This wonderful tribute to the genius that was E.Y. “Yip” Harburg starts off with Ben Bagley’s recording of the musical comedy Hold on to Your Hats, which had a book by Guy Bolton, Matt Brooks, and Eddie Davis, lyrics by Harburg, and music by Burton Lane. It opened on September 11, 1940 at the Shubert Theater and ran for 158 performances. One of its producers was someone named Al Jolson, who also starred in the show – his Broadway comeback and the last show in which he appeared. The rest of the cast was pretty amazing, too, and included Martha Raye, Jinx Falkenberg, Arnold Moss, and Jack Whiting. Bagley’s recording was a very welcome event, the show’s only full recording. He cast it with Bagley regulars, including Helen Gallagher, Carleton Carpenter, Nancy Grennan Hillner, Arthur Siegel, and an ensemble.
To fill out the CD release, Bagley added a bunch of other Harburg songs, rarities, with music by the likes of Harold Arlen, Vernon Duke, Sammy Fain, Burton Lane, and Dana Suesse. For those songs, we get such wonderful folks as Tammy Grimes, Patrice Munsel, Blossom Dearie, Arthur Siegel, Ann Hampton Callaway and others, plus the one and only Harburg himself.
As we’ve done for all these releases, we’ve considerably spruced up the sound for this new release. And the amazing cover art is, of course, by the great Harvey Schmidt.
HOLD ON TO YOUR HATS is limited to 500 copies only.
1. Opening Numbers
Opening - Orchestra
Hold On to Your Hats - Helen Gallagher and Ranchers
Way Out West - Ranchers
Then You Were Never in Love - Speedy Gonzales Hillner and Ranchers
Hold On to Your Hats (reprise) - Entire Company
2. Walking Along Minding My Business - Carleton Carpenter
3. Would You Be So Kindly - Helen Gallagher
4. Life Was Pie for the Pioneer - Arthur Siegel, Helen Gallagher, Carleton Carpenter
5. The World Is in My Arms - Nancy Grennan Hillner and Arthur Siegel
6. She Came, She Saw, She Can-Canned - Helen Gallagher, Ranchers and Ranchettes
7. Old Timer - Carleton Carpenter
8. Don’t Let it Get You Down - Helen Gallagher, Arthur Siegel, and Cynical Bystanders
9. Finale (Down on the Dude Ranch/There’s a Great Day Coming Manana) - Helen Gallagher, Arthur Siegel, Carleton Carpenter, and Entire Company
10. Fancy Meeting You - E.Y. Harburg
11. Moon About Town - Tammy Grimes
12. Sing the Merry - Chorus
13. Where Have We Met Before? - Patrice Munsel
14. Showgirl Couplets - Patti Wyss, Lotta Nookie, Mona Lotte
15. Poor Whippoorwill - Blossom Dearie
16. Saroyan - E.Y. Harburg
17. The Silent Spring - Patrice Munsel and Chorus
18. Goodnight, Mrs. Calabash - Arthur Siegel
19. Santa Claus - Ali Robertson
20. Prairie Love Song (The Enchanted Clock) - William Cantor
21. I’m Not Myself - Arthur Siegel
22. A Change of Sky - Ann Hampton Callaway