Sunglasses at Midnight
Russell Link presents a show that focuses on the history of the American Musical Theatre.
Contact Russell via email. He would love your feedback.
10/16/22 MUSICAL THEATRE, #352:
Today I have two shows, Oscar Straus’ THE LAST WALTZ (DER LETZE WALZER in German) and Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle’s SHUFFLE ALONG. These two musicals couldn’t be more different. One was a Viennese Operetta and the other a very ‘20s Ragtime “shuffle”. THE LAST WALTZ has had many revivals and film versions ans SHUFFLE ALONG has had a recent Broadway revival starring Audra McDonald and directed by George Scott. I hope you enjoy both shows.
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10/2/22 MUSICAL THEATRE, #351:
Today I have some songs and music from two operettas, one by Franz Lehar, and one by Oscar Strauss. The Lehar operetta was presented in German, WO DIE LERCHE SINGT, and the Strauss in English, THE LAST WALTZ. It was most unusual to perform in German, and the show lasted only 5 performances. I also have some songs from TH PASSING SHOW OF 1921, ERMINIE and THE MIDNIGHT ROUNDERS OF 1921. Enjoy!
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9/25/22 MUSICAL THEATRE, #350:
I’m devoting today’s program to Jerome Kern’s successful 1920 musical, SALLY, which played 561 performances and closed in April 1922. It was the show that took Marilyn Miller to the pinnacle of her career. SALLY had a book by Guy Bolton and lyrics by Clifford Grey, Anne Caldwell, P G Wodehouse and Buddy DeSylva and ballet music by Victor Herbert. It also starred Leon Erroll. It was produced by Ziegfeld and had sets by Joseph Urban. What a starry group and what superb results. I would love to have been there. Enjoy Dinah Shore and Gordon Macrea in a lovely recreation for the Railroad Hour radio program.
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9/18/22 MUSICAL THEATRE, #350:
Today’s program features music from Louis Hirsch’s 1920 musical MARY. Thanks to Rick Benjamin and his Paragon Ragtime Orchestra we have a beautiful medley of MARY’S lovely score, which includes the song “The Love Nest”, which George Burns and Gracie Allen used as their radio theme song back in the 40’s. I also have a medley of songs from Herbert Stothart’s musical JIMMIE, thanks to Broadway Through the Gramaphone Volume IV, a Pearl recording. Enjoy!
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9/11/22 MUSICAL THEATRE, #349:
The program I did which included IRENE, the Harry Tierney, Joseph McCarthy musical which included “Alice Blue Gown”, did not get on FB and thinktwice radio. So I will start today’s prgram with music from IRENE. POOR LITTLE RITZ GIRL music is also included today; it was the first musical which featured Rodgers and Hart songs. But because the producer Lew Fields got nervous, he cut most of their songs, and Sigmund Romberg’s songs were used. I have some of Romberg’s songs, but none of Rogers and Hart’s. Enjoy!
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9/4/22 MUSICAL THEATRE, #348:
Today I’m concentrating on THE GEORGE WHITE SCANDALS OF 1920 and THE ZIEGFELD FOLLIES OF 1920. George Gershwin wrote most of the songs for THE SCANDALS and Irving Berlin wrote some songs for THE FOLLIES; Victor Herbert wrote some special songs for THE FOLLIES. I’m especially happy to be able to include Fannie Brice’s performance of “I Was a Floradora Baby”, as well as the performances of “Tell Me, Little Gypsy” and “Girl of My Dreams” by John Steel who was a member of the original cast of THE FOLLIES. (The first couple of minutes were not recorded, so please wait for the sound.) Enjoy!
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8/28/22 MUSICAL THEATRE, #347:
Today’s program is mostly devoted to music from Jerome Kern’s 1920 musical THE NIGHT BOAT. I have songs from Ben Bagley’s Jerome Kern Revisited Volume 111 and from Joan Morris’s After the Ball. I also have Chauncey Olcott’s performance of “Macushla Asthorne” which he sang in a revival of PULSE OF MY HEART, and music from George Gershwin’s score for GEORGE WHITE SCANDALS OF 1920. Enjoy!
