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The Belle of New York (1952)
Music by Johnny Mercer, Harry Warren
The Belle of New York The Belle of New York
Click to enlarge images.
Price: $14.96
Limited #: 1200
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Golden Age
CD Release: May 2011
Catalog #: Vol. 14, No. 10
# of Discs: 1

For its first “all-singing, all-dancing” disc, FSM presents an underappreciated musical gem from the celebrated “Freed Unit” at M-G-M: The Belle of New York. Producer Arthur Freed was responsible for some of the most popular and successful musicals of all time, including Meet Me in St. Louis, The Harvey Girls and—most famous of all—Singin’ in the Rain.

On the day that production began for Singin’, cameras also started to roll on The Belle of New York, a vehicle for Fred Astaire and Vera-Ellen (with Alice Pearce, Marjorie Main and Keenan Wynn also in the cast).  Featuring songs by Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer—a team which, together and separately, was responsible for numerous pages in the Great American Songbook—Belle was light on plot but filled with great tunes, clever lyrics and eye-pleasing dance numbers.
 
Although the marvelous Warren–Mercer songs are front and center, the film also includes a few instrumental themes by Adolph Deutsch and Conrad Salinger. Deutsch conducted the M-G-M Studio Orchestra and Salinger was the picture’s primary musical arranger, with additional work by Deutsch, Albert Woodbury, Alexander Courage and Maurice DePackh.
 
This is the premiere CD release of a program that was previously available only as a digital download from Turner Classic Movies Music/Rhino Movie Music. It features all the musical numbers and a generous amount of underscore, mastered from a variety of high-quality first-generation sources. Previous LP and CD versions have been far less comprehensive in their presentation of the score.
 
CD producer George Feltenstein anchors the 24-page booklet with an essay on the production which reflects both his intimate knowledge of studio history and his infectious enthusiasm for the genre. Frank K. DeWald’s track-by-track commentary sets each song and underscore cue in context. Designer Joe Sikoryak fleshes out the text with colorful film stills, promotional materials and behind-the-scenes photos.
 
Overshadowed by Singin’, The Belle of New York was nonetheless a cornucopia of talent and professionalism that still delights today with its beautiful score and charming visuals.
Johnny Mercer Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Johnny Mercer (1909-1976) turned out lyrics for hit after hit from the 1930s through the 1960s. His collaborators included Harry Warren, Harold Arlen, Hoagy Charmichael, Gene de Paul, André Previn and Henry Mancini. The recipient of four Oscars, Mercer wrote lyrics that combined a keen appreciation of American colloquialisms with a profound poetic sensibility. In addition to writing, Mercer was a co-founder of Capitol Records and founding president of the Songwriters Hall of Fame. IMDB

Harry Warren Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Harry Warren (1893-1981) was one of the most prolific and popular songwriters in the Great American Songbook, credited with over 400 songs from nearly 90 films between 1928 and 1981. Forty-two of his songs placed in the Top 10 on radio’s “Your Hit Parade.” His long and distinguished career included stints at Warner Bros., M-G-M, Paramount and Twentieth Century Fox, and comprised such hits as “Forty-Second Street,” “On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe” and “Jeepers Creepers.” Glenn Miller’s recording of Warren’s “Chattanooga Choo Choo” won the first-ever Gold Record award, selling over 1.2 million copies. IMDB

Comments (51):Log in or register to post your own comments
http://www.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/15439/THE-BELLE-OF-NEW-YORK/

Wow!! Fantastic news.

Thanks Lukas!


When I saw this featured on the SAE site, I coud not believe it.

An under rated musical, I hope this leads to more.

Question- are any of the tracks that early multitrack stereo?

Gotta give some love to Joe, GORGEOUS cover, very very well done my friend.

I think this is sensational. One of my favorite scores from that period.

Wow!!!

This is a fabulous surprise for those of us who not only love the orchestral scores we've always gotten from FSM, but the musicals we've gotten from Turner/Rhino over the years past.

The BELLE download just didn't quite cut it for me.....and now this beautiful package is available.

Thanks, Lukas.

While I fully understand that this kind of musical release will be met with difficulties from some posters, it at least presents a new market for Lukas as a seller, and for some of us as purchasers. Hopefully, there will be more to come. The MGM '50s era alone (not to mention the Warner Bros. '50s) has some fine musical scores still waiting in the vaults.

I also hope Lukas and SAE will understand that there is an entirely additional marketplace out there for this kind of musical material. Max Preeo, over at CASTRECL, will certainly play it up for his Broadway musicals contingency of collectors.

Thanks again for this wonderful, wonderful surprise, Lukas!

It isn't one for me, but heck, if it brings in more buyers for FSM, I say open the gates and release more musicals. It really is a natural branching out. No doubt many will enjoy this one. Kudos to Lukas and team

Thank you for this!!!

Now I can throw out those terrible "downloads"!

Just a note to those posters who complain about wanting some score from the '90s and why hasn't it been released yet---I've been waiting for this kind of release for THE BELLE OF NEW YORK since 1952---59 years until now!

I am elated to have this, as is obvious, but I'm also saddened by the fact that this kind of material has also been sitting in the vaults and mouldering away for 59 years while so many who wanted it but are now gone, could have had 50 years to appreciate it.

While I fully understand this will be an infrequent kind of release for Lukas, at least it's a wonderful start.....


......and then on to Friml-Stothart's ROSE MARIE with Howard Keel and Ann Blyth in stereo, a proper and complete HIGH SOCIETY, a two-disc set of Sigmund Romberg's DEEP IN MY HEART with an all-star MGM cast in stereo, Cole Porter's LES GIRLS with Gene Kelly and Mitzi Gaynor in stereo, JUPITER'S DARLING with Howard Keel, Esther Williams/Jo Ann Greer, and George Sanders in stereo, DANGEROUS WHEN WET with Esther Williams and Fernando Lamas, RICH, YOUNG AND PRETTY with Jane Powell, Vic Damone, and Fernando Lamas, PAGAN LOVE SONG with Esther Williams/Betty Wand and Howard Keel, THE MERRY WIDOW with Fernando Lamas and Lana Turner/Trudy Erwin, THE STUDENT PRINCE with Mario Lanza and Ann Blyth in stereo (if the licensing can be arranged), and many more.....

.....including several more complete versions of older Turner/Rhino things like THE BARKLEYS OF BROADWAY, YOLANDA AND THE THIEF, THE ZIEGFELD FOLLIES, TEXAS CARNIVAL.....

Wow - at last - another MGM soundtrack is released! I had almost given up hope....... As manderley said - we want MORE!
Thanks, Lukas

Alistair

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