Welcome to another Wildcard Wednesday! Inspired by a production of the forgotten I’ll Say She Is (1924), which I saw at a Marx Bros. fest this past May, today’s post features a few little known Broadway songs that have never been officially recorded, but deserve some play.
01) “Rainy Day” from I’ll Say She Is (1924) [M: Tom Johnstone | L: Will B. Johnstone]
Here’s a live audio from the aforementioned show, which played the New York Fringe Festival following its stint at the Marx Brothers Fest. It seems that in the original production, this number was intended for the ensemble, but here it was given to Zeppo and the ingenue. Not a great vocal rendition of the song, but gee — what a surprise to find such a charming song in this rarely seen show.
02) “Vivienne” from Paris (1928) [M & L: Cole Porter]
Porter contributed several songs to this musical that starred Irene Bordoni (whose eyes are admired in “You’re The Top”). She introduced one of Porter’s biggest hits, “Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall In Love).” Originally introduced by Irving Aaronson, this rendition is from a 2008 Musicals Tonight! production — one of the few times this simple ditty has ever been heard.
03) “High Up In Harlem” from Very Warm For May (1939) [M: Jerome Kern | L: Oscar Hammerstein II]
This number seems to have been cut from the show before opening. Though the following dance break, “Harlem Boogie-Woogie” has been recorded by John McGlinn (along with most of this wonderful score), the actual song hasn’t — most likely for its potentially insensitive lyrics. (Trust me, however, this is tame.) This rendition comes from a live production conducted by John McGlinn at Weill Recital Hall in 1994.
Stay tuned for more charming but unrecorded tunes in future Musical Theatre Monday posts!
Come back next Wednesday for another Wildcard post! And tune in tomorrow for more Xena!