Sunglasses at Midnight
Russell Link presents a show that focuses on the history of the American Musical Theatre.
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11/29/20 Musical Theatre #275
Today I'll be doing several shows back in the audio-video space, with a special documentary about Julian Eltinge th great female impressionist of the turn of the century. Those of you who will listen on the audio shoe will of course not see the wonderful photos from Mr. Eltinge's career, but you can always catch the video on You Tube, which as usual has the most remarkable songs and images from the past. I also have some music from THE ZIEGFELD FOLLIES OF 1908 and Victor Herbert's operetta ALGERIA, Enjoy!
to listen (58:43).....  click here ......for download right click here
11/22/20 Musical Theatre #274
Today I am back at the audio-video room and I am quite fortunate to have You Tube songs and photos that I can share with you. Two George Cohan shows, one closely following the other are here today for you to listen to. The first one, FIFTY MILES FROM BOSTON, was not at all successful, although it contained one of his best songs, "Harrigan". I have a recording of Cohan singing it as well as "Small Town Girl" from the same show. The next show, THE YANKEE PRINCE was more successful, and although cohan starred in the show, it didn't produce any really lasting popular songs. One other show, THE THREE TWINS introduced a couple of songs, "The Yama Yama Man" and "Cuddle Up a Little Closer", that became quite popular, with "Cuddle Up" still popular today. Enjoy!
to listen (58:26).....  click here ......for download right click here
11/15/20 Musical Theatre #273
This week some catching up on Past show music, but most of all I've devoted alomost a half hour to the Australian Radio adaptation of Oscar Straus' A WALTZ DREAM. I only know that on YOU TUBE every once in a while a half hour radio adaptation of shows like THE ORCHID and MISS HOOK OF HOLLAND show up. I love them and like to share them with you, even though I really find it difficult to understand some of the singers; they are singing in English, but sometimes it might as well be another language. I've also included two versions of Straus's ( he uses only one “s” in his name to distinguish himself from the Waltz King Strauss) great aria, one by the great Richard Taubner and the other by the great Fritz Wunderlich. I close today's show with a medley of music from George Cohan's FIFTY MILES FROM BOSTON, played the Peacherino Ragtime Orchestra. Enjoy!
to listen (59:05).....  click here ......for download right click here
11/8/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #272
Today I'm back at the audio video studio, which means that I can show both pictures and play music. It also means that I can make more mistakes than usual. Well, tomorrow I'll be 88 and so it's amazing that I'm even here. I have two very different shows for you, a Viennese operetta, Oscar Straus' A WALTZ DREAM, in German EIN WALZERTRAUM, and a Bert Williams, George Walker, Aida Overton WALKER musical, BANDANA LAND. with music be Will Marion Cook. Both shows opened in early 1908 on Broadway. And I have a theme song now, Cohan's "Give My Regards to Broadway". My favorite pieces today are Fritz Wunderlich's singing and the tribute to Williams, Walker and Overton. Enjoy!
to listen (58:22).....  click here ......for download right click here
11/1/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #271
I'm back on the video-audio today with some some lovely songs and some lovely pictures. Two shows today: Paul Ruben's MISS HOOK OF HOLLAND and THE PARISIAN MODEL, starring Anna Held (pictured). I don't have any records of Mis Held, but I do have one of her songs from THE PARISIAN MODEL, "I Just Can't Make My Eyes Behave", sung by Ada Jones. But I do have some wonderful photos of Miss Held. Also some songs and photos of MISS HOOK OF HOLLAND, which starred Christie Macdonald. Why I can't get any recordings her and Miss Held is beyond me. So be it! Enjoy what I have, please.
to listen (58:18).....  click here ......for download right click here
10/25/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #270
Today I'm back in the video-audio studio and so I get to show you some wonderful pictures of THE MERRY WIDOW in the 2014 Metropolitan Opera production with Renee Fleming and Nathan Gunn as well as a 1977 New York City Center Opera production with Beverly Sills. In addition I have the finale of an Australian Ballet Company production of THE MERRY WIDOW with Lisa Pavanne and Steven Heathcote dancing. I also have for a Waltz Song from Edward German's operetta TOM JONES and some music from De Koven's THE GIRLS OF HOLLAND. I close with the overture to George Cohan's THE TALK OF NEW YORK played be the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra conducted by Rick Benjamin. Enjoy!
