Sunday, 23 June 2013

Retro Vinyl: The Sound of Music (Music For Pleasure, 1965)

The second best selling album of the 1960s was the original movie soundtrack for the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music featuring the movie cast of Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. It stayed on the album charts for an incredible three and a half years appearing in June 1965 and finally falling away for Christmas 1968.

The Sound of Music's popularity endured so much that while the original soundtrack album did so well on the main album charts Music For Pleasure enlisted a young record producer David Gooch (whose work also included recordings with Alma Cogan and Vera Lynn) to put together a new cast recording of the musical soundtrack with session musicians and singers.

Along with two other popular musicals Carousel and South Pacific a new version of The Sound of Music (MFP1007) was produced and released early in Music For Pleasure's existence on mono format.

I am not familiar with the credentials of many of the contributors to the album (indeed googling most names turns up little info except work on this album), although The Mike Sammes singers were regularly used on Cliff Richard's recordings and even appeared on recordings by Ronnie Hilton and Helen Shapiro. 

Singer Maureen Hartley hits all the right notes as Maria Von Trapp performing  Do Re Mi, The Lonely Goatherd and of course the title song while Charles West, Shirley Chapman, Richard Loaring and Heather Chapman also turn out popular renditions of the shows greatest songs. The rendition of So Long Farewell is performed effectively by the children of the Aida Foster Theatre School.

If anyone has any further information on any of the performers I'd be delighted to hear from you.

There are even a few sound effects in places including chiming bells and thunderstorms demonstrating that no stone was left unturned to create an authentic soundtrack.

Despite the fact this early MFP production into musical soundtrack was done so well it was quickly superseded with a new recording of The Sound of Music produced by Norman Newell (MFP1255) which was available well into the 1970s and featuring the voices of Anne Rogers and Patricia Routledge.

It appears this album hasn't received a CD reissue so a scout around charity shops or on line may turn up an original vinyl copy.

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