Wednesday, April 19, 1995

April 19, 1945: Carousel opened on Broadway

Originally posted December 1, 2009. Last updated September 3, 2018.

Carousel (cast/soundtrack)

Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein II (composers)

Opened on Broadway: April 19, 1945

Cast Album Recorded: May 11-21, 1945

Cast Album Charted: July 21, 1945

Soundtrack Charted: February 25, 1956


Sales (in millions):
US: --
UK: --
IFPI: --
World (estimated): --


Peak:
US: 1 6-C, 12
UK: 16-S
Canada: --
Australia: --

Quotable: --


Genre: show tunes


Album Tracks – Cast Album:

  1. Waltz Suite: Carousel (CAROUSEL ORCHESTRA)
  2. You’re a Queer One, Julie Jordan/ Mister Snow (JEAN DARLING/ JAN CLAYTON)
  3. If I Loved You (JAN CLAYTON/ JOHN RAITT)
  4. June Is Bustin’ Out All Over
  5. When the Children Are Asleep
  6. Blow High, Blow Low (MURVYN VYE)
  7. Soliloquy
  8. A Real Nice Clambake
  9. There’s Nothin’ So Bad for a Woman c
  10. What’s the Use of Won’rin’ (MURVYN VYE/ CONNIE BAXTER/ JAN CLAYTON)
  11. The Highest Judge of All c/ You’ll Never Walk Alone
Songs only on cast album.

Album Tracks – Soundtrack:

  1. Carousel Waltz (ORCHESTRA)
  2. You’re a Queer One, Julie Jordan (BARBARA RUICK/ SHIRLEY JONES)
  3. Mister Snow (BARBARA RUICK)
  4. If I Loved You (SHIRLEY JONES/ GORDON MacRAE)
  5. June Is Bustin’ Out All Over (CLARAMAE TURNER/ BARBARA RUICK/ MIXED CHORUS)
  6. Soliloquy (GORDON MacRAE)
  7. Blow High, Blow Low (CAMERON MITCHELL/ MEN’S CHORUS)
  8. When the Children Are Asleep (ROBERT ROUNSEVILLE/ BARBARA RUICK)
  9. A Real Nice Clambake (BARBARA RUICK/ CLARAMAE TURNER/ MIXED CHORUS)
  10. Stonecutters Cut It on Stone (CAMERON MITCHELL/ MIXED CHORUS) s
  11. What’s the Use of Won’rin’ (SHIRLEY JONES/ MIXED CHORUS)
  12. You’ll Never Walk Alone (CLARAMAE TURNER)
  13. If I Loved You (Reprise) (GORDON MacRAE) s
  14. You’ll Never Walk Alone (Finale) (SHIRLEY JONES/ MIXED CHORUS) s
s Songs only on soundtrack.

Notes: A reissue of the cast album added alternate versions of “You’re a Queer One, Julie Jordan/ Mister Snow,” “There’s Nothin’ So Bad for a Woman/ What’s the Use of Won’rin’,” and “Waltz Suite: Carousel.”


Singles/Hit Songs:

If I Loved You
Perry Como (1945) #3
Frank Sinatra (1945) #7
Bing Crosby (1945) #8
Harry James (1945) #8
Roy Hamilton (1954) #26

You’ll Never Walk Alone
Frank Sinatra (1945) #9
Judy Garland (1946) #21
Roy Hamilton (1954) #21

June Is Bustin’ Out All Over
Hildegarde with Guy Lombardo (1945) #11

As was common in the pre-rock era, multiple versions of a single song from a Broadway show would become hits. All chart positions are from the U.S. Billboard pop charts.

Review:

“Decca Records scored a significant commercial success with its album of songs from Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s first musical, Oklahoma!, performed by members of the original cast. So, the label was interested in releasing a similar recording of the songwriters’ next musical, Carousel.” WR

“The new show was a darker effort than Oklahoma!, based on the tragic play Liliom, even though Hammerstein had the two leads marry and considerably softened the ending. One element he did retain was the story’s lustiness, especially evident in one of the score’s hit songs, June Is Bustin’ out All Over.” WR

“Rodgers’ music was characteristically tuneful, and the cast, led by John Raitt in his Broadway debut, was excellent. The score produced standards in the hits If I Loved You and You’ll Never Walk Alone, as well as the epic Soliloquy, a revolutionary recitative in which Raitt, as Billy Bigelow, undergoes a character transformation as he anticipates the birth of his child.” WR

“Rodgers and Hammerstein’s stature, and the show’s outstanding music, helped it to a Broadway run of 890 performances after it opened in New York in 1945. The cast recording shared in this success; it topped the recently instituted album charts, and Decca (later succeeded by MCA) kept it in print through a series of reissues over the years.” WR

The soundtrack “benefits from Gordon MacRae’s powerful performance in the lead role of Billy Bigelow. MacRae was cast in the role when director Henry King’s first choice, Frank Sinatra, fell through, and is clearly the highlight of the recording.” EC

“Not every cast member is as reliable. Shirley Jones as Bigelow’s wife has a tendency to overact her songs in a way that is more grating on record than in the film. The same mugging plagues the performance of the chorus on the classic song ‘June Is Bustin’ out All Over.’” EC

“The other major chorus numbers don’t require overacting to be grating. Some critics complained that the film was missing some of the best songs from the Broadway version of Carousel. The problem may not have been that songs were cut, but that they cut the wrong songs. The tedious ‘Soliloquy’ is probably necessary to advance the action, but it’s certainly not as tuneful as the absent Blow High, Blow Low. And surely the show would hold up without the dopey A Real Nice Clambake. No doubt most fans would happily exchange it for a few more reprises of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone.’” EC


Review Sources:

Awards:


Related DMDB Link(s):


Originally posted December 1, 2009. Last updated September 3, 2018.

