May 13, 2017

20,000 Vinyl LPs 87: The Pajama Game ~ the musical

                    The Pajama Game ~ the musical
                          vinyl LP, front cover detail
                                           detail photo by Styrous®      

The Pajama Game is a musical based on the 1953 novel 7½ Cents by Richard Bissell. The book for the musical is by George Abbott and Richard Bissell; the music and lyrics are by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. The story deals with labor troubles in a pajama factory, where workers' demands for a seven-and-a-half cent raise are going unheeded. In the midst of this ordeal, love blossoms between Babe, the grievance committee head, and Sid, the new factory superintendent.    

The original Broadway production opened at the St. James Theatre on May 13, 1954, and closed on November 24, 1956, after 1,063 performances. It was directed by George Abbott and Jerome Robbins and featured choreography by Bob Fosse. The original cast included John Raitt, Janis Paige, Eddie Foy, Jr., Carol Haney, and Stanley Prager.     

Produced by Frederick Brisson, Robert E. Griffith and Harold S. Prince, The Pajama Game won a Tony Award for Best Musical.          

       The Pajama Game ~ the musical
vinyl LP, front cover 
photo by Styrous®

There are many songs from the production that became "Hits". Hey There, Hernando's Hideaway, Steam Heat and I'm Not At All In Love were the biggies.  Carol Haney is delightful as the temptress on Hideaway.

Steam Heat is a la mode 50's; a jazzy feeling with orchestra punctuated with high hats that are joined by a hot trio of sensational singers that have a sonic ballet with the high hats. It's just unreal!   

The Pajama Game ~ the musical
vinyl LP, back cover
photo by Styrous®

Although I liked those songs, my favorites were the "off" ones. Seven-And-A-Half Cents is at the top of my list. It a rollicking, bouncy and joyous tune that also describes, in the common worker's terms, the feeling of the hardship of earning a wage and what a minor raise means. However, their examples of the luxuries the raise will bring is hilarious!

The next one on my list is out-'n-out Broadway Schmaltz. I'll Never Be Jealous Again Sung by Eddie Foy, Jr. and Reta Shaw is a walking tune with fast, complicated singing at times, typical of that period: a gentle stroll and sweet! I know!      


 The Pajama Game ~ the musical
vinyl LP, back cover detail
detail photo by Styrous®

Carol Haney was born on December 24, 1924, in New Bedford, Massachusetts. She was an American dancer and actress. In 1949, Haney was hired by Gene Kelly to be his assistant choreographer on several M-G-M musical films, and she aided Kelly in some of his best work, including On the Town (1949), Summer Stock (1950), An American in Paris (1951), Singin' in the Rain (1952), as well as Kelly's dream project, Invitation to the Dance (1956). She won a Tony Award for her role in Broadway's The Pajama Game. She then shifted to primarily Broadway choreography, being nominated for three more Tonys for her work.    

Haney died in Saddle River, New Jersey in 1964, at age 39, six weeks after the opening of Funny Girl, which she choreographed. The cause of death was pneumonia, complicated by diabetes and alcoholism.       

John Raitt is best known for his stage roles in the musicals Carousel, Oklahoma!, The Pajama Game  and A Joyful Noise, in which he set the standard for virile, handsome, strong-voiced leading men during the golden age of the Broadway musical. His only leading film role was in the 1957 movie version of The Pajama Game opposite Doris Day. He died on February 20, 2005, at his home in Pacific Palisades, California, from complications due to pneumonia, he was 88 years old.     


Eddie Foy, Jr. was born on February 4, 1905, in New Rochelle, New York, the son of vaudevillian Eddie Foy and his third wife, Madeline Morando. He was one of the "Seven Little Foys" immortalized in the 1955 film of the same name. Of the seven, he had the longest performing career, and the only one in movies (though six Foys appeared in two short films directed by his elder brother Bryan Foy).      

