State Fair (1945 & 1962) [Original Soundtrack]

State Fair (1945 & 1962) [Original Soundtrack]

by Richard Rodgers

CD

Overview

This archival release presents material from the soundtracks of the two movie musical versions of State Fair, which contained songs written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. In the 1940s, Rodgers and Hammerstein were approached by 20th Century-Fox about doing a musical version of the 1932 novel written by Philip Stong. They wrote six songs, and Hammerstein co-wrote the screenplay. The film was a critical and commercial success upon its release in 1945, and Fox returned to the property for a remake in 1962, by which time Hammerstein had died and Rodgers was trying his hand at writing his own lyrics. With the setting moved from Iowa to Texas and the cast expanded, Rodgers wrote five new songs. This version was a critical and commercial failure, though Dot Records released a soundtrack album that reached the Top Ten. It is not the source for the recordings on the present collection; instead, producer Nick Redman dug out the actual soundtrack recordings and, for the later version, went back to the multi-track tapes. Still, one wishes it had been possible to license the missing material from Dot. The musical performances and arrangements on the two soundtracks tend to bear out the responses to the two films when they appeared. The 1945 music still sounds wonderful. "It Might as Well Be Spring" still seems deserving of the Academy Award for Best Song that it won, and the other songs are almost equally good. The 1962 version is far less impressive. Ann-Margret almost justifies the radical rearrangement of "Isn't It Kinda Fun?" that turns it into a mambo halfway through, but the new Rodgers songs are a waste of talent. Nevertheless, Rodgers and Hammerstein fans will welcome this valuable reclamation of one of their minor and often overlooked efforts.

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State Fair 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
State Fair is a wonderful Rodgers and Hammerstein musical that is often overlooked. This CD finally gives it some of the justice it deserves.