Monday, July 20, 2015


When my daughter was five she was watching operas on television. I knew then that she was going to be a music lover for the rest of her life. Because I totally identified with her obsession.

For me, it was the Broadway musical that grabbed me when I was young and continues today to be one of my great loves. When I was in the 6th grade, my mother, bless her heart, recognized my musical leanings and did something I shall forever be grateful for. Back in the late '50s and early '60s, grocery stores were competing for business by giving away things for people to collect. For instance, every week there would be a new piece of dinnerware offered for anyone buying at least $20 worth of groceries, let's say. (Gas stations did the same thing). Anyway, Mom shopped at Bohack, and at this particular time they were selling record albums for $.99 to anyone who bought a certain amount of groceries, each week a different album. I can still see them in my mind's eye, because I treasured them. They were white album covers with a picture of Ed Sullivan on the front, and the words "Ed Sullivan presents the original cast album of ......" And I had them all. I played them every night in my room, memorizing the words to every song, and reading about the musicals on the back cover. Among my favorites were "Guys & Dolls", "South Pacific", "The Music Man", and "My Fair Lady". I learned in those years who Robert Alda, Mary Martin, and Barbara Cook were, and I became a critic and lover of this unique American music genre.

Yesterday, the movie version of "Guys & Dolls" was on television and since it was Sunday, I could sit back, relax, and enjoy. Of course, Marlon Brando was no Robert Alda, but still, it was a joy to watch, for maybe the 100th time, this Broadway classic. And as always, I thought about my mother, who I know didn't always have that extra dollar to spend, but she did it anyway. She's here to thank in person, but hopefully she knows how I feel...

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