Principle cast includes: Judy Garland (Hannah Brown), Fred Astaire (Don Hewes), Ann Miller (Nadine Hale), Peter Lawford (Johnny Harrow), Clinton Sundberg (Mike The Bartender).
Producers: Marilee Bradford, Bradley Flanagan.
Recorded in Culver City, California between November 12, 1947 and March 10, 1948. Includes liner notes by John Fricke.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
All songs written by Irving Berlin except "Mixed Greens" (Irving Berlin/Conrad Salinger/Roger Edens) and "Fanfare And Montage-Globe Theatre" (Roger Edens)
Composer: Irving Berlin.
Personnel: Faith Kruger, Whitson, Fred Astaire, Dick Beavers, Mock, Clinton Sundberg, Gene Curtsinger, Matson, Miss Doxie, Betty Rome, Camilla Holliday, Blanche Arnaud, Glover, Stark, Judy Garland, Loulie Jean Norman, Peter Lawford, Ann Miller (vocals); Eadie Griffith, Rack Godwin, Roger Edens (piano).
Liner Note Author: John Fricke.
Recording information: Culver City, CA.
Photographer: John Fricke.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Gene Curtsinger; Miss Doxie; Betty Rome; Camilla Holliday; Blanche Arnaud; Loulie Jean Norman; The Mel-Tones.
Arrangers: Leo Shuken; Conrad Salinger; Roger Edens.
This is the best soundtrack version to date of one of Irving Berlin's finest postwar musical showcases. The song "Easter Parade" went through several permutations before becoming its best-known version, appearing previously in the movie Holiday Inn long before it became the basis for Easter Parade, the MGM Technicolor musical starring Fred Astaire and Judy Garland. Astaire, in a role originally intended for Gene Kelly, has a great showcase not only for his singing and dancing but also for playing the drums (his personal hobby) in the oft-overlooked number "Drum Crazy." And he and Garland make a fine duo, despite her burgeoning problems behind the scenes in the film -- her weight goes up and down alarmingly from one scene to another. The score is a celebration of old New York, incorporating a lot of Berlin's own history. "Shakin' the Blues Away" by Ann Miller, "A Couple of Swells" by Garland and Astaire, and "I Want to Go Back to Michigan" by Garland (a song that Berlin gave to Jessie Matthews to perform in the London production of his Music Box Review in 1925) are worth the price of this Rhino Records CD. The CD's fidelity and thorough annotation are superior to earlier soundtrack editions; anyone seriously interested in the score or the performers should opt for this. (The old MCA CD and LP releases and the MGM vinyl version are to be avoided except by completists.) ~ Bruce Eder