No friends, I actually Don’t know every song that has ever been heard in a Broadway musical (though that’s not from lack of trying). The recent announcement that the “Now That’s What I Call Music” series is adding a Broadway album inspired me to come up with a list of my own. A grateful nod to a good friend of mine (who shall remain nameless so he can unpack and stay around 😋) is also in order. The set list (sorry, the Princess and I have been watching Glee on VOD) while excellent, is also strongly geared toward musicals of a certain relatively recent vintage. All of the shows featured opened subsequent to my high school graduation, with calendar year 1975 being the earliest, and interestingly enough, most represented with three shows. A note on the “age” of the songs. Two of the songs on the CD are from so-called Juke Box musicals; musicals that are created out of existing popular material. Because of this Sherry from Jersey Boys and Will You Love Me Tomorrow from Beautiful, The Carole King Musical are actually from the 1960’s.
If I had a vote, these songs would be included (in no particular order):
Old Man River from ShowBoat
People Will Say We’re in Love from Oklahoma.
Tonight from West Side Story
Brotherhood of Man from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Carefully Taught from South Pacific
Summertime from Porgy and Bess
Luck Be a Lady from Guys and Dolls
Someone To Watch Over Me from Oh, Kay!
Dulcinea from Man of La Mancha
The Sweetest Sounds from No Strings
Our Time from Merrilly We Roll Along
Fascinating Rhythm from Lady Be Good
Being Alive from Company
Hello Dolly! from Hello Dolly!
If I Were A Rich Man from Fiddler on the Roof
Aquarius from Hair!
I Could Have Danced All Night from My Fair Lady
Till There Was You from The Music Man
My New Philosophy from You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (1999 revival)
There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute from Barnum
I’m Just Wild About Harry from Shuffle Along
Give My Regards to Broadway from Little Johnny Jones
Once in Love With Amy from Where’s Charlie
Once Upon a Time from All American
Put On a Happy Face from Bye Bye Birdie
Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered from Pal Joey
Love for Sale from The New Yorkers
Good Old Days from Damn Yankees
Meeskite from Cabaret
If Ever I Would Leave You from Camelot
Steal Your Rock ‘n’ Roll from Memphis
There’s No Business Like Show Business from Annie Get Your Gun
That’s a total of thirty-two. I left out scores of favorites. I did try to touch on as many decades as I could and included songwriters who have inspired my love of musicals both from the legitimate theater and in motion pictures.
A couple of favorites (one old, one new) that did not make the cut because they are from shows that did not have a Broadway run:Try to Remember from the longest running musical in theater history The Fantastiks and a recent gem The Next Ten Minutes from The Last Five Years.
I encourage you to check out some of these songs. Most are available on YouTube or Vimeo. The songs run the gamut from tender love ballads to uptempo numbers. From cynical to patriotic. From introspective to irreverent. Trust me, I have only scratched the surface.