vocal concert & recital
selected opera acts,
opera preludes/overtures

compilations or telecasts
starring various artists

Connecticut Yankee (Rodgers & Hart)
starring Eddie Albert

An Old Fashioned Christmas
Bell Telephone Hour, 1959-1966

New Year’s Concert, 2011
- From the Teatro La Fenice
with Daniel Harding

New Year Concert, 2010
-From the Teatro La Fenice
with Sir John Elliot Gardner

New Year's Concert 2009
-From the Teatro La Fenice
Georges Prêtre

New Year Concert 2008
- From the Teatro La Fenice

Roberto Abbado

Mireille (Abridged)
- & Pelléas et Mélisande (Act 2)

Alarie, Simoneau, Savoie,
Chiocchio, Dulude, Harbour,
Rouleau. Danco, Savoie, Jeanotte.

Harold Arlen:
- An All-Star Tribute

Cole Porter - All Star Tribute
Ethel Merman, John Raitt,
Martha Wright, Gretchen Wyler,
Peter Nero, and Jillana

Bell Telephone Hour!
Great Stars of Opera
- Vol 1, 2 & 3

Producers' Showcase:
Festival of Music, Vol 1 & 2

Great Singers of Russia Vol 1
"Chaliapin to Reizen"
Great Singers of Russia Vol 2
"Petrov to Kazarnovskaya"

Sherrill Milnes - All-Star Gala

Domingo, Freni, Miguenes,
Milnes, Schreier

by artist last name:

A Portrait in Music

Bergonzi, Carlo
In Concert

, Benjamin
Rehearsal & Performance
with Peter Pears

Bumbry, Grace
Art of Grace Bumbry
in Concert

Caballé, Montserrat
In Concert
In Recital, plus Norma Act 1
In Recital (1983)

, Barbara
Bell Telephone Appearances

Cosí fan Tutte, Act 1

Del Monaco, Mario
Scenes: Carmen and Pagliacci

De Los Angeles
, Victoria
Glory of Spain
with McGill Chamber Orchestra

Di Stefano,
La Voce del Cuore

Kiss Me, Kate

, Eileen
American Prima Donna

Freni, Mirrela
with Cesare Siepi in Concert

Gray, Dolores
Bell Telephone Hour

, Florence
First Ladies of Broadway
Bell Telephone Hour

, Marilyn
Berlioz: Les Nuits díÉté
In Recital - Milan, 1981
in Concert

Hvorostovsky, Dimitri
Songs of the Russian War Years
In Concert

Jackson, Mahalia
TV from 1957 to 1962

in Recital

, Gwyneth
In Concert

Jones, Shirley
First Ladies of Broadway
Bell Telephone Hour

Live in Salzburg

In Recital

In Performance

Lawrence, Carol
Bell Telephone Hour

, George
A Tribute

Lenya, Lotte
Theater Songs of Brecht & Weill

Lorengar, Pilar
In Recital

, Gisela
Theater Songs of Brecht & Weill

, Mary
& Merman, Ethel
Ford's 50th Anniversary

Milnes, Sherrill
An All Star Gala

Moffo, Anna
A Tribute

Kiss Me, Kate

, Elena
In Recital

Nilsson, Birgit
Bell Telephone Hour

, Russell
America's Legendary

Songs and Arias

Pavarotti, Luciano
The 1984 Bari Recital

Pears, Peter
Britten in Rehearsal
& Performance

Price, Leontyne
Art of
Christmas With

Quilico, Louis
Concerto Italiano
A Portrait (w/ Tebaldi)

Schwarzkopf, Elisabeth
A Viennese Evening

Scotto, Renata
In Budapest

, Cesare
with Mirrela Freni in Concert

, Gérard
The Art of Vols. 1 & 2

Steber, Eleanor
Cosí fan Tutte, Act 1

Sutherland, Joan
Complete Bell Telephone
The Art of Joan Sutherland

Tebaldi, Renata
Concerto Italiano
A Portrait

Te Kanawa, Kiri
An Evening with

Vickers, Jon
Four Operatic Portraits
Vickers & Böhm
Early TV Appearances

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Barbara Cook - Bell Telephone Hour Appearances
VAI DVD 4347, $29.95

Never-before-released! Show music includes selections from The Music Man, Camelot, South Pacific, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, No Strings, and Milk and Honey. Additional songs include “He’s Gone Away,” “Don’t Ask Me Why,” “Merry Widow Waltz,” “It Was Good Enough for Grandma,” “I’ll Walk Alone,” “They’re Either Too Young or Too Old”, and more. Ms. Cook is joined in various numbers by Robert Goulet, Alfred Drake, Anita Gillette, and the Buffalo Bills. 45 min. Color / B&W.

