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Flower Drum Song / 1959 Studio Cast Recording

Release Date: 05/19/2009 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 50136  
Composer:  Richard Rodgers
Performer:  Arabella HongLarry BlydenPat SuzukiJuanita Hall,   ... 
Conductor:  Salvatore Dell'Isola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Studio Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

* The "must-have" 1959 stereo recording of the studio cast.
* Features unseen photos & in-depth liner notes.
* Bonus tracks (listed below)

"For all the extraordinary textures that are in it, it plays more like a musical comedy than any of the other successful Rodgers and Hammerstein shows." - Ted Chapin, The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization

When Oscar Hammerstein visited his friend Joseph Fields during the filming of South Pacific for 20th Century-Fox, Fields mentioned he was in the process of acquiring the rights to The Flower Drum Song, a novel by C. Y. Lee. Set in San Francisco’s Chinatown, it told the story of a young Chinese-American man torn between
Read more his own leanings and his desire to comply with his father’s rigorous, traditional teachings. Intrigued, Hammerstein read the book and immediately saw in it the gem for a new musical. Richard Rodgers also warmed to the idea and the two soon joined Fields as co-librettist and began work on it. The music Rodgers wrote reflected some of the traditions of old China, mixed with the brasher aspects of American culture; his approach found an echo in Hammerstein’s lyrics, which were modeled after Asian poetry on the one hand and contemporary American lingo on the other. As a result, Flower Drum Song emerged as perhaps the team's best-integrated work.

Flower Drum Song
Music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, directed by Gene Kelly, orchestration by Robert Russell Bennett.

The noted cast includes:

Miyoshi Umeki as Mei Li the Mail-Order Bride
Pat Suzuki, already famous for her popular song releases, as Linda Low, a nightclub singer
Arabella Hong as Helen Chao, a seamstress and best friend of Linda Low
Jack Soo, who later appeared in the ABC sitcom Barney Miller, portrayed Frankie Wing, Nightclub Emcee
Ed Kennedy as Wang Ta, the young man torn between love and tradition.
Juanita Hall, who earlier sang the role of Bloody Mary in the film South Pacific, portrayed Madam Liang
Larry Storch, who later appeared on TV’s F Troop, portrayed Sammy Fong
Keye Luke, a veteran Hollywood film actor famous as Charlie Chan's rambunctious "Number One Son" portrayed conservative Mr. Wang, the family patriarch.

This entire 1959 production was directed by Gene Kelly with choreography by Carol Haney.

Bonus tracks (listed below) feature arrangements of songs from Flower Drum Song sung by Florence Henderson, Pat Suzuki and Sandra Church recorded just after the premiere in 1958 and 1959.
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Works on This Recording

Flower Drum Song by Richard Rodgers
Performer:  Arabella Hong (Voice), Larry Blyden (Voice), Pat Suzuki (Voice),
Juanita Hall (Voice), Ed Kenney (Voice), Miyoshi Umeki (Voice),
Keye Luke (Voice)
Conductor:  Salvatore Dell'Isola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Studio Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958; USA 
Date of Recording: 12/07/1958 
Venue:  Columbia 30th Street Studio 
Bonus tracks:

Flower Drum Song: Grant Avenue by Richard Rodgers
Performer:  Florence Henderson (Voice)
Flower Drum Song: Love, Look Away by Richard Rodgers
Performer:  Pat Suzuki (Voice)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1958 
Flower Drum Song: Fan Tan Fannie by Richard Rodgers
Performer:  Sandra Church (Voice)
Flower Drum Song: Like a God by Richard Rodgers
Performer:  Florence Henderson (Voice)
Flower Drum Song: Sunday by Richard Rodgers
Performer:  Pat Suzuki (Voice)
Flower Drum Song: I Enjoy Being a Girl by Richard Rodgers
Performer:  Florence Henderson (Voice)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1958 

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