Sunglasses at Midnight
Russell Link presents a show that focuses on the history of the American Musical Theatre.
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9/20/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #265
Today I'll start with some more music from Victor Herbert's THE RED MILL. His beautiful song, one of his very best, "Moonbeams", performed by Dorothy Kirsten. Also, two songs sung by Jerry Hadley, "The Streets of New York" and "Every Day Is Ladies' Day". Goth Miss Kirsten and Mr. Hadley were important stars of the Metropolitan Opera. Also today I've have for you a song. "Matrimony", performed by May Irwin, an extremely popular performer in the early 1900 hundreds. I'm back to the Facebook pictures and videos routine, a routine I have yet to master, so there are quite a few mishaps to plow through. But the music is there and some wonder photos to see and hear, so forgive my ineptitude with the mechanics. Enjoy!
to listen (49:09).....  click here ......for download right click here
9/13/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #264
Today I'm going to go back to some of the songs I omitted as I was traversing chronologicall the shows of the early 1900;s. I'm going to be using a CD entitled MUSIC FROM THE NEW YORK STAGE 1890- 1908. So you'll be listening to some very old, scratchy records from 1902 and onward. I love the old records and thank Columbia, RCA Victor and Edison for them and whoever saved them and included the in the CD's, all four volumes. up, until 1920 .Among the artists you'll hear today are Raymond Hitchcock, Madge Crichton, Emma Carus and George Cohan. Enjoy!
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8/30/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #263
Today I've made a few mistakes. New technology, a bit complicated for an old man. What I've been doing is not only audio, but also videos and photos relating to the music. Those who watch me on You Tube will see the photos and hear the music. But those who just listen to the music will hear my sad story. But what music! After two recordings of "Waltz Me Around Again, Willie", sung by Billy Murray and Joan Morris, I have the Overture and selections from THE RED MILL by Victor Herbert. Then I have a broadcast of THE RED MILL from a radio program from Sydney, Australia. reduced, but including many of the songs. Enjoy!
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8/23/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #262
Today I'm not in the audio-video- You Tube-Facebook  studio. I'm back in just the audio studio, and I'll be playing CD's from the wonderful collection of old songs, recorded back in the early 1900's, MUSIC FROM THE NEW  YORK STAGE, VOLUME ONE: 1890-1908.  These are songs that for one reason or another I missed the first time or I'm playing them again because I like the songs. So  this is a catch-all, a sort of grab bag of early songs on scratchy records.   I loe the old songs and the old vocalists, the music and the lyrics, although many times the words are not easy to understand.  So ENJOY what you can.  Next week back to audio-visual, I hope.
to listen (58:55).....  click here ......for download right click here
8/16/20 MUSICAL THEATRE # 261
Today I'll feature Bert Williams' ABYSSINIA with him singing three songs: "Nobody", "Here It Comes Again" and "Let It Alone". I'll also several songs from a revival of "The Prince of Pilsen", including a 1906 medley of songs by the Victor Light Opera Company. I'll also play a recording of Jean Schwartz's delightful "An Automobile Honeymoon" from THE HAM TREE, sun g by Harry Talley. Enjoy!
to listen (58:55).....  click here ......for download right click here
8/9/20 MUSICAL THEATRE # 260
This is my second show with a new format, so I'm learning how to use quite different machines and such, with all sorts of buttons.  The incredible benefit of this new format is that, thanks to You Tube, I am able to show the wonderful photos and videos that accompany the music that I play for you.  I had a very difficult time today with the machinery; you can't teach an old dog new tricks.  But I'll master this, hopefully next week.  So if you like to watch old photos and videos, give it a chance.   This week I'm able to examine two George Cohan shows: 45 MINUTES FROM BROAD-WAY and GEORGE WASHINGTON, JR.  "You're a Grand Old Flag", "I Was Born in Virginia", "So Lon, Mary" and "45 Minutes From Broadway" are among the songs you'll hear. Enjoy
