“The 1950’s were an exciting time for Broadway Musicals. Many of the best shows appeared beginning with Oklahoma. Among them: South Pacific, The Music Man, My Fair Lady, Guys & Dolls and West Side Story. Another memorable show seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle… Damn Yankees!
“Damn Yankees was a terrific musical that started the career of Choreographer Bob Fosse (Sweet Charity, Cabaret, Chicago) and showcased the talented Gwen Verdon in the lead. A movie was also made that featured the incomparable Ray Walston and Tab Hunter. Many of the tunes entered the lexicon of “show standards” including, (You Gotta Have) Heart & Whatever Lola Wants. Of course, Damn Yankees had a memorable list of music that transcended these popular songs.
“The play tells the tale of a married middle-aged man making a pact with the Devil to help beat the team that was so successful in Major League Baseball for decades. It’s a light-hearted, raucous romp that pokes fun at marriage, religion, the battle of the sexes and, of course, 'America’s pastime!' All in all, Damn Yankees is the forgotten classic of the 1950’s. Until now…
“Karaoke CDG manufacturer Stage Stars has finally put out a disc that features all the great music of Damn Yankees. As a karaoke host with an affinity for Broadway show tunes, I am pleased to have a nice collection of discs from Stage Stars that include Wicked, Rent, Spamalot and Chicago. I have been asked to review Damn Yankees (a 2-disc CDG).
“To begin with, I am so glad Stage Stars released the extra disc to remind the listener how the songs were intended to be sung. With first rate, quality arrangements and orchestration by Stephen M. Pearl you get a truly authentic sense of the Adler/Ross score. Remember the disc manufacturer derives each cut from the original Broadway show, not the movie. So, several tunes are there that weren’t sung in the film (Warner Brothers used The Game as its instrumental introduction, but it’s never sung in the movie.) A Man Doesn’t Know and Near To You are also included from the Broadway score.
“Most of the tunes are duets. I am really impressed with the attention to detail for each duet with the proper assigned cast members above the lyrics (also, when to talk and when to sing.) Six Months Out of Every Year, Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, Mo, Two Lost Souls and, of course, Heart can be sung as intended.
“Goodbye Old Girl and A Little Brains, A Little Talent are essentially a male and female solo, respectively (and both are show stoppers!). The solo, Those Were the Good Days is presented with its encore included…a pleasant surprise. And if you are looking for the best rendition of Whatever Lola Wants in Karaoke (in this humble critic’s opinion), you will find it on this CDG. This version will be the sung over and over, I assure you.
“All said, Damn Yankees has 12 great tracks that appropriately represents the 'Golden Age' of Broadway. Thank You Stage Stars for the nostalgic walk down memory lane!”