Notes and Editorial Reviews
The night of Sunday, October 13, 1957, saw the first television production of a new musical version of the old Italian favorite, Pinocchio, starring Mickey Rooney and a host of brilliant performers. In the adaptation, told in songs, dance, and rhyming text, the old woodworker Gepetto once more fashions his own “little boy,” a long-nosed puppet whom he names Pinocchio. And once more the puppet goes through a series of amusing and fantastic adventures before he is magically transformed into a human being.
To portray Pinocchio, the talents of Mickey Rooney were engaged. Long a favorite of audiences everywhere, and most especially for his well-remembered portrait of another fictional hero, Andy Hardy, Mickey Rooney brought to the part his experience – virtually life-long – in song and dance presentations, together with his dramatic talents which were emphasized anew in recent television productions. Yasha Frank’s script presents him with manifold opportunities to demonstrate his versatility, and in his hands Pinocchio wins his humanity most engagingly and endearingly.
Decorating this production of Pinocchio throughout are the enchanting songs of Alec Wilder and William Engvick. Mr. Wilder, one of America’s foremost popular musicians, is famous for his unusually winning ballads, among them “So Peaceful in the Country,” “While We’re Young” and “Who Can I Turn To,” and for his more sophisticated compositions such as “Love Among the Very Young” and “The First Warm Day in May,” as well as his thoughtful and melodic instrumental works. He is well known, too, for the now-defunct Alec Wilder Octet, which made some memorable experiments in chamber jazz. William Engvick, the lyricist, has worked closely with Mr. Wilder before, as well as with many other major composers, has contributed lyrics for a substantial number of hit songs.
-- From the liner notes of the original LP release
Starring MICKEY ROONEY, FRAN ALLISON, JERRY COLONNA, STUBBY KAYE, MARTYN GREEN
Created and Staged by YASHA FRANK
Music by ALEC WILDER
Lyrics by WILLIAM ENGVICK
1 Opening / Listen to Your Heart - Fran Allison 2:56
2 Happy News - Stubby Kaye, Chorus 4:35
3 Pinocchio’s Song - Mickey Rooney, Gordon B. Clarke 3:25
4 Lullaby - Gordon B. Clarke, Chorus 8:11
5 The Fox’s Pitch - Martyn Green, Mickey Rooney 4:00
6 Listen to Your Heart - Fran Allison, Mickey Rooney, Chorus 5:10
7 The Jolly Coachman - Jerry Colonna, Mickey Rooney 2:59
8 Listen to Your Heart - Mickey Rooney, Chorus 3:34
9 Lullaby - Gordon B. Clarke 3:16
10 Listen to Your Heart - Mickey Rooney, Chorus 2:30
11 The Birthday Song - Ensemble 1:31
12 Listen to Your Heart - Fran Allison 1:38
13 Happy News - Stubby Kaye, Chorus 1:26