Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much fish thinking it’s time to announce the two new Kritzerland titles. Yes, you heard it here, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much fish thinking it’s time to announce the two new Kritzerland titles. Therefore, I think I’ll announce the two new Kritzerland titles. Now that we’ve got that perfectly straight (rather than perfectly crooked), why don’t I just announce the two new Kritzerland titles? The first title is Ben Bagley’s The Littlest Revue, starring Joel Grey, Tammy Grimes, Charlotte Rae and other great folks, with music and lyrics mostly by Ogden Nash and Vernon Duke, but also including Strouse and Adams, Sammy Cahn, John Latouche, Sheldon Harnick, and other great folks. Sounding better than it ever has and, for the first time ever on CD, we have the original Epic album cover (don’t worry, on the back of the booklet we have the Harvey Schmidt art for Ben’s reissue of the album). The previous CD is long out of print and going for a good deal of money. It’s a delightful musical revue and the performers are great. The second title is a soundtrack recording to the TV documentary series, The Twentieth Century, which was hosted by Walter Cronkite and which had a very long run on CBS. This classic show featured scores by great composers – from the worlds of both film and classical – and the composers for this album are George Antheil, Gail Kubik, Darius Milhaud, Paul Creston, and Harold Shapero – the six scores are from the first and second season of the show and they’re really good. Here are the covers.
Other than that, I’m almost finished with the Entremont albums, which I’ve really been enjoying. I’ve had the concerto box for almost a decade and that set was missing one disc that Sony forgot to include, so that was included in this set and it’s great to have it. There’s also a Carnival of the Animals disc, the small chamber version, which is delightfully delightful. And there’s a Ravel/Satie disc of songs with Regine Crespin doing the vocal honors. It’s quite nice, too, but you can’t really miss with Ravel and Satie, at least I haven’t missed with Ravel and Satie. I have no idea what that means, but it sounded good. Otherwise, it’s all solo piano and I will be ready to get back to orchestral stuff. I’ll probably go back and give a second listen to some of the Szell stuff.
Yesterday was a long but productive day doing long and productive things in a long and productive way. I got eight hours of sleep, answered e-mails, got everything ready for the CD announcement, and then chose more songs (only three to go), got music where it needed to go, and got another track to send to a singer. I came up with one really funny idea for a number and gave that one to Robert Yacko, who loved it. I had my Caesar salad, which was excellent, and later a few chips and a few taffy candies to get me up to 1000 calories. All that took all day and into the evening. Since it was a holiday, I didn’t go to the mail place and, in fact, never left the home environment.
In the evening, I just listened to music and did some organizing of things that needed organizing. I did have to take an allergy pill and I did have to shave, since I looked like a derelict, which, at my age, is not a good look. And now you know everything. Almost. I was trying to see if there were any What Ifs left from the original batch I wrote two decades ago and it turns out there are and more than I thought. Originally, there were many more Yiddish Sondheim parodies – I had to pare down that medley to the six minutes it is now, but there’s some really funny stuff that no one’s ever heard or read unless you were around for my One from Column A column – the precursor to these here notes), back in 1997-1999 at the Stephen Sondheim Stage. I have all but the last few columns bound in three volumes. I forget just how cutting edge that was and, more importantly, how wildly popular with the populace it was. I’ve only ever heard from one of the dear readers of that, who was a high schooler back then (most of the readers were young), which was fun, and a few did follow us over here like the der Brucer and S. Woody White and William F. Orr, but I wonder what happened to those wonderful dear readers and wouldn’t it be fun to find them and have a Zoom reunion. Those columns were pretty wild and the seeds of what became the Kritzer books were all planted there over those years. Since I wrote the column as The Real A, there were many guesses over those years as to The Real A’s Real identity. Only one person guessed correctly, but I never said yay or nay, we just kept a running list of the guesses. Only in the very last column did I reveal, and you had to solve a puzzle to figure it out. And the way I did that puzzle became a device in my book Writer’s Block. No one had ever done anything quite like One from Column A and I’m very proud of all its innovations.
Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll do whatever needs doing, including choosing the final three songs, I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, I’ll eat (thinking it might be pasta and sauce – but we’ll have to see how I feel), and then I’ll print out Doug’s play and start planning how I want to shoot it and what the shoot’s needs will be. I’m also going to start on project two, just figuring out what exactly how it will work and exactly what it is. Then at some point I’ll watch, listen, and relax.
Tomorrow will be more getting tracks done and getting them to singers and that will continue over the weekend, with the goal being that everyone has tracks by Monday. Then we’ll schedule our Zoom rehearsals. Otherwise, I’ll continue on project two and planning the shoot, and we’ll also work on project one’s charts and tracks.
Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up when I’m up, do whatever needs doing, choose the final three songs, hopefully pick up some packages, eat, print out Doug’s play and start planning the shoot, start on project two, then watch, listen, and relax. Today’s topic of discussion: Since we didn’t have a topic yesterday, what were your very first stereophonic albums you bought and what was your very first stereophonic record player? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have announced our two new titles.