Music composed by Richard Rodgers. Lyrics written by Oscar Hammerstein II.
Principal cast includes: Nancy Kwan, James Shigeta, Juanita Hall, Jack SOo, Benson Fong, Miyoshi Umeki.
Originally released on Decca (9098). Includes liner notes by David Henry Hwang.
Flower Drum Song, that rarity among Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals, a moderate hit (otherwise, their shows were either smashes like South Pacific or flops like Me & Juliet), also became a moderately successful film in late 1961, three years after its Broadway opening; it just barely ranked among the ten highest-grossing movies of 1962. As with most Rodgers & Hammerstein cinematic adaptations, the film conformed closely to the stage work. Miyoshi Umeki and Juanita Hall appeared both on Broadway and onscreen, and the song score was transferred intact, but for the deletion of one song, "Like a God." As such, the differences between the original Broadway cast album and the original motion picture soundtrack have to do with casting and orchestrations. Rodgers & Hammerstein did not hesitate to use voice doubles for the movie actors, as they had in previous efforts. Nancy Kwan may be given star billing, but the voice you hear singing her songs belongs to B.J. Baker; similarly, John Dodson dubs Kam Tong, and no less a personage than Marilyn Horne sings the show's big ballad, "Love, Look Away," in place of Reiko Sato. That simply means that the soundtrack album is well-sung, of course, and Rodgers was able to use more musicians to fill out his music for the movie. The score is still an interesting combination of traditional Chinese elements and contemporary (for the late '50s and early '60s) pop in the Frank Sinatra/Nelson Riddle mold. The cast album still gets the nod over this re-creation, but both give a good sense of this enjoyable, if minor Rodgers & Hammerstein effort. (This 2002 CD reissue adds a pop recording of "Love, Look Away" made by Rosemary Clooney around the time of the show's Broadway opening in 1958.) ~ William Ruhlmann
Main Title: Overture / Flower Drum Song
Hundred Million Miracles, A
Other Generation, The
I Enjoy Being A Girl
I Am Going To Like It Here
Gliding Through My Memoree / Fan Tan Fannie
Love, Look Away
You Are Beautiful
Don't Marry Me
Finale: Wedding Procession / Wedding Ceremony / End Title