Manny P. here…
The New York Yankees are back in the World Series. They defeated my team (the Angels) to get to the “Fall Classic.”
This reminded me that in 2008 I wrote a review for Karaoke Scene Magazine about that great show-stopping musical Damn Yankees. The reason I did so was to promote a new karaoke disc that featured the unforgettable score and lyrics from the show.
I visited the karaoke disc company site, Pocket Songs (based in New York), and found that they printed my review on their website. I decided to reprint what I wrote to share with my bloggers.
The connection to Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History might not be so obvious. Let me explain… This might be the embryo that led to the eventual motivation for me to compile a book about our collective past. I truly enjoyed writing the review. Here is an excerpt from the Pocket Songs web page…
“The 1950’s were an exciting time for Broadway Musicals. Many of its best shows were produced, beginning with Oklahoma. Among them: South Pacific, The Music Man, My Fair Lady, Guys & Dolls and West Side Story. Another memorable show seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle… Damn Yankees.
Damn Yankees was a terrific musical that started the career of choreographer Bob Fosse (Sweet Charity, Cabaret, Chicago) and showcased the talented Gwen Verdon in the lead. A movie was also made that featured Ray Walston and Tab Hunter. Among the tunes that entered the lexicon of “show standards” include (You Gotta Have) Heart and Whatever Lola Wants. Of course, Damn Yankees has a memorable array of popular songs.
The play tells the tale of a married middle-aged man making a pact with the devil to help beat the team that was so successful in Major League Baseball for decades. It’s a light-hearted raucous romp that pokes fun at marriage, religion, the battle of the sexes and of course, ‘America’s past time!’ All in all, Damn Yankees is the forgotten classic of the 1950’s.”
Our good friend Gary Lycan from the Orange County Register adds:
“Damn Yankees (an excellent movie), was released in 1958, and directed by George Abbott and Stanley Donen, with most of the original Broadway cast. For movie trivia fans: The actors had to sing along with a metronome, for the musicians that would normally have accompanied them were on strike at the time.
It was released on DVD in 2004 and is available at Amazon.Com. Pick it up when you buy a copy of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History.”
Until next time> “never forget”