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8/14/22 Musical Theatre #346:
Today. I have some songs from George Gershwin's second musical for which he wrote the score, MIDNIGHT WHIRL. I also have some music from Jerome Kern's THE NIGHT BOAT and Victor Herbert's ANGEL FACE. And we're moving along into 1920 hoping I make it to 1923. Enjoy!
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7/24/22 Musical Theatre #345:
Today both video and audio. I'm continuing with HITCHY COO O1919, and thereare quite a few of the songs from cole Porter's score recorded; Thomas Hampson actually recorded three of them in a 1991 EMI album of Porter songs. I also have W. C. Handy's "Beale Street Blues", sung by Fats waller and Alberta Hunter, from HELLO, ALEXANDER and songs from Fritz Kreisler's APPLE BLOSSOMS. Enjoy!
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7/10/22 Musical Theatre #344:
I'm on video again! And I've got some songs from George Gershwin's first show LA-LA-LUCIlLE! And I've got The first Rodgers and Hart's song "Any Old Place With You", which was interpolated into Malvin Franklin's A LONELY ROMEO. Enjoy!
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7/3/22 Musical Theatre #343:
I'm on video again! And I've got some songs from George Gershwin's first show LA-LA-LUCIlLE! And I've got The first Rodgers and Hart's song "Any Old Place With You", which was interpolated into Malvin Franklin's A LONELY ROMEO. Enjoy!
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6/26/22 Musical Theatre #342:
Just audio again, and some excellent songs from some of our best Broadway composers, including some songs from George Gershwin’s first Broadway musical, LA-LA-LUCILLE!, and Jerome Kern’s SHE’S A GOOD FELLOW. That musical contained Kern’s delicious “The Bullfrog Patrol”, and I’ve got two versions, one from the original cast Duncan Sisters, and a modern version with Rebecca luker and Jeanne Lehmann, conducted by John McGlinn. Enjoy!
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6/19/22 Musical Theatre #341:
Just audio again, hoping to be able to show you some video next week. The end of 1918, the war having ended, saw three musicals in a row that were hits: Rudolf Friml’s SOMETIME, THE BETTER ‘OLE, and LADIES FIRST, starring Nora Bayes. I have her singing “Without You”, “Prohibition Blues”, and “Just Like a Gypsy”, a favorite of Ms. Bayes. In addition to Friml, I have some music by Louis Hirsch and Vicor Herber, from his musical THE VELVET LADY. Enjoy!
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6/19/22 Musical Theatre #340:
Today, again, only music, no video. PERHAPS next week (I hope). But again the music is excellent. I have songs by Louis Hirsch and Irving Berlin. And I have performances by Joan Morris (“I’m Forever Bloowing Bubbles”), Fannie Brice (“I’m An Indian”), and Gertrude Lawrence (“Just a Slip of the Tongue”). The shows represented are THE ZIEGFELD FOLLIES OF 1918, THE PASSING SHOW OF 1918, YIP YAP YAPHANK, WHY WORRY, and FIDDLERS THREE. Enjoy!
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6/5/22 Musical Theatre #339:
Again, just music, no pictures. Perhaps next week I’ll be able to do video again. I certainly hope so. I’m starting off with a song we all know, but do we know where it came from? “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” is from a 1918 show OH, LOOK! with music by Harry Carroll and lyrics by Joseph McCarthy. I’ve also got some songs by Jerome Kern and Irving Berlin, from the shows TOOT! TOOT!, ROCK-A-BYE and YIP YAP YANKHAP, as well as a medley from THE ZIEGFELD FOLLIES OF 1918. Enjoy!
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5/29/22 Musical Theatre #338:
Today no pictures but the music is excellent because I will be playing songs from Jerome Kern, Guy Bolton, and P. G. Wodehouse’s OH, LADY! LADY! I love these songs and am happy present them to you. I also have a song from THE LOVE MILL and some songs from Al Jolson’s success SINBAD (404 performances). Sigmumd Romberg wrote the music for this show, but I can’t find any of these songs. Of course, Jolson, whom I don’t much care for, interpolated many of his popular numbers into the show, and I’ll play a few for you. Enjoy!