to listen (58:50).....  click here ......for download right click here
8/2/20 MUSICAL THEATRE # 259
Today is a new experience for me, I'm able to sh ow You Tube videos as I play the music from Victor Herbert's MLLE. MODISTE, with lyrics and book by Herbert Bloosom. Indeed, all the music today is from this show. I even have a recording, although form the 1930's, of the great Fritzi Scheff singing "Kiss Me Again". Miss Scheff was the star of the show in 1905. I've also included several other songs from the show as well as the Overture and Ballet music. One of the medleys is of the Victor Herbert Orchestra playing in 1910 on old RCA Victor cylinders. If you have Facebook you can view the show as well as listen to the music. Of course, you can also just listen to the program on Think Twice Radio as you always have. In any case, I hope you ENJOY the show as much as I did doing it.
to listen (58:57).....  click here ......for download right click here
7/26/20 MUSICAL THEATRE # 258
Today I'll cover quite a few shows, many of which I have no music. Victor Herbert wrote the music for three musicals during 1905, but only MLLE. MODISTE was successful. I'll cover that show next week. Today I have some music from MISS DOLLY DOLLARS, but none from WONDERLAND, which started out to be a sort of sequel to BABES IN TOYLAND. I also have music for Andre Messanger's VERONIQUE and Ivan Caryll's THE EARL AND THE GIRL, starring Eddie Foy (but no performances by him. ENJOY what I do have, which include quite a few recordings from the period.
to listen (59:47).....  click here ......for download right click here
7/19/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #257
This week will be devoted to mostly revivals, Fritzi Scheff. For whom I do not any recordings starred in Franz von Suppe's BOCACCIO, a part of her presentations of three operettas, FANTANITZA and GIROFLE GIROFLA. As I understand it, Miss Scheff was quite upset about the shows she was offered, so she decided on the three revivals in which to perform. She finally got a great show with music by Victor Herbert, but that will have to wait until December of 1905 to happen. More revivals occurred: THE PRINCE OF PILSEN and SAN TOY. My last selection today is an interpolation by Jean Schwartz and William Jerome from a show entitled SERGEANT BRUE; Blanche Ring brought the house down every night singing "My Irish Molly O'" (unfortunately I don't have Miss Ring singing the song). Enjoy!
to listen (58:51).....  click here ......for download right click here
7/12/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #256
I'm beginning today with "Absinthe Frappe" from Victor Herbert's IT HAPPENED IN NORDLAND, and continuing with a reading of James Weldon Johnson's "Creation', a great poem by a great poet. Mr. Johnson, along with Rosamond Johnson and Bob Cole, wrote the songs for IN NEWPORT, a musical burlesque on fashionable society; but since I haven't any songs from that show, and since I admire Johnson so much, I've decided to give you an example of his poetry. I'm also giving you a lengthy selection from Ivan Caryll's operetta THE DUCHESS OF DANZIG as well as selections from BOCACCIO, a part of Fritzi Scheff's trio of three operettas in which she starred , BOCACCIO and FANTANITZA, both with music by Franz von Suppe and GIROFLE- GIROFLA, with music by Charles Lelocq. The only piece of music I have from the time (1904-05) is a recording of Billy Murray's "Absinthe Frappe" a 1905 Victor recording. In future I hope to have more recordings of songs from the early 1900's. Enjoy!
to listen (58:51).....  click here ......for download right click here
Today I'll continue with some songs from George M, Cohan's LITTLE JOHNNY JONES, including his "Life's a Funny Proposition After All". When you hear these lyrics, and Cohan does indeed make his words quite clear when he sings, you may well be impressed with the words' meaning after all these years. the same questions today as over 100 years ago, I also have some music from Victor Herbert's IT HAPPENED IN NORDLAND, STARRING May Irwin, who caused scandal because she interpolated songs not by Herbert, who was furious. She was eventually fired and was replaced by Blanche Ring, who also interpolated songs. Herbert learned his lesson and from then on had a clause in his contracts which prohibited any interpolations to his music. I'll close with von Suppe's overture to his operetta FATINITZA. Enjoy!

