The Desert Song
If there were a group of musicals which might be described as the corner stone of show business, then surely 'The Desert Song' would be amongst them. This wonderful show, produced originally in 1926 and at that time called 'Lady Fair', has delighted and thrilled millions of people all over the world. The story of intrigue and romance, of soldiers and espionage, of excitement and love is truly an exciting one. Combine this with the magic formula of lilting lyrics of Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein II and unforgettable melodies of Sigmund Romberg and what else can you have but a worldwide success. 'The Desert Song' first opened at London's Drury Lane Theatre in April 1927 starring Edith Day and Harry Welchman and ran for an impressive 432 performances before being revived on 3 occasions in the 1930s. A staple touring favourite in provincial theatres, 'The Desert Song' returned to the West End in 1967 with a celebrated production at the Palace Theatre.
To coincide with the 1967 London revival, Saga Records produced a studio cast recording of the score led by well established performers from past British touring productions of 'The Desert Song'. Singing the role of Margo was popular actress and singer Mary Millar who first played the role of Margo at His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen in 1957 and 1959 after which she understudied Julie Andrews as Queen Guenevere in the 1960 Original Broadway production of 'Camelot'. Millar later starred in the West End musicals 'Ann Veronica' and 'Popkiss' and played Madame Giry in the original cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'The Phantom of the Opera'. As Pierre / Red Shadow, Saga cast Australian actor and singer Robert Colman who had played the role in numerous touring seasons of 'The Desert Song'. Colman's West End credits included playing Lancelot in 'Camelot', 'Charlie Girl' and understudying Keith Michell in 'Robert and Elizabeth'. The cast is rounded out by seasoned performers Ivor Danvers, Betty Winsett, Gordon Trayner, Ted Gilbert, Paul Bretton and Janet Gale, accompanied by the Westminster Sinfonia under the direction of Ray Cook.
Digitally remastered from the original Saga master tapes, the London Studio Cast Recording is complemented with the Original 1927 London Cast Recordings starring Edith Day and Harry Welchman. Originally released across 4 78rpm recordings, these historic recordings have been newly remastered especially for this release.
'The Desert Song' London Studio Cast Recording is licensed from the Saga tape collection at the British Library and is a limited edition release of 500 units only.
- The Riff Song
- French Military Marching Song
- Then You Will Know
- I Want a Kiss
- The Desert Song
- Song of the Brass Key
- One Good Boy Gone Wrong
- One Flower in Your Garden / One Alone
- The Sabre Song
- One Alone (Original 1927 London Cast)
- The Riff Song (Original 1927 London Cast)
- Romance (Original 1927 London Cast)
- The Sabre Song (Original 1927 London Cast)
- It (Original 1927 London Cast)
- Eastern and Western Love (Original 1927 London Cast)
- The Desert Song (Original 1927 London Cast)
- French Military Marching Song (Original 1927 London Cast)
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