A Rogers and Hammerstein Records, Inc.
Flower Drum Song
Columbia Masterworks Stereo - Fidelity Recording...OS 2009...33 1/3 LP
Cover: Good (*)
Record: Good...tracks well very little noise...$5.00
1) Overture - Rodgers and Hammerstein
2) You Are Beautiful - Rodgers and Hammerstein
sung by Ed Kenney, Juanita Hall
3) A Hundred Million Miracles - Rodgers and Hammerstein
sung by Miyoshi Umeki, Conrad Yama, Keye Luke, Juanita Hall, Rose Quong
4) I Enjoy Being a Girl - Rodgers and Hammerstein
sung by Pat Suzuki
5) I Am Going to Like It Here - Rodgers and Hammerstein
sung by Miyoshi Umeki
6) Like a God - Rodgers and Hammerstein
sung by Ed Kenney
7) Chop Suey - Rodgers and Hammerstein
sung by Juanita Hall, Pat Adiarte, Ensemble
8) Don't Marry Me - Rodgers and Hammerstein
sung by Larry Blyden, Miyoshi Umeki
1) Grant Avenue - Rodgers and Hammerstein
sung by Pat Suzuki, Ensemble
2) Love Look Away - Rodgers and Hammerstein
sung by Arabella Hong
3) Fan Tab Fannie - Rodgers and Hammerstein
sung by Anita Ellis, Ensemble
4) Gliding Through My Memoree - Rodgers and Hammerstein
sung by Jack Soo
5) The Other Generation - Rodgers and Hammerstein
sung by Juanita Hall, Keye Luke
6) Sunday - Rodgers and Hammerstein
sung by Pat Syzuki, Larry Blyden
7) The Other Generation - Rodgers and Hammerstein
(Reprise) sung by Pat Adiarte, Susan Lynn, Baayork Yee, Linda and Yvonne Ribuca, Luis Robert Hernandex, Cely Carrillo
8) Finale - Rodgers and Hammerstein
sung by Ensemble
THE BACK OF THE JACKET:
Essentially a sunnily warm-hearted play, Flower Drum Song nevertheless strikes deeply in its examination of the hopless love of Helen Chao and the perplexing differences existing among Chinese, Americans and Chinese-Americans. But when Miss Umeki smiles that winning smile, or Miss Suzuki cuts loose with a lively song, there is an irresistible enchantment that warms the theatre. And there are also the songs, with Mr. Rodgers writing with the grace and vigor of his finest work, Mr. Hammerstein providing lyrics of uncommon pertinence and lilt. As this recording by the original Broadway cast so delightfully demonstrates, the celebrated authors are at the peak of their form.
The opening of Flower Drum Song finds the house hold of Wang Chi Yang (Keye Luke) faced with problems of adjustment. Mr. Wang himself is a Chinese gentleman of the old sciiool, his son Wang Ta (Ed Kenney) is caught between Chinese tradition and American ways, his second son Wang San (Pat Adiarte) is entirely Americanized, and his sister-in-law, Madam Liang (Juanita Hall), is an enthusiastic candidate for citizenship. Madam Liang and Wang Ta discuss the methods of choosing a wife, and Wang Ta tells her he has made his own choice, and how he will propose to her (You Are Beautiful). Sammy Fong (Larry Biyden), owner of The Celestial Bar, arrives and announces that his mail-order bride has arrived from China. However, lie is in love with someone else, and succeeds in selling the contract to old Mr. Wang. He then introduces the bride, Mei Li (Miyoshi Umeki) and her father. Dr. Li (Conrad Yama), and Mei Li charms Mr. Wang and Madam Liang with her "flower 'drum song," A Hundred Million Miracles. Wang Ta has gone off to meet his girl Linda Low (Pat Suxuki), a lively creature who takes great pleasure in life (I Enjoy Being a Girl) and, although there are a few unexplained facts about her existence, he asks her to marry him and she accepts. When Mei Li at last meets Wang Ta, she is delighted with him and, since she does not know about his engagement to Linda, begins to feel at home in the Wang household (I Am Going to Like It Here). That night, graduation exercises for Madam Liang's citizenship class take place in Mr. Wang's garden, and Mr. Wang buys an American dress for Mei Li. Wans Ta is impressed by her beauty, but remains faithful to Linda, and tells Mei Li how he would propose to his sweetheart in the American way. (Like a God). At the graduation, Madam Liang wins a medal, and with her younger nephew Wang San she describes the melting-pot mixture of American ways that resemble that American dish, (Chop Suey.
Linda appears at the party, and Wang Ta anounces their engagement, infuriating old Mr. Wang and deeply hurting Mei Li. When Sammy Fong shows up, it develops that Linda is the girl with whom he is in love, and he generously warns Mei Li about his own bad qualities (Don't Marry Me). He then invites the Wangs to The Celestial Bar, where Linda is employed as a singer, knowing that when they find this out, the marriage will be cancelled. Linda, unaware of Sammy's plan, has a fine time at tlie party and sings the praises of life in San Francisco (Grant Avenue). Returning to the bar, she tells Sammy and her seamstress Helen Chao (Arabella Hong) that she is quitting to marry Wang Ta. Helen, who has silently loved Wang Ta for many years, is heart-broken (Love Look Away). When the Wang party arrives at tile club a singer (Anita Ellis) is singing a rowdy song (Fan Tan Fannie), and the master of ceremonies (Jack Soo) presents an even rowdier selection (Gliding Through My Memoree) in which Linda turns up, doing a strip-tease. The Wangs leave in horrified astonishment and Sammy is happy that his plan has succeeded.
