theme, ending the movie. ANd speaking
of ending the movie, "Overture (LP Version)" is a bonus track, another great orchestrated song, as it's original.
The highlights are the Gordon MacRae & Shirley Jones duets, as well as well as both of them on their own. Gene Nelson and Gloria Grahame are considered by far,
not well-distinguised singers MacRae and Jones. (Hovever, Rod Steiger wasn't as bad at all.) The team of MacRae and Jones can be compared to another great duo from
this era, Nelson Eddy & Jeannette MacDonald. Broadway-styled and/or opera, Nelson and Jeannette were a great team together. This can be said for the team of
Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones. The songs they did were done extremely well. The Oklahoma! soundtrack had a great sound for the time and era when it was
released. They don't make music (or movies) like Oklahoma! anymore, but back in 1955, this was pure magic. Great songs, great singers. And the movie
was presented by the great Rodgers & Hammerstein. Relive how music sounded back in the year 1995, and especially towards the movies. The movie Oklahoma!
was nominated at the Academy Awards for Best Cinematography (Color), Best Film Editing, Best Scoring of a Musical Picture, Best Sound Recording. It was also
nominated at the National Film Preservation Board, Satellite Awards, and Writes Guild Of America Awards. Again, "they don't make 'em like they used to..."
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