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5/22/22 Musical Theatre #338:
Today’s program is just audio, but what music. A medley of highlight’s from Franz Lehar’s THE STARGAZER, or in the German, DER STERNGUCKER, followed by music from George Cohan’ REVUE OF 1918 and Jerome Kern’s OH, LADY! LADY!. One of the really special performances is Nora Bayes’ rendition of “Regretful Blues”, Cliff Hess and Grant Clarke’s song interpolated in the REVUE OF 1918. Enjoy!
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5/15/22 Musical Theatre #337:
After a month of silence I'm back, only audio no video. and after the day of a horrible and disgusting murder of GROCERY SHOPPERS who unfortunately chose the wrong day and time to shop at a Tops on Buffalo's East Side by a white 18 year old hater supremacist, like those who stormed the Capitol on January 6th. I played Leontyne Price's glorius performance of Rosamond and John Weldon Johnson's great hymn "Lift Every Voice and Sin" as a memorial to those murdered and those left behind. And then as serendipity would have it I continued my sojourn of Broadway musicals of the early 20th century with Jerome Kern's OH,BOY, to which I add "Oh, boy, not again". I cannot end with my enjoinder to enjoy, only just listen and say prayers, if you pray, and weep, AS YOU SHOULD.
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4/10/22 Musical Theatre #336:
Today only audio, but lovely music,especially by Jerome Kern, with excellent lyrics by P, G. Wodehouse. The show is MISS !917, which starred so many superb Broadway performers, among them Lew Fields, Bessie McCoy, Van and Schenck, Irene Castle and Vivienne Segal, ;it only played 78 performances. It also had some music by Victor Herbert, although I don't have any of his music for you. This show was followed by musicals with songs by Rudolf Friml, Victor Herbert, Nora Bayes and Jack Norwood,and Franz Lehar, none of which were very successful. Broadway can be very unkind, even to the best. So be it. ENJOY what we have.
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4/3/22 Musical Theatre #335:
Featured on today’s show will be Jerome Kern’s LEAVE IT TO JANE. We’ll also hear music from Emmerich Kalman’s THE RIVIERA GIRL and Frederick Norton’s CHU CHIN CHOW.
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3/27/22 Musical Theatre #334:
Today, no video. Russ Link is doing the show entirely on audio. Today’s program contains music from “Ziegfield Follies of 1917”, Sigmund Romberg's “Maytime”. a few pieces from the musical “Cheer Up” and Jerome Kern’s “Leave It to Jane”.
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3/20/22 Musical Theatre #333:
Today's program is devoted mostly to Victor Herbert's EILEEN. Although it only had 64 performances, it contained one of his best scores, and Herbert loved this show above all others he composed. It included his divine song "Thine Alone" (I have it performed here by Beverly Sills} and his rousing "The Irish Have a Great Day Tonight". I also have some music from THE PASSING SHOW OF 1917, HIS LITTLE WIDOWS and HITCHY KOO OF 1917, including performances bi Irene Franklin and Frances White. Enjoy!
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3/13/22 Musical Theatre #332:
Today both videos and audios from Irving Berlin's DANCE AND GROW THIN, Earl Carroll's CANARY COTTAGE and Rudolf Friml's YOU'RE IN LOVE. But the main show today is Jerome Kern's, P G Wodehouse's and Guy Bolton's very successful Princess Theatre's OH, BOY! It played 463 performances, opening at the Princess and later, because of its success, transferred to the larger Casino Theatre. It starred Marion Davies, Edna May Oliver and Anna Wheaton. I have Anna singing the great "Till the Clouds Roll By". Enjoy!
