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Number: KR-200338

Composed by: Cole Porter

Starring Kaye Ballard, Harold Lang, Carmen Alvarez, William Hickey, and Elmarie Wendel

The Decline and Fall of the Entire World as Seen Through the Eyes of Cole Porter is perhaps the longest title of a musical ever. Ben Bagley opened his delightful revue, which he called a “revuesical” at the Square East Theater Off-Broadway in New York on March 30, 1965, where it ran for 273 performances. Porter’s songs were perfect for the revue concept, and the audiences and critics ate the show up. TheNew York Times raved: “The most tuneful and witty musical in town.” Bagley assembled a brilliant cast, including the divine Kaye Ballard, Harold Lang, Carmen Alvarez, William Hickey, and Elmarie Wendel. There was a second edition of the show with the one and only Bobby Short and Dody Goodman.

The show also turned up in Los Angeles, not at a small Off-Broadway type theatre or cabaret space, but at the beautiful 1400-seat Huntington Hartford Theatre, in a much bigger production, with a band, and a big star in Tammy Grimes (along with fellow cast members Edward Earle, Nagle Jackson, Bobo Lewis, and Sybil Scotford. The new musical arrangements and orchestrations were by the wonderful George Bassman (the orchestrator for the original Broadway production of Guys and Dolls, as well as the composer of the classic Sam Peckinpah film, Ride the High Country).

The original cast recording was one of the early productions of record producer Thomas Z. Shepard. For the first CD release, Bagley added a bunch of bonus tracks from New York, live performances. The real treasure in the bonus section is Tammy Grimes singing “The Tale of the Oyster” from the Los Angeles production, and it gives you a taste of Bassman’s orchestrations. For this new CD release, our ace mastering engineer, James Nelson, has spruced up the sound quite a bit, and we’re delighted to bring this gem of an album to new listeners and those who may have missed it the first time around. -KRITZERLAND

1. I Introduced ~ Harold Lang, Kaye Ballard, Carmen Alvarez, Elmarie Wendel 2. I’m a Gigolo ~ William Hickey 3. The Leader of the Big Time Band ~ Kaye Ballard, Carmen Alvarez, Elmarie Wendel 4. I Loved Him ~ Kaye Ballard 5. I Happen to Like New York ~ Harold Lang 6. What Shall I Do? ~ Carmen Alvarez, Harold Lang, William Hickey 7. Tomorrow ~ Cast 8. Farming ~ Cast 9. Give Him the Oo-la-la ~ Elmarie Wendel 10. Make It Another Old Fashioned, Please ~ Carmen Alvarez 11. Down in the Depths (On the 90th Floor) ~ Kaye Ballard 12. Most Gentlemen Don’t Like Love ~ Kaye Ballard, Carmen Alvarez, Elmarie Wendel 13. Finale (Medley) ~ Cast

Bonus Tracks (live performances)
14. Don’t Look at Me That Way ~ Carmen Alvarez 15. How’s Your Romance?/I’ve Got You On My Mind ~ Harold Lang, Elmarie Wendel, Carmen Alvarez 16. Red, Hot, and Blue ~ Kaye Ballard and Cast 17. Let’s Fly Away ~ Entire Cast 18. Ridin’ High ~ Kaye Ballard and Cast 19. I’m Throwing a Ball Tonight ~ Harold Lang 20. I’ve Still Got My Health ~ Kaye Ballard 21. Something for the Boys/I’m in Love With a Soldier Boy/By the Mississinewa ~ Kaye Ballard, Elmarie Wendel, Carmen Alvarez 22. Girls ~ Harold Lang 23. Tale of the Oyster ~ Tammy Grimes 24. It Ain’t Etiquette ~ Bobby Short, Danny Meehan 25. When I was a Little Cuckoo/Experiment ~ Dody Goodman, Bobby Short

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