to listen (59:11).....  click here ......for download right click here
6/28/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #254
Although there were black songs aplenty and quite popular at the turn of the century, there were African American composers and lyricists and performers on Broadway. Will Marion Cook, composer of IN DAHOMEY (1904) which also starred Bert Williams; Rosamond Johnson and Robert Cole wrote music and lyrics for Fay Templeton to sing in A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING. There were others and I'll feature them along the way. as I run through my history of the American Musical on Broadway. I also start my program today with a song by George Cohan and end with a discussion and a song by and about Cohan, "Give my Regards to Broadway from LITTLE JOHNNY JONES. Enjoy!

to listen (58:48).....  click here ......for download right click here
6/21/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #253
Today I give you some music from Victor Herbert's BABETTE. Although the critics gave Herbert's score and Fritzi Scheff's performance accolades, the show did not do well, only 59 performances. George Cohan interpolated a few songs in MOTHER GOOSE, and I have him singing "I Want to Hear a Yankee Doodle Tune". Jean Schwartz's first full score was for PIFF! PAFF! POOF! and from the original cast I have race Cameron singing "Dollie Dimple". The show was the season's biggest hit,264 performances, and starred Eddie Foy. Sorry, but i I don't have anything by him. Also, I have some some music from THE PRINCE OF PILSEN and Will Marion Cook's "Darktown Barbecue" from THE SOUTHERNERS. Enjoy!

to listen (59:21).....  click here ......for download right click here
6/14/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #252
Today I'm going to give you a few Harry von Tilzer songs, the "daddy of popular songs. Billy Murray sings with Ada Jones "I'll Remember You" and Joan Morris performs one of his most famous songs "She's Only a Bird in a Gilded Cage", accompanied by her husband William Balcom, pianist and composer. Some more BABES IN TOYLAND, including the orchestral prolouge. I've got a selection from the operetta ERMINIE, "Lullabye" sung by Jessica Dragonette, composed by Edward Jakobowski. Enjoy!

to listen (59:03).....  click here ......for download right click here
6/07/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #251
The big shows today are THE PRINCE OF PILZEN, with music by Gustav Luders, and BABES IN TOYLAND, with music by Victor Herbert. I'll be playing for you a wonderful performance of the famous "March of the Toys" which is accompanied on You Tube by a wonderful cartoon that is a must, that is if you have a computer. In addition to that famous piece, I have two quite amusing and not at all popular songs, "She Was a Country Girl" and "Don't Be a Villain", both from a New World Records CD, "Collected Songs of Victor Herbert". And there are a few other songs from shows of the period, including a 1906 recording of Madge Crichton singing Paul Ruben's "My Gal Sal". Enjoy!

to listen (59:14).....  click here ......for download right click here
5/31/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #250
I start today with "In the Good Old Summertime" from THE DEFENDER and end with the overture to Will Marion Cook's DAHOMEY. In between these two I have Lillian Russell singing "Come Down My Evening Star" from Weber and Field's TWIRLY WHIRLY; Blanche Ring's "Top Of the Morning"; "When Johnny Comes Marchin' Home"; Harry von Tilzer's "I Want to Be An Actor Lady" from SPOTLESS TOWN; and two songs from the 1903 WIZARD OF OZ. Those two songs will not compete with Harold Arlen's and E, Y, Harburg's wonderful songs from Judy Garland's 1939 film, but they're quite charming. History! Enjoy!

to listen (58:56).....  click here ......for download right click here
5/24/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #249
Today I feature Sir Arthur Sullivan's last opera THE EMERALD ISLE; without Gilbert's lyrics it didn't do too well on Broadway. The music is lovely, but the recordings I have from a 1991 revival are not very good and it is hard to understand the lyrics. I also have an early performance by Marie Cahill of "Under the Bamboo Tree" which she interpolated in SALLY in OUR ALLEY. And finally I have a performance of Blanche Ring,another star of the period, singing "Yip a Yaydee Ay A", which is not from any show, but which is quite amusing and is sung by Miss Ring. Enjoy!

to listen (59:02).....  click here ......for download right click here
5/17/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #248
You Tube is so very helpful in my traversal of early Broadway Musical Theatre as is the CD Music from the New York Stage, 1890-1920. From You Tube I've been able to obtain songs by Nora Bayes, a Tribute to Eddie Foy, Sr., and some beautiful photo of Anna Held, the great Ziegfeld star, which you'll have to go to You Tube to see. Also Edison's filming of the first filmed kiss, May Irwin and an unidentified man, shot in 1895. Miss Irwin was a great stage star of the late 1890's and the early 1900's. Don't miss it! From the CD of early musical theatre songs I've obtained a song from the last show of 1901, THE SUPPER CLUB, and the frst show of 1902, THE TOREADORS. Enjoy!