The confused Wang Ta cannot make up his mind whether he prefers Mei Li or Linda Low, and turns briefly to Helen Chao for comfort. Old Mr. Wang and Madam Liang, dismayed by the turn of events, express their exasperation at The Other Generation, and Dr. Li and Mei Li leave the house, determining to hold Sammy Fong to his marriage contract. By this time, however, Sammy has proposed to Linda and been accepted, and they are happily looking forward to their lives together (Sunday). When Dr. Li presents his case against Sammy to The Three Family Association, it is decided that Sammy must honor the contract, and the Lis take up residence in his apartment as preparations for the wedding begin. Wang Ta belatedly discovers that it is Mei Li he loves, and they rack their brains for a way out of the dilemma. Young Wang San and his friends are amazed at the difficulties their elders get into (The Other Generation — Reprise) but even they cannot find a way out. As the wedding procession winds its way to the rooms of The Three Family Association, Wang Ta, Linda and Sammy are all waiting unhappily for the ceremony none of them wants to see, but the inventive Mei Li at the last moment provides a happy solution, and the curtain falls on two pairs of happy sweethearts.
Miyoshi Umeki's introduction to most Americans was in her role of the tragic Katsumi in the motion picture Sayonara,
an introduction that won her an Academy Award. At almost the same time she received the Emmy award as the top female
television personality on the West Coast, the first time anyone had won both prizes in the same year. Her enchanting
personality was already familiar to American occupation forces in Japan, where she was the first singer to record
American songs. Miyoshi, as she prefers to be called, was recently married to a young American television director.
Her given name means "beautiful life," which seems entirely appropriate. American-born Pat Suziiki is one of the
exciting and promising young artists of reccent years. Her recordings, and her appearances on and in night clubs,
have already won recognition, and she fulfills her promise engaging performance in
Flower Drum Song. Her first appearances were as a soloist in the Church of her home
town, Cressey, Califotnia, before she embarked on her blossoming care sometimes called "Miss Pony Tail" because
distinctive coiffure, and her real first Chiyoko.
Juanita Hall is perhaps best-known for her fine portrayal of Bloody Mary in South Pacific on both stage and screen. Her distinguished career began when she was fourteen, in the chorus of the original production of Show Boat, and she was later seen in The Green Pastures, The Pirate and House of Flowers. She is also known for her solo and her own choral group. Larry Biyden made his debut in Mr. Roberts and has since been seen Wish You Were Here, Oh Men! Oh Women!, and most recently in Who Was That Lady I Saw You With? On the screen he has been seen in The Bachelor Party and Kiss Them for Me, and appeared at the Brussels Exposition in The Time of Your Life.
Ed Kenney scored his first success in his native Honolulu singing the leads in Oklahoma! and Carousel. This was followed by a bit part on Broadway and studies at the American Theatre Wing Professional Training Center on a Rodgers and Hmmerstein scholarship, which led in turn to his assignment as the hero of Flower Drum Song. Keye Luke is most familiar to audiences for his work in motion pictures — he was Charlie Chan's Number One Son for more than twenty years. He is also adistinguished artist who has exiiibited widely.
Arabella Hong is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, and makes her Broadway debut in Flower Drum Song. She has won several major awards for her performances in concert and opera.
A simple listing of the works of Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II is sufficient to establish their pre-eminence in the American musical theatre: Oklahoma!, Carousel, the motion picture State Fair, Allegro, South Pacific, Me and Juliet, The King and I, Pipe Dream, the television production Cinderella. These alone would make their stature secure. But in addition, Mr. Rodgers has written with the late Lorenz Hart such shows as Pal Joey, The Boys from Syracuse, On Your Toes, Babes in Arms and many others, while Mr. Hammerstein, with various other distinguished composers, has written Show Boat, Carmen Jones, Music in the Air, New Moon, The Desert Song, and Rose Marie, to mention only a few. In Flower Drum Song, Mr. Rodgers and Mr. Hammerstein are joined for the first time by another eminent man of the theatre, Joseph Fields, who is co-producer and co-author of the book. Mr. Fields is the author of The Doughgirls, and, with Jerome Chodorov, of such hit as Wonderful Town, Junior Miss, Anniversary Waltz and My Sister Eileen. He also wrote Gentlemen Prefer Blondes with Anita Loos and The Tunnel of Love with Peter DeVries; he was director for the latter, and produced the motion picture version as well. Gene Kelly makes his Broadway debut as a director with Flower Drum Song, and resumes association with Richard Rodgers that began when he created the part of Pal Joey in the original production. He had also appeared in the original production of The Time of Your Life. Then Hollywood called, and he became one of the screen's foremost performers in such movies as For Me and My Gal, The Pirate, the Academy Award winning An American in Paris and Les Girls, among many others.
Flower Drum Song opened at the Shubert Theatre in Boston (Mass.) on October 27, 1958, and in New York (City, N. Y.) at the St. James Theatre (home of Oklahoma! and the King and I) on December 1, 1958.
(*) both sides dingy - back has water marks - over all the jacket is sound
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