PE0012. Broadway through the Gramophone, Vol. IV, incl.Gaiety Musical Comedy, Light Opera Company, Aeolian Opera Company, Columbia & Victor Light Opera Companies (w.Richard Crooks, Johnny Marvin, Constance Mering, Frank Banta & J.Harold Murray) presenting excerpts from The Last Waltz, Blossom Time, The Student Prince, The Vagabond King, The Girl Friend, Oh, Kay!, The Desert Song, Rio Rita, My Maryland, The Three Muskateers, The New Moon, Sunny Side Up, Whoopee, Bitter Sweet, etc. (England) 2-Pearl 0085, recorded 1920-29. Transfers by Roger Beardsley. Long out-of-print, Final copy! - 727031008521
“The first three volumes of British archival label Pearl's BROADWAY THROUGH THE GRAMOPHONE series, which compiles medleys of songs from Broadway musicals recorded between 1909 and 1929, are invaluable historical documents that give a rare sense of what show music sounded like onstage in the era before cast albums began preserving it. But the fourth and final volume is the best of the lot, not only a history lesson, but also a listenable collection. One reason is that in 1925 sound quality on records improved greatly with the advent of electrical recording; only the first four tracks here were made using the old, inferior acoustic process. Another reason is the evolution of American musical theater. Where the first three volumes traced the rise and fall of Vienna-style operetta on Broadway, much of which sounds arcane today, the fourth one is set in the 1920s, when the operetta composers were Americans writing in a new, popular style (think of Rudolf Friml's ROSE-MARIE and Sigmund Romberg's THE DESERT SONG and THE NEW MOON) and a generation of musical comedy songwriters had come of age, among them Irving Berlin, DeSylva, Brown, and Henderson, George and Ira Gershwin, Oscar Hammerstein II, Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart, and Vincent Youmans. These men wrote song standards that are still heard today and that turn up in the medleys: ‘The Blue Room’, ‘Button Up Your Overcoat’, ‘I Want to Be Happy’, ‘Lets Do It, Let's Fall in Love’, ‘Mountain Greenery’, ‘Someone to Watch over Me’, ‘Tea for Two’, ‘What Is This Thing Called Love’, ‘Who, and ‘You're the Cream in My Coffee’, among others. Such songs make for a collection more accessible than its predecessors.”
- William Ruhlmann, Rovi
"Victor Light Opera Company, consisting primarily of Victor in-house artists, appeared in Victor catalogs from 1909 to 1940. Initially, the group performed only light opera and music from Broadway shows. For a brief period, beginning in 1917, the word "Light" was dropped from the name and the Victor Opera Company recorded several grand opera selections. Among the regular members of the Victor Light Opera Company were Elise Stevenson, Elizabeth and John Wheeler, Billy Murray, Olive Kline, Harry Macdonough, and Reinald Werrenrath."
- Loyal Bluto