to listen (59:04).....  click here ......for download right click here
5/10/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #247
I'm starting today with some songs from A NIGHT IN VENICE, a Johann Strauss operetta revived in early 1900, I didn't have the music when first I discussed this show. A bit of catching up. Early 1900s musicals included many Viennese operettas in English translations as well as Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, as well as musical extravagances and vaudevilles such as Weber and Fields and The Rodgers Brothers produced, showcasing such stars as Lillian Russell, Fay Templeton, Eva Tanguay, Marie Cahill, May Irwin and Lulu Glaser. It seems that FRA DIAVOLO, the opera by Daniel Auber was also popular and was revived several times. I have include a contemporary performance by Sumi Jo of an aria from FRA DIAVOLO, as well as performances by May Irwin and Marie Cahill. Also a discussion of Eva Tanguay's career by Fred Erdman. Enjoy!

to listen (59:04).....  click here ......for download right click here
Continuing my early musical theatre project, I have more early recordings, terrible sound, alas, but quite authentic, with some original cast members, such as Bert Williams, The Rogers Brothers, and Raymond Hitchcock. Many thankls to You Tube and a CD entitled Music from the New York Stage 1890-1920, Thanks to that CD I have the Floradora girls singing "Tell Me Pretty Maiden" by Leslie Stuart. Anearly song by Jerome Kern,"Ain't It Funny What a Few Hours Make", sung by Hitchcock. Enjoy!

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4/26/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #245
Continuing my traversal of early musical theatre, 1900 now, continuing to 1924 if I live that long. Thanks to YouTube and a wonderful four volume, twelve disc CD collection titled Music from The New York Stage 1890-1920, I have quite a few original cast recordings from these early shows. Today I have some recordings from Reginald De Koven's ROBIN HOOD and Victor Herbert'd SERENADE. I also have some contemporary recordings {terrible sound) of selections from Sir Arthur Sullivan' s comic opera THE ROSE OF PERSIA (this time without Gilbert's lyrics) and Victor Herbert's SERENADE, Enjoy!

to listen (57:53).....  click here ......for download right click here
4/19/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #244
Continuing my excursion into early Broadway musicals. Some more Gilbert and Sullivan revivals or, as is reported in Richard Norton's Volume I of his incredible three volume CHRONOLOGY OF THE AMERICAN MUSICAL THEATER, return engagements. This time it's PATIENCE, HMS PINAFORE, and THE MIKADO. Also return engagements of two Victor Herbert (pictured) operettas, THE VICEROY and THE SERENADE, both with Harry B. Smith's lyrics and librettos. I include several early recordings and some modern recordings, including Jessye Norman's performance of Michael Balfe's "I Dreamt I Dwelled in Marble Halls", from THE BOHEMIAN GIRL, another one of the several return engagements. Enjoy!

to listen (59:02).....  click here ......for download right click here
4/12/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #243
Hello! Welcome to my endeavor to stumble through early Broadway Musical Theatre. I have wanted for many months to complete the first half of the 1900's musicals by first completing the shows through 1950, having started several years ago with New Year's Eve 1923, by starting again with 1900 shows until the shows I first started with. What a sentence! Well, I am now at New Year's Day 1900 with John Philip Sousa's children's musical CHRIS AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP. continuing with several Gilbert and Sullivan shows, and selections from DIE FLEDERMAUS, THE CHIMES OF NORMANDY, A ROMANCE OF ATHLONE (which included Chauncey Olcott's "My Wild Irish Rose"), and Auber's FRA DIAVOLO. I had great pleasure doing this program, thanks to You Tube, so I hope you ENJOY it as much as I did preparing it.

to listen (59:07).....  click here ......for download right click here
3/22/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #242
The last show of 1950 was Cole Porter's OUT OF THIS WORLD. It wasn't very successful, only 157 performances, although it had one Porter's best scores, right up there with ANYTHING GOES and KISS ME KATE. And it starred Charlotte Green- wood, she of the long legs and arms. She brought down the house in the next to last number, "Nobody'd Chasin' Me". Listen to the score, almost all the songs, and make up your own mind. I love the score, especially "Where Oh Where" as sung by Barbara Ashley. Enjoy!

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3/15/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #241
Today is devoted what many consider to be if not the best at least one of the very best Broadway musicals, GUYS AND DOLLS. The show had a glorious score by Frank Loesser, one of the very few people who wrote both music and lyrics, right up there with Cole Porter, Noel Coward, Stephen Sondheim, a few others, who could always be depended upon to give us great theatre scores. Today I will have some songs performed by performers from the original production (especially Vivian Blaine), the 1955 film version, and the revival of 1992 (especially Peter Gallagher). Enjoy!
to listen (59:07).....  click here ......for download right click here