Showboat Fever

by Andy Vaaler

Hey Bixonians:

Been listening to the soundtrack of Showboat recorded in 1988 for EMI. This version is true to the orginal score from opening night in 1927, with dialogue, covering three CD's. It's gorgeous. Buy it, or borrow it from your library. Pour yourself a cool drink, and give it a listen this summer. There are terrific tunes that nobody does anymore (Misery's Comin' Around, Life Upon the Wicked Stage, It's Gettin' Hotter in the North, and more).

And if you get Showboat fever, you may enjoy these youtube links:

Queenie's Ballyhoo. This is a great tune, not in the later movie versions. She's advertising the show, trying to sell tickets to the melodrama. This clip is from a 1929 film version, which was silent mostly with a couple recorded tunes like this one. Nice dancing too:

The 1936 film version is excellent (except for the cornball Hollywood ending). It retains many original songs (or they get weaved into the background score). We see Broadway originals Helen Morgan as Julie, and Charles Wenninger as Capt Andy. The one-and-only James Whale (Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein) directs. He makes it move, look good. Irene does a dance to "Can't Help Lovin' that Man" that kills me. Part 1/16 of the entire 1936 film adaptation is on youtube:

The overture from the 1988 recording for EMI will give you an idea of the full orchestral power of the orginal score:

It may not be jazz, but it's good.

Adios Muchachos!

Posted on Jun 27, 2012, 12:27 PM

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