Arranged and conducted by Andre Previn.
For Julie Andrews' third movie musical, following the wildly successful Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, film producer Ross Hunter apparently tried and failed to get the rights to The Boyfriend, the faux-1920s musical in which Andrews had made her American theatrical debut. Instead, he developed his own faux-1920s musical, adding as co-stars Carol Channing, the star of the hit Broadway show Hello, Dolly!, and Mary Tyler Moore, fresh from five seasons as the co-star of TV's popular The Dick Van Dyke Show. In his liner notes, Hunter describes his attention to period detail, and he spent lavishly on a film that runs long enough to require an intermission. What he didn't bother with were a coherent script (not the concern of this review) or an original song score for his musical. He did hire the songwriting team of Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen (known for their work with Frank Sinatra) to pen a title song in the vein of "Anything Goes" and one other number. Otherwise, he used period songs such as "Baby Face," "Jazz Baby," and "Do It Again!" For the soundtrack album, Andrews does her usual sterling job with her lovely voice and careful British articulation (though she sounds odd performing "Jewish Wedding Song" in Yiddish), while Channing enjoys herself as usual. Like the film, the soundtrack album, though only 36 and a half minutes long, is heavily padded with repetitions, medleys, and reprises. The effort here is to take a slight project and treat it like a blockbuster, hoping it will perform like one. [Note that none of Elmer Bernstein's Academy Award-winning score is included on this album.] ~ William Ruhlmann