For those who can't wait for the new Broadway cast recording of Flower Drum Song: Decca Broadway aims to please fans of the musical with the first-ever CD release of the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack album of the Rodgers & Hammerstein tuner.
The disc features classic R&H songs such as "I Enjoy Being a Girl," "A Hundred Million Miracles," and "You are Beautiful." David Henry Hwang, who rewrote the musical's book for the Broadway revisal, has contributed new liner notes, and the CD booklet boasts rare production photos. There's also a bonus track of Rosemary Clooney singing the melancholic ballad, "Love, Look Away."
Set in San Francisco's Chinatown, Flower Drum Song is a comic battle of wills: Old-world Chinese, struggling to hold onto their cherised customs, versus members of the younger generation, who are ready to trade in tradition for all that is American. The 1961 Universal-International film stars Miyoshi Umeki, recreating her Broadway role of Mei-Li. The cast also features Jack Soo as Sammy Fong, Nancy Kwan as Linda Low, James Shigeta as Wang-Ta, and Juanita Hall (another Broadway transfer) as Madame Liang. Trivia buffs know that, for the beautiful "Love, Look Away" number, the singing voice of Reiko Sato as Helen Chao was dubbed by no less than Marilyn Horne, just before Horne's opera career began to take flight.
The Flower Drum Song soundtrack CD will be available in stores beginning Tuesday, September 24, three weeks prior to the opening of the Broadway revival starring Lea Salonga.