Call Me Madam / Dinah Shore & Original Broadway Cast
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Notes and Editorial Reviews
Call Me Madam is a pure adrenalin shot of circa-1950 zeitgeist, a screwball comedy pulled from the headlines with impeccable timing. The show was conceived as a vehicle for Ethel Merman, at that moment arguably the biggest star in Broadway musicals, and reunited her with Irving Berlin, composer/lyricist of her blockbuster 1946 hit Annie Get Your Gun. A red-hot ticket when it opened on October 12, 1950 at the Imperial Theatre, Call Me Madam proved to be the blockbuster Merman and Berlin hoped for. They were in the very best of hands: George Abbott directed, Jerome Robbins choreographed and the casting was supervised by Abbott’s new young assistant, Harold Prince. The cast included an Oscar-winning leading man (Paul Lukas), the bright new
presence of Russell Nype as Mrs. Adams’s lovelorn attaché and – as Merman’s underutilized understudy – the young Elaine Stritch. The capitalization for the entire show came from NBC and its record division, RCA Victor. Unfortunately a big problem loomed as Merman was under contract to Decca Records who refused to release her to star in what was sure to be a hit record. Ultimately, RCA Victor turned to one of its hottest singers, Dinah Shore, to step into Merman’s shoes for the original cast recording. It rose to No. 6 on the Billboard album chart but by the late 1950s, it had been deleted from the catalog. The recording got an LP reissue in 1977 but it disappeared again until this Masterworks Broadway release, and is the first and only authorized CD version of RCA Victor’s Call Me Madam digitally remastered from the original tapes.
Works on This Recording
Call Me Madam by Irving Berlin
Russell Nype (Voice),
Paul Lukas (Voice),
Dinah Shore (Voice),
Galina Talva (Voice),
Pat Harrington (Voice)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1950; USA
Average Customer Review: ( 4 Customer Reviews )
Missing Merman! September 30, 2016
By Robert W. (Union Citu, NJ) See All My Reviews
"This is a pleasant enough recording; though Dinah Shore is fine, she is a very different type from Merman. However, since seeing the show was one of my earliest theatrical experiences, I'm glad to have this Original Cast version. It complements the Merman/ MCA recording. By the way, seeing Ethel Merman on stage in this was quite something for a 12-year old boy. Later on I saw her in GYPSY. No matter what anyone says she was one of the great entertainers in the ares of American musicsl comedy"
Rare Original Cast (Minus Merman) of a great Berl March 22, 2013
By Alan E. (Glendale, CA) See All My Reviews
"Nice to have a beautifully-restored CD edition of the original cast recording of Irving Berlin's "Call Me Madam" with Paul Lukas, Russell Nype and Galina Talva recreating their stage roles. As most show collectors know, Ethel Merman was under contract to Decca and did her own studio version with Dick Haymes and Eileen Wilson, which is fine on its own, but this RCA version is the real thing. Dinah Shore, under contract to RCA at the time, does her best, but is no Merman. One other thing to point out is that this edition comes from the actual RCA masters--the recent bootleg from England on Flare is taken from a record and even worse, is at the wrong speed. Grab this new Arkiv edition!"
Worth the wait September 5, 2012
By J. Romano (Portland, ME) See All My Reviews
"We first saw this show at a summer theater many years ago and decided to buy the cast album ,but to our surprise only a Decca album titled Ethal Merman sings 12 songs from "Call Me Madam" was available and that a RCA album with Dinah Shore and the original cast singing all the songs from the show was only available for a short time and out of print. We manageed to get a transcription of this recording and settled for the pops, hisses and scratchy sounds until RCA re-released it on vynal with a few other "rare" original cast recordings many years back. What a surprise to have it available on CD with the original cover art. Broaadway masterworks has done a materful job remastering this recording considering it's age. The sound is clear, crisp and clean. Bravo!"