Barbara Cook: An Appreciation

When called upon to write about the golden age of the American Broadway musical (arguably the 1940s, 50s and 60s), sadly it now is necessary to discuss the careers of many of the great performers of that era in the past tense. There is, however, one wonderful exception: the legendary Barbara Cook.

This beloved singer, one of the glories of Broadway in so many fondly remembered shows, is still dazzling audiences today, with a voice remarkably unchanged after a career of more than five decades. Cook is a link to a magnificent past while remaining an important part of our cultural present. It is hard to write rationally about Barbara Cook ? her sublime musical gifts almost defy description. Suffice it to say that she possesses an artistry and an interpretive skill so intense that she makes any song she sings immediately her own. Throughout her career her singing has attracted generations of fans, and the admiration of her peers and colleagues, from the world of both popular and classical music.

Born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1927, Barbara Cook made her professional debut at the Blue Angel in New York in 1950. Her Broadway debut in 1951 was in Flahooley, a rather unusual musical that featured laughing dolls and Yma Sumac. Although Flahooley played on Broadway for only a few months, Cook attracted attention and soon landed prominent roles in revivals of two Rodgers & Hammerstein classics: Oklahoma! and Carousel. Interestingly, in these early outings, Cook took the second female lead, playing Ado Annie and Carrie Pipperidge to fine reviews.

These engagements were followed, in 1955, by her first Broadway success, the role of Hilda Miller in Plain and Fancy. For this portrayal she was awarded a Theater World Award. In that show Cook introduced the beautiful song “This is All Very New to Me” and began to attract further attention as the ingénue of choice for the Broadway stage. Barbara Cook was the singer to call upon when one wanted a radiant stage presence and an equally radiant soprano voice.

Next for the soprano was Leonard Bernstein’s Candide in 1956. An artistic if not a commercial success, it nevertheless was a personal triumph for Cook. And it was a triumph that was to take on legendary status in later years. I doubt whether anyone has ever achieved more fame from playing a part in a non-hit Broadway musical than did Barbara Cook in the role of Cunegonde. Her recording of the tour-de-force coloratura aria “Glitter and Be Gay” is a once and for all definitive rendition.

In 1957 Cook appeared in still another revival of Carousel at New York’s City Center. This time, however, she appeared in the leading role of Julie Jordan opposite the Billy Bigelow of Howard Keel. Carousel was followed by Meredith Willson’s The Music Man which opened three months later. The Music Man was one of the greatest hits of the decade and was Cook’s biggest Broadway success to date. Her portrayal of Marian (the librarian) opposite Robert Preston as Harold Hill, won for her a Tony Award for best featured (i.e., supporting!) actress in a musical.

Throughout this time period, Barbara Cook was quite active on television and was a frequent guest on such notable shows as The Toast of the Town, The Bell Telephone Hour, and Producers’ Showcase. For this latter program she triumphed in a television adaptation of the 1940s hit Bloomer Girl (taking the role originated by Celeste Holm). Cook was also paired with Alfred Drake in a fine Hallmark Hall of Fame adaptation of The Yeoman of the Guard. And it is interesting to note that during this time not all of Cook’s television work involved performances in musicals since she also essayed non-singing roles in such diverse programs as Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Kraft Television Theatre.

In 1960, an important revival of The King and I was mounted for Cook at the City Center where she played Anna opposite the King of Farley Granger. In 1961, Barbara Cook premiered another lovely new musical, The Gay Life.