to listen (59:12).....  click here ......for download right click here
10/18/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #269
Today I'll devote most of time to Franz Lehar's THE MERRY WIDOW, or in German DIE LUSTIGE WITWE. Already a great success in Europe it appeared on Broaway on October 21,1907 at the Knickerbocker Theatre for 416 performances. In the early 1900's not many shows reached that number. I've included quite a few numbers here, including a lovely performance of "Vilja" by Joan Sutherland and the riotous Can Can as well as the Waltz. In addition to THE MERRY WIDOW music, I've included an early Jerome Kern song "How'd You Like to Spoon with Me?", which was interpolated into Ivan Caryll's THE EARL AND THE GIRL, and "The Glow Worm", by Paul Lincke, interpolated into THE GIRL BEHIND THE COUNTER. Enjoy!
to listen (59:12).....  click here ......for download right click here
10/11/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #268
I'm back to just audio today, and I have some wonderful songs for you, especially early Jerome Kern, "The Subway Express", interpolated in FASCINATING FLORA, and "Never Marry a Girl with Cold Feet", from THE DAIRYMAIDS. We all know the catchy song "School Days", but did you know it came from a show back in 1907 called THE HIRED GIRL'S MILLIONS? I've also some lovely ballet music and couple of fun songs from a revival of Victor Herbert's MLLE. MODISTE. From a show called THE GIRL BEHIND THE COUNTER I have Ada Jones and Billy Murray singing "When You Steal a Kiss Or Two Making Love". Enjoy!
to listen (59:54).....  click here ......for download right click here
10/4/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #267
Today I'm back on the video audio, that is I'm able to show you pictures as well as play songs. The shows I'm able to discuss today include THE SHOO-FLY REGIMENT and THE ZIEGFELD FOLLIES OF 1907. THE SHOO-FLY REGIMENT was written by Bob Cole with songs by Rosamund and James Weldon Johnson; he was more famous for his poetry, but he also wrote lyrics for many early 20th century musicals. Rosamund wrote the music. Their most famous song was "Lift Every Voice and Sing", sometimes known as the Black national anthem. The FOLLIES' geat star was Grace La Rue: I've include a lengthy biography of her. She was a White woman who not only was a great star of musicals and vaudeville, but was, in vaudeville, who starred with two Black Africans who were called Her Inkey Boys. She certainly was the first White women to play with Black African men. Remember that these were the days of Whites playing Blacks with blackfaces. Also the days of the so-called "Coon" songs. Regrettably I don't have any photos or song of the people. But it is interesting to note that there were some shows by Black Africans and at least one group of mixed race. Racism still exists although we have come a long way. Enjoy what I have been able to get for you.
to listen (59:08).....  click here ......for download right click here
9/27/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #266
Today I'm back in the audio studio, so no videos. So I'm not going to make too many mistakes. I had no idea that Victor Herbert wrote music for a show called THE TATTOOED MAN, not one of his best scores, but I have some selections from the show played by Herbert's orchestra on a 1910 Edison cylinder. I'm also giving you a rather long radio show from 1946 from Sydney, Australia, telling you the rather insane but charming story of Ivan Caryll and Lionel Monckton's THE ORCHID, as it was originally done in London. On Broadway it was loaded with interpolated songs, among them some by Jerome Kern, one of which was "I'm Well Known". Kern also interpolated some songs into FASCINATING FLORA, one of which is here, "Ballooning". So begins Kern's huge career as one of Broadway and Hollywood's greatest song writers. Enjoy!
to listen (59:03).....  click here ......for download right click here
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!
to listen (59:07).....  click here ......for download right click here
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!
to listen (59:02).....  click here ......for download right click here
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
7/5/20 MUSICAL THEATRE #255
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