Carousel (cast/soundtrack)

Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein II (composers)

Opened on Broadway: April 19, 1945

Cast Album Recorded: May 11-21, 1945

Cast Album Charted: July 21, 1945

Soundtrack Charted: February 25, 1956


Sales (in millions):
US: --
UK: --
IFPI: --
World (estimated): --


Peak:
US: 1 6-C, 12
UK: 16-S
Canada: --
Australia: --

Quotable: --


Genre: show tunes


Album Tracks – Cast Album:

  1. Waltz Suite: Carousel (CAROUSEL ORCHESTRA)
  2. You’re a Queer One, Julie Jordan/ Mister Snow (JEAN DARLING/ JAN CLAYTON)
  3. If I Loved You (JAN CLAYTON/ JOHN RAITT)
  4. June Is Bustin’ Out All Over
  5. When the Children Are Asleep
  6. Blow High, Blow Low (MURVYN VYE)
  7. Soliloquy
  8. A Real Nice Clambake
  9. There’s Nothin’ So Bad for a Woman c
  10. What’s the Use of Won’rin’ (MURVYN VYE/ CONNIE BAXTER/ JAN CLAYTON)
  11. The Highest Judge of All c/ You’ll Never Walk Alone
Songs only on cast album.

Album Tracks – Soundtrack:

  1. Carousel Waltz (ORCHESTRA)
  2. You’re a Queer One, Julie Jordan (BARBARA RUICK/ SHIRLEY JONES)
  3. Mister Snow (BARBARA RUICK)
  4. If I Loved You (SHIRLEY JONES/ GORDON MacRAE)
  5. June Is Bustin’ Out All Over (CLARAMAE TURNER/ BARBARA RUICK/ MIXED CHORUS)
  6. Soliloquy (GORDON MacRAE)
  7. Blow High, Blow Low (CAMERON MITCHELL/ MEN’S CHORUS)
  8. When the Children Are Asleep (ROBERT ROUNSEVILLE/ BARBARA RUICK)
  9. A Real Nice Clambake (BARBARA RUICK/ CLARAMAE TURNER/ MIXED CHORUS)
  10. Stonecutters Cut It on Stone (CAMERON MITCHELL/ MIXED CHORUS) s
  11. What’s the Use of Won’rin’ (SHIRLEY JONES/ MIXED CHORUS)
  12. You’ll Never Walk Alone (CLARAMAE TURNER)
  13. If I Loved You (Reprise) (GORDON MacRAE) s
  14. You’ll Never Walk Alone (Finale) (SHIRLEY JONES/ MIXED CHORUS) s
s Songs only on soundtrack.

Notes: A reissue of the cast album added alternate versions of “You’re a Queer One, Julie Jordan/ Mister Snow,” “There’s Nothin’ So Bad for a Woman/ What’s the Use of Won’rin’,” and “Waltz Suite: Carousel.”


Singles/Hit Songs:

If I Loved You
Perry Como (1945) #3
Frank Sinatra (1945) #7
Bing Crosby (1945) #8
Harry James (1945) #8
Roy Hamilton (1954) #26

You’ll Never Walk Alone
Frank Sinatra (1945) #9
Judy Garland (1946) #21
Roy Hamilton (1954) #21

June Is Bustin’ Out All Over
Hildegarde with Guy Lombardo (1945) #11

As was common in the pre-rock era, multiple versions of a single song from a Broadway show would become hits. All chart positions are from the U.S. Billboard pop charts.

Review:

“Decca Records scored a significant commercial success with its album of songs from Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s first musical, Oklahoma!, performed by members of the original cast. So, the label was interested in releasing a similar recording of the songwriters’ next musical, Carousel.” WR

“The new show was a darker effort than Oklahoma!, based on the tragic play Liliom, even though Hammerstein had the two leads marry and considerably softened the ending. One element he did retain was the story’s lustiness, especially evident in one of the score’s hit songs, June Is Bustin’ out All Over.” WR

“Rodgers’ music was characteristically tuneful, and the cast, led by John Raitt in his Broadway debut, was excellent. The score produced standards in the hits If I Loved You and You’ll Never Walk Alone, as well as the epic Soliloquy, a revolutionary recitative in which Raitt, as Billy Bigelow, undergoes a character transformation as he anticipates the birth of his child.” WR

“Rodgers and Hammerstein’s stature, and the show’s outstanding music, helped it to a Broadway run of 890 performances after it opened in New York in 1945. The cast recording shared in this success; it topped the recently instituted album charts, and Decca (later succeeded by MCA) kept it in print through a series of reissues over the years.” WR

The soundtrack “benefits from Gordon MacRae’s powerful performance in the lead role of Billy Bigelow. MacRae was cast in the role when director Henry King’s first choice, Frank Sinatra, fell through, and is clearly the highlight of the recording.” EC

“Not every cast member is as reliable. Shirley Jones as Bigelow’s wife has a tendency to overact her songs in a way that is more grating on record than in the film. The same mugging plagues the performance of the chorus on the classic song ‘June Is Bustin’ out All Over.’” EC

“The other major chorus numbers don’t require overacting to be grating. Some critics complained that the film was missing some of the best songs from the Broadway version of Carousel. The problem may not have been that songs were cut, but that they cut the wrong songs. The tedious ‘Soliloquy’ is probably necessary to advance the action, but it’s certainly not as tuneful as the absent Blow High, Blow Low. And surely the show would hold up without the dopey A Real Nice Clambake. No doubt most fans would happily exchange it for a few more reprises of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone.’” EC


Review Sources:

Awards:


Related DMDB Link(s):