Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Golden Boy (1964 Original Broadway Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
Golden Boy already had quite a showbiz legacy by the time this 1964 Broadway musical debuted. Clifford Odets's heavy drama was originally produced (sans music) in 1937 as part of New York's Group Theater, featuring in its ... more »
Golden Boy already had quite a showbiz legacy by the time this 1964 Broadway musical debuted. Clifford Odets's heavy drama was originally produced (sans music) in 1937 as part of New York's Group Theater, featuring in its cast, among others, Lee J. Cobb, Elia Kazan, and Francis Farmer; John Garfield starred in a 1952 Broadway revival of Golden Boy, while the film version was what turned William Holden (in the title role) into a star. Sammy Davis Jr. was already a star--the Rat Pack was in full bloom--when he made his Broadway musical debut as the title character in the Charles Strouse-Lee Adams transformation of Odets's original play, directed by soon-to-be-great film director Arthur Penn, no less. Davis's presence added a racial theme to this story of a prize boxer, addressed in such songs as "Colorful." Unfortunately, the Strouse-Lee score isn't nearly as impressive as their earlier Bye Bye Birdie--no standards were created here--although the fine "Gimme Some," with its rock & roll progression, could have been an outtake from that show. And "Don't Forget 127th St." is the kind of grand production number Broadway rarely delivers anymore. Sammy, meanwhile, is in full, uh, Sammy glory here, and a few of these songs were part of his nightclub repertoire during the mid-'60s. His fans will undoubtedly cheer this remastered rerelease on CD at last. --Bill Holdship
Excellent Strouse and Adams Score
Jaime J. Weinman | Canada | 10/13/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's true that Davis wasn't at his best when he recorded the album (and even the re-recorded tracks can't fully disguise this, since they couldn't afford to re-record the songs where Davis sings with other cast members). But I must respectfully dissent on the score. Strouse and Adams are at their considerable best here in a dark, jazz-flavored score that ranges from Paula Wayne's two depressed ballads ("Lorna's Here" and "Golden Boy") to Davis's "Night Song," an excellent example of that old standby the "I-Want" song (where a just-introduced hero tells us what he wants out of life), to the bitter, sarcastic "Don't Forget 127th Street." Best of all is Billy Daniels in "While the City Sleeps." Strouse's tunes, if not as hummable as one might expect from him, are imaginative and well-crafted, and the underrated Adams provides fine lyrics ("Will I ever get smart? I doubt it/ Tell me something's bad and I can't live without it"). So while this may not be the best disc for Sammy Davis fans, it's an excellent purchase for Strouse and Adams fans."
Tour de force for Sammy Davis Jr.
Jaime J. Weinman | 11/13/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you like Sammy Davis, Jr., you'll almost certainly enjoy this album; if you're a fan of musicals, it's a little more problematical. There are some good songs here, but none that became standards. At least two that I know of, "Gimme Some" and "This is the Life" were covered by other singers, and Davis added "I Want to Be With You" and "Night Song" to his own repertoire, and made more commercial recordings of those two songs elsewhere. "Night Song" is one of my favorite songs - a sort of impressionistic portrait of a city at night and a young man yearning to find his place in the world. But with the very notable exception of "While the City Sleeps," Davis gets all the good songs. Or it might be the songs are not all that great, but Davis performs them brilliantly; you'll have to make that call.One of the things I really like about this score are all the period references. Since it was supposed to take place in contemporary 1964, there are references to bossa nova music, Ray Charles, Adam Clayton Powell, and even Dean Martin. Interesting to think of a young black boxer mentioning Dean Martin in a song. How times have changed.Anyway, since buying this a couple years ago, I've listened to it a lot - and you probably will too if you're a fan of Sammy Davis. If not, then you pays your money and you takes your chances."
What a score - brilliant!
J. Sonne | Berlin, Germany | 07/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At first - I must admit - listening to the selected parts on the amazon page I was wildly disapointed because there didn`t seem to be anything melodic on it. And it didn`t sound like a Strouse score but then I got to know it better by playing it myself on the piano and I was overwhelmed by the beauty of these melodies. Don`t trust these few selections presented on amazon. No doubt, this is not "Annie" or "Bye Bye Birdie" but it is brilliant in its very own way."