= A LOST BROADWAY GENIUS – FOUND! =
Louis A. Hirsch
World Premiere Recordings of his music
for the ZIEGFELD FOLLIES and WINTER GARDEN THEATRE Extravaganzas!
Grammy Award citation disc –
Recorded and produced by Judith Sherman – 2011 “Producer of the Year, Classical”
MIDNIGHT FROLIC: THE BROADWAY THEATER MUSIC OF LOUIS A. HIRSCH
(New World Records 80707-2):
Performed by the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra (19-piece version), Rick Benjamin conductor;
featuring Colte Julian, baritone, Bernadette Boerckel, soprano.
- Overture to the Ziegfeld Follies of 1915.
- “Was There Ever a Night Like This? ” (from The Passing Show of 1912).
- “Hello Frisco!” (song from the Ziegfeld Follies of 1915).
- “‘Neath the South Sea Moon” (from Ziegfeld Follies of 1922).
- “My Rainbow Girl & The Alimony Blues” (from The Rainbow Girl, 1918).
- “My Home Town” (from My Home Town Girl (1915).
- “Any Old Time At All” (from the Ziegfeld Follies of 1918).
- “Mary” (from Geo. M. Cohan’s Broadway show Mary,1920).
- “When I Hear a Syncopated Tune” (from Ziegfeld Follies of 1918).
- Selections from Mary (1920).
- “Cupid’s Lane” (from The Revue of Revues, 1911).
- “The Wedding Glide” (from The Passing Show of 1912).
- “Wildflower: An Indian Intermezzo” (1908).
- “The Love Nest” (from Geo. M. Cohan’s Broadway show Mary, 1920)
– – – – – – – – George Burns’ & Gracie Allen’s official theme song – – – – – – –
- “List’ning on Some Radio” (from Ziegfeld Follies of 1922).
- Highlights from Going Up! (1917).
- “The Ziegfeld One Step” (from the Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic, 1915).
“A recommendation for this delightful disc is a no-brainer. Suffice to say that Benjamin and his Paragon Ragtime Orchestra have done it again. This is their fourth disc for New World…and it could be the most enjoyable so far.”
– Fanfare magazine
“…expressing the very soul of a nation and an epoch…”
– Carl Van Vechten, Vanity Fair
“The music by Louis A. Hirsch deserves special mention for its brilliancy and cleverness. There is much of it that will be whistled soon.”
– The New York Times
The review from THEATERMANIA magazine: “Ten Sensational Spins.”
From 1907 until his tragic death in 1924, Louis A. Hirsch (b.1881) was one of America’s best and most famous theater composers. During that short period, Hirsch’s more than forty musical comedies, operettas, and revues surpassed – in terms of critical praise and public interest – the work of his much better-remembered rival Jerome Kern. In the 1910s Lou Hirsch was the toast of Broadway and London’s West End, and the songs he wrote were the ticket to success for many rising stars (among them, Al Jolson, Will Rogers, W.C. Fields, Mae West, Eddie Cantor, and dancer Martha Graham). Yet today, for reasons having everything to do with two mighty revolutions in entertainment technology, Louis Hirsch and his marvelous music are all but forgotten.
Hirsch pioneered the classic “show tune” as we know it today. He was also the first composer to bring the “Blues” to Broadway – a year before even W.C. Handy had broken into print. To audiences of the 1910s, Hirsch’s raggy music was sleek and sensational; modern listeners will discover him to be the delightful “missing link” between Victor Herbert and the Jazz Age. Louis A. Hirsch’s influence is just now beginning to be understood, but it is not an exaggeration to say that without him, the music of Broadway’s “Golden Age” could not have developed in quite the glorious way that it did.
This album includes a forty page booklet packed with historic photos, the first comprehensive Hirsch biography, and lists of his Broadway productions.