After some ten years of existence as a one-man, non-profit enterprise, the Cast Album Database is no longer being updated. When I ran out of time and money to keep track of new releases, the team at Talkin' Broadway took over the work for a few years. Now we have decided to leave the updates to CastAlbums.org, for several reasons. The cast album scene is changing, with new media and a gradual decline in the sales of CD's and in the quality of the music. No sense in two teams duplicating each other's work. CastAlbums.org is a joint effort of the site's administrators and its visitors, includes a forum and a blog, and if you aren't bothered by the navigation and the advertisements on the site, it will surely be the best place to keep track of albums released after January 2008.
- What is included?
- Recording data
- Links to Homepages of Database Subjects
- 1. Where can I purchase...? or Can you make me a copy of...?
I am not a record dealer and have neither the time to do an internet search for you nor the equipment to make copies of the recordings in my collection. To find what you are looking for, I would suggest that you try contacting a RECORD DEALER. There are cast album dealers listed on my website, or you could try amazon.com, Ebay or CDUniverse.com.
If what you are looking for is out-of-print and no longer available, you might try the page http://www.castalbums.org/shopping.html, which contains useful information for record and CD hunters.
- 2. The new releases X, Y and Z are not yet listed in your database.
Back in the eighties, I could afford to buy every new release and enter it into my database. Now, there are so many releases and re-releases, a lot of it not even worth collecting, that I simply cannot acquire everything available. So I depend on contributors and record dealers to supply me with scans and information. This often puts me several months behind with new data. While you're waiting for me to catch up, I suggest you browse Talkin' Broadway's very interesting and comprehensive lists of recent and forthcoming releases.
- 3. Why do you not include Porgy and Bess, The Student Prince, etc., etc.
Please see "What is included?", below.
- 4. Your track listing for musical X is incomplete.
- I probably should have started making track listings when I created my database, but I didn't. I only have song lists, which means there are no overtures, entractes, dance music, reprises, finales, etc. Some musicals have no songs as such, but are through-composed (like Sondheim's Passion). In such cases, where there are no song titles, I have used track listings.
- 5. When I search Google for Singer X, it takes me to Singer Y on your website.
- This is Google's problem. Its robots are not really set up to gather data from website databases. The singer index numbers in my database are assigned dynamically in alphabetical order, so that each time new singers are added, most singers are assigned new index numbers. Google cannot keep up with these changes. My title numbers, composer numbers and recording numbers do not change.
- 6. May I link to pages or images on your site?
- You need no permission to link to my website or to individual pages on my site. Keep in mind that if you link to a singer page, the number in the link changes occasionally. However I do not approve of linking to individual cover images for private purposes, such as illustrating an item in an on-line auction. The proper procedure would be to download the image and place it on your server so that you are paying for the data transfer involved.
This database provides information about cast albums of stage musicals and recordings of film and TV musicals which were released on long-playing records and compact discs. Movie musicals and TV musicals which were not produced on stage appear in orange type, all others in black.
It wasn't always easy to determine what a musical is, and what not. A few concept albums just barely made it into the list.
Some types of recordings generally not included are:
- Industrial shows
- Recordings of musicals without singers, or with just one singer or just chorus.
- Concept albums which are just collections of songs with no sign of a plot or common theme.
- Opera, operetta, works designated as opera by their composers or works with "Opera" in the title.
The border between musical and opera is pretty clearly defined. Porgy and Bess and some works of Kurt Weill and Schönberg/Boublil, as well as a few "rock operas" and works like Trouble in Tahiti, Sweeney Todd, Rent, and even The Most Happy Fella are to be found close to this border. Some day I should probably add Porgy and Bess and the Threepenny Opera to the database.
Much more problematic is the distinction between operetta and musical. It is becoming harder and harder to omit the works of Romberg, Herbert and Friml. If I include No, No, Nanette, why not The Vagabond King? But if I open the door to operetta, won't I have to include the European operettas as well (Trovaioli has already crept in): Lehár, Kalman, Stolz, etc....?
