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Stephen Sondheim is God (or is it Andrew Lloyd Webber?)

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March 22, 2005

My Easter week show also happens to celebrate the birthdays of Stephen Sondheim (March 22 1930) and Andrew Lloyd Webber (March 22 1948). The fact that both these guys were born on the same day suggests that God has a sense of humor (although some True Believers apparently don't).

Also in this week's show: an interview with Phil Proctor of The Firesign Theatre. Here are links to the sites mentioned in the interview:

Selection Source Performer(s) Comments
Lord Jim Crappington Roller Maidens from Outer Space Phil Austin Check out the new cardboard Vampirettes!
C'Mon Jesus Roller Maidens from Outer Space Phil Austin Red Greenback and the Blue Boys sing a number about Jesus hitching his way across the desert. Lesley Gore is one of the backup vocalists. Honest.
Oh Billy Sol, Please Heal Us All One Sacred Chicken to Go Don Imus The Rev. Billy Sol Hargis comes to you live from the First Church of The Gooey Death and Discount House of Worship in Del Rio, Texas. Hallelujah!
Would Jesus Wear a Rolex? Crackin' Up Ray Stevens The TV preacher's askin' for 20 with 1000 on his arm.
Which of the Ten Commandments Am I Breaking? The Best of the National Lampoon Radio Hour Brian McConnachie and Gerry Graham It's not the one you think.
The First National Bank of Him One Sacred Chicken to Go Don Imus Send all your money to Billy Sol; it'll be in heaven when you arrive. Honest. This parody of money-grubbing fundamentalist preachers by talk-show host Don Imus came out in 1973; as far as I can tell it was never issued on CD.
Toad Away Dear Friends The Firesign Theatre And now that fine old hymn, "By Order of P.D."
Sodom and Jubilee Dear Friends The Firesign Theatre It was a time of terrible economic impression.
Jesus is Easy No Hits, Four Errors Martin Mull "Scientology / Made a fool of me / Now I'm back to thinking things I thought when I was three"
Natlamp Unto My Feet, with the Rev. Otto A. Brown The Best of the National Lampoon Radio Hour Bob Caliban and Norman Rose We pause for a qualified plea for brotherhood.
The Vatican Rag The Remains of Tom Lehrer Tom Lehrer "You can do any step you want if / You have cleared it with the Pontiff"
Natlamp Unto My Feet, with Father Joseph Vazinni The Best of the National Lampoon Radio Hour Norman Rose and Richard Belzer His Holy Ghost impression is a killer!
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Inquisition Dear Friends The Firesign Theatre Lick a boot. It'll change your life!
The Girls Of Summer I Wish it So Dawn Upshaw with Eric Stern and Leslie Stifelman (piano) This is the title song from an early (1956) Stephen Sondheim musical. Sondheim was born March 22nd 1930.
The Story Of Lucy And Jessie Sketches of Broadway Janis Siegel Siegel adds a lot of jazz vocalese to this song from Follies. She's best known for her work with The Manhattan Transfer.
Losing My Mind The Best of Liza Minnelli Liza Minnelli The answer to the question in the refrain ("Or am I losing my mind?") is clearly "yes" in this heavily electronic and somewhat deranged version of the classic torch song from Follies.
I'm Still Here Follies in Concert Carol Burnett Also from Follies, this is the ultimate "survivor" song. The recording is from a live concert performance of Follies from 1985.
Anyone Can Whistle Sondheim: a Musical Tribute Stephen Sondheim This modest solo by Sondheim of the title song from his 1964 musical comes at the end of an all-star tribute concert from March 11th, 1973
Onion Radio News 40 The Onion's Finest News Reporting Doyle Redland Vatican Unveils Pope Signal. He excommunicates The Joker.
Chapter 3 - Where There's Smoke, There's Work The Tale of the Giant Rat of Sumatra The Firesign Theatre This week's story time segment continues thrilling tale from The Cheque Book of Hemlock Stones. In chapter 3, the scene shifts to the yacht of Jonas Acme, the Pharaoh of American Industry. Frank Acne Jr. (America's Action Hero) arrives with the mysterious Zeppelin Tube, Stones shows up in disguise, and the mysterious Electrician throws the switch on everybody.
Interview Pt. 1 Self Phil Proctor and Chuck Lavazzi Phil Proctor is one of the four members of The Firesign Theatre as well as a highly successful actor and voice-over talent in his own right.
Boom Dot Bust Boom Dot Bust The Firesign Theatre Drive in on a boom, ride out on a bus.
Interview Pt. 2 Self Phil Proctor and Chuck Lavazzi We continue our discussion about the Firesign Theatre and related topics.
Interview Pt. 3 Self Phil Proctor and Chuck Lavazzi This is actually an outtake; we had to pause the interview while the recycling truck came down Phil's street in Beverly Hills. It's Reality Radio!
Heaven on Their Minds Jesus Christ Superstar (OC 1971) Ben Vereen Superstar is probably still Andrew Lloyd Webber's biggest hit. The British composer was born on March 22nd 1948 - the same year as yours truly. It's the sort of thing that makes you realize how little you've really done with your life.
Everything's Alright Andrew Lloyd Webber: The Premiere Collection Encore Sarah Brightman, Gary Martin, Bogdan Kominowksi, The Stephen Hill Singers This is originally from Sarah Brightman Sings the Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, from 1992. For some reason the other vocals aren't credited on the re-issue.
I Don't Know How to Love Him Back to Before Kim Criswell In her album notes, Criswell notes that while it "would seem highly unlikely" that she's ever be asked to play Mary Magdalene she did, in fact, play the role at the Paper Mill Playhouse. The Playhouse is a New Jersey theatre that often features Broadway actors.
Superstar Jesus Christ Superstar Murray Head Finally, here's what started the whole thing. Superstar was the first track of the original "concept album" to be recorded and was originally released as a single with "John 19:41" on the flip side in 1969.

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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