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Ed Sullivan presents
Songs and Music of Annie Get Your Gun
America’s Great Musicals
Words and Music by: Irving Berlin
Book by Herbert & Dorothy Fields
Band 1: Overture
Band 2: “Anything You Can Do”
Band 3: “They Say It’s Wonderful”
Band 4: “I Got Lost In His Arms”
Words and Music by: Irving Berlin
Book by: Herbert and Dorothy Fields
Band 1: “The Girl That I Marry”
Band 2: “You Can’t Get A Man With A Gun”
Band 3: “Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly”
Band 4: “There’s No Business Like Show Business”
Vocals by the Ed Sullivan All Star Cast
“Annie Get Your Gun”, one of Irving Berlin’s greatest hits, was the musical that he didn’t want to write! Starting on May 17, 1946, it played almost three solid years at New York’s Imperial Theatre.
“I’d just returned from Hollywood,” Berlin told me, “after finishing ‘Blue Skies’ with Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby. Preceding that, I’d spent three and one half years touring the world with ‘This Is The Army’. I was dead tired and looking forward eagerly to a long vacation with Ellin.”
On his arrival in New York City, dwelling happily on vacation plans, Berlin got a call from Oscar Hammerstein II, asking Berlin to write the score for the Rodgers-Hammerstein production of “Annie Get Your Gun”. “Jerome Kern was to have done it, as you know” explained Oscar, “but since Jerry’s recent death, Dick and I had about decided to postpone the whole thing until we heard that you had finished your picture. “Irving, will you write the score?”
Berlin explained his plans for the long-awaited vacation with Ellin and added: “Anyway, my specialty is revues. This is a book story and it’s not up my alley.”
Oscar asked him if he at least would read the first half of the show already written by Dorothy and Herbert Fields. Rodgers added that if Berlin consented to do it, they’d get Josh Logan to stage it. Logan had helped Berlin in the staging of “This is the Army.”
That afternoon, Oscar and Dick sent Irving the first half of the show. It was great. Berlin admits that he became involved, right then. Over that weekend, Irving wrote two songs--”They Say That Falling in Love is Wonderful” and “Moonshine Lullaby”, a number for the Western kids outlined in the script of the first half of the show. he returned to New York after the weekend and Oscar phoned him.
“Give me another 10 days to think it over,” stalled Berlin. Oscar, recognizing that Irving was weakening, urged him to come down to the Rodgers-Hammerstein office. In exactly five minutes, Berlin agreed to do it, and that night asked Ellin Berlin if she’d postpone their vacation. If I know Ellin, I’m quite sure that she’d forseen this in her own wise knowledge of her husband.
Berlin, who had already written two of the songs, immediately wrote five more, “Doin’ What Comes Naturally”, “You Can’t Get A Man with a Gun”, “The Girl That I Marry”, “Got Lost in His Arms” and “I’m an Indian, Too”, but didn’t let Oscar and Dick hear them. First, Irving tried them out on Josh Logan and Dorothy Fields and they were ecstatic. Then he played and sang them for Oscar and Dick who literally flipped. “I suppose you can say that I was really showing off for them” smiled Berlin. Then he added these hits--”Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better”, “There’s No Business Like Show Business” and “I’ve Got the Sun in the Morning and the Moon at Night”.
Berlin tells me that this is the only show he ever wrote or ever had anything to do with, in which not a single song was taken out and nothing changed. He did add a comedy tag to the third chorus of “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better”. He put this in waltz time.
“With the exception of ‘This is the Army’, my score for ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ was the most satisfying experience I’ve ever had in the theatre”, reflected Irving. Berlin never dreamed that “There’s No Business Like Show Business” would become, as it has, theme song of show business. “After it went into the show,” Irving related, “I wrote three comedy choruses for it. They just didn’t belong. I realized that this song had to be nostalgic and sentimental”.
Ethel Merman who played the part of Annie Oakley opposite Ray Middleton, as Frank Butler, still believes that Berlin’s score was one of the greatest ever written and Miss Merman, from the time she made her stage musical debut in Gershwin’s “Girl Crazy” has sung the songs of Cole Porter and he greatest in the business. “Annie Get Your Gun” ran almost three years on Broadway and from the time that Ethel, offstage, shot the bird off the hat of another actress and then made her entrance carrying a shotgun, with a quail strung around her neck and a whistle, and wearing cotton stockings and moccasins, it was a riotous triumph.
It was the fastest job of composition that Irving Berlin ever has done, by his own admission. Dick Rodgers points out that because of Berlin’s tremendous experience in writing for revues, where a composer must click with every song, Berlin made history in “Annie” because each of his songs stopped the show cold. I’m on safe ground in saying that Dick’s sincere comment to Berlin, was highest praise of all.
This is the background of the songs you are about to enjoy.
“Annie Get Your Gun” is a delightful western romance between Frank Butler, an expert rifleman and Annie Oakley, who has lived in the backwoods. Despite her environment she is quite forward in character and faster with a rifle which she learned to shoot, as she says “Doin What Comes Natur’lly”.
When Frank and Annie meet, they are attracted to one another. However, soon there is dickering and rivalry between them. Unwilling give in to the other, they spar with the humorous “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better”...Seeing that he cannot get the better of Annie, Butler tells her that he is looking for a sweet and delicate girl which she is not. He sings “The Girl That I Marry”.
Annie is hurt and leaves him. Realizing that he really loves and needs her, he finally wins her back with “My Defenses Are Down”. Te problem of their business rivalry is also happily solved by the merger of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show (of which Annie is the star) and Pawnee Bill’s outfit of which Frank is the principal.
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THE PRODUCTION WAS RECENTLY RECORDED WIHT THE FULL ORCHESTRA, SOLOISTS AND CHORUS
This is a NATIONAL ACADEMY RECORD CLUB Recording
It has the clarity and brilliance produced by full frequency range recording the fidelity is constant over the entire surface
The finest materials and craftsmanship in manufacture were employed to insure quiet surface
THE EQUALIZATION SETTING RECOMMENDED--RIAA
You may find that other settings will more nearly suit your individual listening preferences
The tone controls may also be used to adjust the quality of sound to your liking.
PRODUCT OF J.J. LITTLE & IVES CO., INC., NEW YORK 22, N.Y.
Printed in U.S.A. © 1960
Tru-Hi-Fi Long Playing
33 1/3 rpm
Made by the world’s largest record manufacturer for J.J. Little & Ives Co. Inc., New York 22, N.Y.