In 1963, the intimate and enchanting musical She Loves Me gave Barbara Cook a perfect role, that of the lovelorn Amalia Balash. This perfect blending of actress and role gave her many wonderful moments on stage as well as three beautiful songs to sing, songs which later would become staples of her concert repertoire. Cook sang one of these songs, “Vanilla Ice Cream” at her 2001 engagement at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre in New York, a moment that brought tears of joy to many in the audience.

After She Loves Me, Cook continued to perform both in New York and on tour. Highlights from this period included a notable revival of Showboat, produced by Richard Rodgers in 1966 at Lincoln Center, a fascinating summer stock stint as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, and also appearances in straight plays and comedies. The Grass Harp, which opened in 1971, was Barbara Cook’s last “book” musical to date for the New York stage.

A few years later, Barbara Cook re-emerged in a triumphant new role ? concert singer supreme. Under the brilliant musical direction of Wally Harper, Cook took the cabaret and concert world by storm, becoming one of the most sought-after vocalists on several continents. This splendid collaboration with Wally Harper continued until his untimely death in 2004. Life as a concert artist has brought Barbara Cook to many stages and concert halls throughout the United States, in London and in Australia. One special concert, in more than three decades of highlights, was the 1985 Follies in Concert at Avery Fisher Hall, in which Cook, in the role of Sally, gave a peerless performance of Stephen Sondheim’s “Losing My Mind.”

In recent years, in addition to a busy concert and recording schedule, Barbara Cook has found time to become a highly respected teacher and is in demand for master classes. I had the good fortune to attend a master class given in New Orleans in the summer of 2005, where she shared many ideas and her creative philosophy with the assembled audience. She enthusiastically described her own career as a “work in progress” as she told us of the excitement of an upcoming concert debut at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House.

That afternoon, her work with the young students was phenomenal. After only a few moments she was able to help each singer find the essence of a song and to communicate its meaning to the audience. It was this enthusiasm and joy of life, something that one has always heard in her singing, that made this master class such a rewarding and life-enhancing experience.

And it is this same enthusiasm and joy that makes these vintage performances from The Bell Telephone Hour so special. Cook is heard in a wide range of music — from Viennese operetta and American folksongs to Broadway classics and pop standards — and is partnered by such fine artists as Alfred Drake, Robert Goulet and Anita Gillette. Highlights, of which there are many, include the operetta selections that fit her voice like a glove, and a hauntingly lovely rendition of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” which is a true lesson in bel canto style. Of particular importance for collectors of “original cast” appearances are the selections from The Music Man, filmed not long after Cook had left the original Broadway company and while that production was still running. Not having had the opportunity to recreate her Broadway successes for the silver screen, these television appearances, available for the first time in any video format, are of great significance.

Fortunately, Cook’s career as a concert and cabaret artist is well documented on video and audio recordings. This collection gives us, for the first time, an equally valuable glimpse of the Barbara Cook of Broadway’s golden age, at the exact time she was making theatrical history.

Thank you, Barbara, for all you have given and continue to give to America’s musical heritage.

George Dansker
September, 2005

1. Opening Credits

2. Songs from Meredith Willson's The Music Man
With the Buffalo Bills
Telecast of February 26, 1960

3. “Till There Was You”
from Meredith Willson’s The Music Man by Meredith Willson

4. “Lida Rose”
from Meredith Willson’s The Music Man by Meredith Willson

5. “Will I Ever Tell You” / “Lida Rose”
from Meredith Willson’s The Music Man by Meredith Willson

Used by Permission of Frank Music Corp. and Meredith Willson Music

6. Civil War Medley
With The Bell Telephone Hour Chorus
Telecast of November 11, 1960

7. “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” (Gilmore)
8. “He’s Gone Away” (Appalachian Folksong)
9. “The Cumberland Crew” / “Blow the Man Down” (Sea Shanties)
10. “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” (Steffe / Howe)

11. Salute to Vienna
With Alfred Drake and The Bell Telephone Hour Chorus
Telecast of March 16, 1962

12. “Emperor Waltz” by Johann Strauss, Jr.
13. “Don’t Ask Me Why” from The Song is Ended
by Young / Reisch / Robinson / Robert Stolz
Warner Bros. Inc. o/b/o Itself and Warock Music, Inc.