Foy died of pancreatic cancer in Woodland Hills, California on July 15, 1983. He is buried alongside his father and siblings in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in New Rochelle, New York.    

Reta Shaw was born on September 13, 1912. She was an American character actress known for playing authoritarian women, housekeepers, and domineering wives. She appeared on Broadway in her comic role as Mabel in the original production of The Pajama Game in 1954, as well as in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Picnic, and Annie Get Your Gun, the last on tour with Mary Martin. She died of emphysema in Encino, California on January 8, 1982. She was 69 years old.  


    The Pajama Game ~ the musical
vinyl LP, side 1
photo by Styrous®

    The Pajama Game ~ the musical
vinyl LP, label detail, side 1
detail photo by Styrous®

Bob Fosse was born Robert Louis "Bob" Fosse in Chicago, Illinois on June 23, 1927. He was an American dancer, musical theatre choreographer, director, screenwriter, film director and actor.      

In 1979, Fosse co-wrote and directed a semi-autobiographical film All That Jazz (1979), which portrayed the life of a womanizing, drug-addicted choreographer-director in the midst of triumph and failure. All That Jazz won four Academy Awards, earning Fosse his third Oscar nomination for Best Director. It also won the Palme d'Or at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival.    

He won eight Tony Awards for choreography, more than anyone else, as well as one for direction. He was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning for his direction of Cabaret. He died on  September 23, 1987.       

    The Pajama Game ~ the musical
vinyl LP, side 2
photo by Styrous®

    The Pajama Game ~ the musical
vinyl LP, label detail, side 1
detail photo by Styrous®

Jerome Robbins was born on October 11, 1918, in the Jewish Maternity Hospital at 270 East Broadway on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. He was an American choreographer, director, dancer, and theater producer who worked in classical ballet, on Broadway, and in films and television. Among his numerous stage productions he worked on were On the Town, Peter Pan, High Button Shoes, The King And I, The Pajama Game, Bells Are Ringing, West Side Story, Gypsy: A Musical Fable, and Fiddler on the Roof; Robbins was a five time Tony award winner and a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors. He received two Academy Awards, including the 1961 Academy Award for Best Director with Robert Wise for West Side Story.    

Robbins suffered a stroke in July 1998, two months after the premiere of his re-staging of Les Noces. He died at his home in New York on July 29, 1998. On the evening of his death, the lights of Broadway were dimmed for a moment in tribute. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered on the Atlantic Ocean.          

Side 1:

A1     Overture   
A2     The Pajama Game; Racing With The Clock   
A3     A New Town Is A Blue Town   
A4     I'm Not At All In Love   
A5     I'll Never Be Jealous Again   
A6     Hey There   
A7     Her Is   
A8     Once-A-Year-Day!   

Side 1:

B1     Small Talk   
B2     There Once Was A Man   
B3     Steam Heat   
B4     Think Of The Time I Save   
B5     Hernando's Hideaway   
B6     Seven-And-A-Half Cents   
B7     Finale   


    Conductor – Hal Hastings*
    Liner Notes – Mort Goode
    Orchestrated By – Don Walker (3)
    Producer [For Records] – Goddard Lieberson
    Written-By – Jerry Ross (2), Richard Adler


1960's two-eye reissue
Barcode and Other Identifiers

    Matrix / Runout (Side A): x"Lp"31707
    Matrix / Runout (Side B): x"Lp"31708             
Net links:              
The Pajama Game Plot              
Reta Shaw Filmography           
Eddie Foy Jr. Filmography            
New York Times ~ Jerome Robbins obit              
YouTube links:                 
The Pajama Game songs:            
Hey There!        
Hernando's Hideaway           
I'm Not At All In Love        
Seven-and-a-Half Cents        
I'll Never Be Jealous Again           
Styrous® ~ Saturday, May 13, 2017     


No comments:

Post a Comment

PLEASE NOTE: comments are moderated BEFORE they are posted so DO NOT appear immediately.

Thank you.