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3/6/22 Musical Theatre #331:
Today I have videos and sound from musicals from 1916 and 1917, featuring music by Victor Herbert, Jerome Kern, Sigmund Romberg and Irving Berlin. THE CENTURY GIRL had songs by both Herbert and Berlin, and from a wonderful four CD album of songs by Victor Herbert, I have four songs; from You Tube I have a film of "Alice in Wonderland", a Berlin song. Completing today's program I have songs from two Kern musicals, HAVE A HEART and LOVE O' MIKE. Valerian Ruminski (many Buffalonians know Ruminski as the producer of Nickel City Operas) sings a song from HAVE A HEART, "Samarkand", conducted by John McGlinn, who before he died was preparing to produce recordings of early Kern and Herbert musicals. Finally, I have a Berlin song, "Dance and Grow Thin" from the musical of the same name. Enjoy!
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2/27/22 Musical Theatre #330:
Today no video, just me and music. I'm catching up on songs for various reasons I was unable to play when I first talked about the shows in which they appeared. Most of these songs come from a wonderful CD MUSIC FROM THE NEW YORK STAGE, 1890- 1920, VOLUME III. Most of these songs are performed by members of the original casts of these shows, such as Al Jolson, George MacFarlane, Mizzi Hajos, Marguerite Farrell, Raymond Hitchcock and Ben Linn. I've also been able to get a few songs from Victor Herbert's THE CENTURY GIRL. Enjoy!
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2/20/22 Musical Theatre #329:
Today both sound and photos. I have music from several 1916 shows: FLORA BELLA, with music by Milton Schwartzwald; MISS SPRINGTIME, with music by Emmerich Kalman; and BETTY, starring Raymond Hitchcock. The last show today was Charlotte Greenwood's success, SO LONG, LETTY. MISS SPRINGTIME also included some songs by Jerome Kern with lyrics by P G Wodehouse, and although I don't have any of those songs, I mention Wodehouse because this was his introduction to Broadway and Kern and Wodehouse collaborated on many shows. Enjoy!
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2/13/22 Musical Theatre #328:
Today I have only music, no pictures or videos. Two big shows opened the season, the ZIEGFELD FOLLIES OF 1916 and THE PASSING SHOW OF 1916. I have several songs from the FOLLIES and one from PASSING SHOW, "Pretty Baby". The FOLLIES had quite the cast: Fannie Brice, Bert Williams, W C Fields, Ina Claire and Ann Pennington; it also had songs by Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern and Louis Hirsch. But the one song which lasted was "If You Were the Only Girl in the World" was by Ned Ayer and Clifford Grey. The most successful show was THE BIG SHOW which starred the great ballerina, Anna Pavlova and played 425 performances. I have a selection from Tchaikovsky's THE SLEEPING BEAUTY ballet which starred Pavlova. Enjoy!
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2/6/22 Musical Theatre #327:
Today I'll feature Irving Berlin's 1915 musical STOP! LOOK! LISTEN! which opened on Christmas Eve and played 103 performances. The show included two wonderfulsongs "I Love a Piano" and "The Girl on the Magazine Cover". I've also included a song by Sigmund Romberg from RUGGLES OF REDGAP and a medley of songs from Victor Jacobi's SYBIL. Al Jolson sings "Where Did Robinson Crusoe Go with Friday on Saturday Night". Enjoy!
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1/30/22 Musical Theatre #326:
Today I'm devoting the whole program to Jerome Kern's 1915 musical VERY GOOD EDDIE. It was one of the delightful, intimate musicals written for the small (299 seats) Princess Theatre. The musical had a very good run, 341 performances, and was revived in 1977, by the Goodspeed Opera Company and transferred to Broadway by David Merrick. Most of the songs played today are from the DRG CD produced using people from that revival. Enjoy!
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1/23/22 Musical Theatre #325:
Today only music, no photos. I'm continuing with Rudolf Friml's KATINKA and I'm playing a 28 minute condensation of the show performed by an Australian radio group which did versions of many early musical theatre shows, hosted by Walter Pym. This show comes from 1946. I also commence discussing Jerome Kern's excellent VERY GOOD EDDIE. Next week I'll continue with more music from this show. This program concludes with the Overture to EDDIE in a 1977 recording by DRG of the music from the entire show. Enjoy!
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