14. “I’m Off to Chez Maxim’s” from The Merry Widow
by Lehár / Léon / Stein
© Glocken Verlag. Used by Permission of the copyright owner.

15. “Merry Widow Waltz” from The Merry Widow
by Lehár / Léon / Stein
© Glocken Verlag. Used by Permission of the copyright owner.

16. “Blue Eyes” from White Horse Inn
by Caesar / Stolz
Warner Bros. Inc. o/b/o Irving Caeser Music Corp.

17. “Vienna, City of My Dreams” by Lockton / Sieczynski
Musikverlag Adolf Robitschek
“Two Hearts Swing in Three-Quarter Time”
by Young / Reisch / Robinson / Stolz
© WB Music Corp.
Used by Permission of Warock Corp.

18. Salute to the 1962 Broadway Season
With Robert Goulet and The Bell Telephone Hour Chorus
Telecast of October 22, 1962

19. “Lovely” from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
by Stephen Sondheim
Chappell & Co. o/b/o Burthen Music Company, Inc.

20. “The Simple Joys of Maidenhood” from Camelot
by Alan Jay Lerner & Frederick Loewe
Chappell & Co. o/b/o Alan Jay Lerner & Frederick Loewe

21, “The Sweetest Sounds” & “Loads of Love” from No Strings
by Richard Rodgers
Williamson Music Co.

22. “Nobody Told Me” from No Strings
by Richard Rodgers
Williamson Music Co.

23. “That was Yesterday” from Milk and Honey
by Jerry Herman
Used by Permission of Jerryco Music Co.

24. Milestone in American Love Songs
With The Bell Telephone Hour Chorus
Telecast of January 5, 1965

25. “Love Makes the World Go” from No Strings
by Richard Rodgers
Williamson Music Co.

26. Medley
“Buffalo Gals” (Hodges) • “Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair” (Foster)
“In My Merry Oldsmobile” (Bryan / Edwards)
“Come, Josephine, In My Flying Machine (Bryan / Fisher)
“My Sweetheart’s the Man in the Moon” (Thornton)

“If I Had a Talking Picture of You”
by Brown / De Sylva / Henderson

Chappell & Co.; © 1929, Renewed Stephen Ballantine Music Publishing (Permission secured. All Rights Reserved.); Ray Henderson Music Co., Inc.; Carlin Music Publishing Canada, Inc. (SOCAN) on behalf of Redwood Music Ltd (PRS)

“Pettin’ in the Park” by Dubin / Warren
WB Music Corp.

“By a Waterfall” by Fain / Kahal
Warner Bros. Inc.

“Shuffle off to Buffalo” by Dubin / Warren
WB Music Corp.

“Indian Love Call” by Friml / Harbach / Hammerstein
WB Music Corp.; Bambalina Music, © 1924,
renewed Bill/Bob Publishing (Permission secured, all rights reserved);
Williamson Music Co.

27. Salute to the American Girl
With Robert Goulet and The Bell Telephone Hour Chorus
Telecast of March 2, 1965

28. “She’s Only a Bird in a Gilded Cage” by Von Tilzer / Lamb

29. “It was Good Enough for Grandma”
by Harold Arlen & E. Y. Harburg
Next Decade Entertainment, Inc. o/b/o Glocca Morra Music;
S. A. Music Co. / ASCAP; Chappell & Co.

30. “I’m Gonna Wash that Man Right Outa My Hair”
from South Pacific by Rodgers & Hammerstein
Williamson Music Co.

31. Tribute to World war II
With Anita Gillette
Telecast of November 7, 1965

32. “They’re Either Too Young or Too Old” by Loesser/Schwartz
WB Music Corp.; Bienstock Publishing Company (ASCAP)
o/b/o Arthur Schwartz Music Ltd.

33. “I’ll Walk Alone” by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne
WB Music Corp o/b/o Cahn Music Co.

34. Closing Credits

A Production of Henry Jaffe Enterprises, Inc.
©2005 Jaffe Partners Limited Partnership (All Rights Reserved)
Telecasts originally produced for the Bell Telephone Hour television series

Packaging, design and DVD authoring © 2005 Video Artists International, Inc.

Copyright © 2000 and 2001, Video Artists International & VAI Audio, All Rights Reserved