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  1. #1

    Broadway composer jerry herman died

    Broadway composer Jerry Herman died yesterday. He wrote Hello Dolly, Mame, Mack and Mabel, Milk & Honey, and La Cage Aux Folles

    "I Am What I Am" is a song originally featured in the Broadway musical La Cage aux Folles . The song has been performed by many, but no one does it better than Dame Shirley


  2. #2
    Such a talent and what a legacy. I hadnít heard he had died. Thank you for posting this.

    Of course Hello Dolly will be his most remembered hit. I think in the original Broadway version, seven or eight different actresses played the lead. It finally closed with Ethel Merman playing Dolly who was the first choice originally before she turned down the part and it went to Channing. It seemed to be a sure fire hit no matter who played Dolly. And of course there was the time when Carol Channing played on one theater on broadway and Pearl Bailey was in the all black version down the street.

  3. #3
    I liked all the Jerry Herman musicals, but Dolly was my favorite. Sadly, I never got to see it with Carol Channing. When she left the show, David Merrick brought the touring version of the show, which was an all black cast headed by Pearl B and Cab Callaway to Broadway and replaced the whole cast with the touring version. I saw that version with Pearl on Broadway twice. And I saw it with Bette Midler twice. Although the movie with Barbra Streisand was panned by critics, I liked it a lot and probably saw it four times in theatres.

    There must have been about six or seven Dollys in the original run including Martha Raye, Phyllis Diller, Betty Grable and Pearl. At one point, there was a rumor that they were going to cast Jack Benny for the role in drag. David Merrick wanted it to be the longest running show in history. And when it finally closed, it closed as the longest running Broadway Musical in history.

    I was surprised that his passing did not get much coverage. Shock jock Don Imus died on the same day his passing got much more coverage.

  4. #4
    RIP. Loved his songs. All the gay pioneers leaving us... let us never forget what they did to enrich our lives especially to younger gay men.

  5. #5
    @milven, was I wrong in thinking that Bailey and Channing both headlined on Broadway in "Dolly" at the same time? Were the other actresses playing Dolly still in the original cast, when Bailey was the star at the same time in the alternate cast?

    Bette Midler must have been great in that role. Seems especially well suited for her.

    There's a bootleg audio recording of Merman in "Dolly." Hard to listen to as to the dialogue portions, but worth hearing her do some of the songs. Such a shame she didn't record it, but I guess by that time they already had Channing (Broadway), Bailey (Broadway) and Mary Martin (London) on record. Merman did record the two songs they added to the score when she took on the role, and released them on a 45. These are also available on the CD "Mermania Vol. 1." They're pleasant but no showstoppers.
    Last edited by kenneth; 12-30-2019 at 05:57 PM.

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