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July 4 - 10, 2001

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1776 And All That

We celebrate American Independence Day with some songs both patriotic and silly.

Selection Source Performer(s) Comments
The Yankee Doodle Boy I Wants to Be an Actor Lady (1978) Richard Perry, Cincinnati's University Theater Orchestra conducted by Earl Rivers Originally from Little Johnny Jones (1904) which George M. Cohan (who actually was born on the Fourth of July in 1878) wrote, directed and starred in. The story of the first two acts involves American jockey Johnny Jones going to London to ride his horse Yankee Doodle in the Derby. The third act moves the action to San Francisco's Chinatown and has Jones foiling a criminal mastermind who has kidnapped his fiancée Goldie Gates. Most folks probably recall the song from the 1942 biopic Yankee Doodle Dandy in which James Cagney portrays a high-stepping Cohan.
I Want to Hear a Yankee Doodle Tune Legendary Musical Stars (1980) George M. Cohan Recorded 5/4/1911, the song is originally from Mother Goose (1903)
George M. Cohan Medley On the Boardwalk (1987) Paragon Ragtime Orchestra An arrangement from 1910 featuring “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and other Cohan tunes.
Motherhood Hello Dolly (OC 1967) Pearl Bailey, Emily Yancy, Chris Calloway Dolly distracts Vandergelder while Ambrose and Cornelius hide in Irene Molloy’s hat shop. This is from an all-black cast of Hello Dolly that took over from the original cast in 1967 and re-appeared in 1974, this time with Bailey and Billy Daniels in the Vandergelder role.
76 Trombones The Music Man (OC 1957) Robert Preston Professor Harold Hill makes his big pitch: a Boys’ Band to counter the pernicious influence of a billiard table!
Paging Mr. Sousa Meet Me In St. Louis (OC 1989) George Hearn and Company Father waxes patriotic in a number cut from subsequent touring productions.
Stars and Stripes Forever Music for Non-Thinkers (1958) Guckenheimer Sour Kraut Band, Doktor Guckenheimer (Richard Gump) vocal For many years this was billed as the “Knob Knoster Concert Band” on AM radio station KMOX in St. Louis. The Guckenheimers also murder Liszt and Herold on this long out-of-print LP.
Yankee Doodle Go Home Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America (1961) Stan Freberg Sure it’s traditional, but does it swing? The hipster drummer “Bix” is probably a reference to jazz legend Leon “Bix” Beiderbecke. Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America is the "original cast recording" for an imaginary satirical show about American history.
Rumplemeyer’s Horseshoes Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America V. 2 (1996) Stan Freberg, Jesse White, Donavan Freberg Was Francis Scott Key just a one-hit wonder?
Rewriting the National Anthem Comedy Minus One (1973) Albert Brooks For those of you who know Brooks only as an original and witty film actor/writer/director, (The Muse, Defending Your Life, Lost in America) this relic from his stand-up comedy days (he started in 1969) may come as a bit of a surprise. Personally, I think it's inspired.
The Declaration of Independence (A Man Can't Be Too Careful What He Signs These Days) Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America (1961) Stan Freberg, Colleen Collins, Byron Kane That "professional liberal" Thomas Jefferson tries to persuade Ben Franklin to sign the Declaration in this parody of McCarthy-era paranoia.
But Mr. Adams 1776 (Revival cast 1997) Brent Spiner, Pat Hingle, Paul Michael Valley, John Herrera, Daniel Marcus John Adams looks for someone to write the Declaration of Independence.
The Egg 1776 (OC 1969) William Daniels, Ken Howard, Rex Everhart John Adams, Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson await the vote of the Continental Congress on the Declaration of Independence.
Is Anybody There? 1776 (Revival cast 1997) Brent Spiner, Macintyre Dixon, Guy Paul, Tom Aldredge Frustrated over his inability to get Congress to sign the Declaration, John Adams wonders if anyone shares his vision of an independent nation.

Acronyms and other mysteries defined:

OC: Unless otherwise indicated, the Original Cast recording of a Broadway show, along with the date.

OS: Unless otherwise indicated, the Original Soundtrack recording of a film, TV show, etc.

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