Film musicals: Again, I try draw the line between genuine movie musicals, and films which contain a song or two. I try to include films which have the emphasis on the plot and the songs, rather than being just vehicles for a particular singer or group, such as Elvis or the Beatles.
Most of the CD information comes from the booklets included with the compact discs themselves. This information is supplemented with data from the following reference works:
Where these sources differ, I have tried to resolve the differences. I take responsibility for all errors in the data in this website. I am grateful for the many letters I get pointing out where I have omitted, mistyped or misinterpreted data.
- "Show Music on Record, the first 100 Years" by Jack Raymond
1998, Published by the author.
The one book no cast album collector should be without, it contains far more information than will ever appear on this website.
An invaluable treasure trove. Price: $39.00 plus shipping.
To order copies, contact Jack Raymond, 3713 George Mason Drive #1714, Falls Church, VA 22041. e-mail <jraymond@alumni.Princeton.EDU>
- "Musicals! Musicals!" by Hubert Wildbihler
1992, Musikarchiv Wildbihler, ISBN 3-928979-10-8
A limited number of titles (850), but complete artist and track listings for all of these. Compact and easy to use.
- "London Musical Shows on Record 1889 - 1989" by Robert Seeley and Rex Bunnett
1989, General Gramophone Publications, Ltd., ISBN 0-902470-30-2
- "American Song - - the Complete Musical Theatre Companion" by Ken Bloom
1996, Schirmer Books, ISBN 0-02-870484-3
This book does not deal with recordings, but its 2000 pages contain listings (and cross-references) of over 4,800 musicals, 70,000 songs and 27,500 artists.
- "The Hollywood Musical" by Clive Hirschhorn, 1981, Crown Publishers, ISBN 0-517-54044-4
When you browse the title list, you will see alternate titles as well as foreign titles. When you click on one of these alternate titles, you will be forwarded to the main page of the original title. For example, if you click on Anatevka (the German title of "Fiddler"), you will get the page for Fiddler on the Roof.
When I could find the information, I included the theatre in which the musical was first performed, and often the number of performances in the initial run. In the case of musicals which opened on Broadway, I do not include previews or out-of-town tryouts. However if a show opened off-Broadway and then moved to Broadway, the off-Broadway theatre is usually listed, but the length of run is the combined run in both theatres. There are bound to be inconsistencies in these entries.
A computer database is dumb when it comes to artists whose names are spelled differently on different recordings. A few examples: Peter Marshall, Peter L. Marshall. David White, David Andrew White. Are these pairs the same person or not? The computer always thinks these pairs are two different people. And when two different singers spell their names the same way, the computer is sure that it is just one person. You can look at my list of unresolved pairs and help me to settle on one name for each artist. Are Angela Reaux and Angelina Reaux the same person? And does she really spell her name Réaux?
Singers with three names: Mary Elizabeth Albano's last name is certainly Albano, but what about Timothy Britten Parker and Ann Richmond Boston? Do they alphabetize their names like Alexander Graham Bell or like Andrew Lloyd Webber? Is Lou Diamond Phillips listed under D or P? I have had to guess on some of these and I'm grateful for your corrections!
Just as Ludwig van Beethoven is listed under "B" and not under "V", I have not considered the word "von" in all its forms (van, de, di, or d') to be part of the last name when alphabetizing. If an artist writes the name as one word, such as DiVito, I alphabetize under "D". Complete consistency here is probably not possible.
When you search for a name or title, don't use a search string which is too short or too long. If your string is very short ("do", "M", "and") you will get a long list in return, which will take a long time to load and display. If you type a long string, you risk misspelling a name and getting nothing in return. Good search strings contain five or six letters, such as "Dolly", "Sondh", "Patink", "Friend", etc.
When you search for a title, and your search string matches a foreign title, the search results show only the original title. For example, if you search for "ana", you will get Top Banana and Fiddler on the Roof, because "ana" is contained in "Anatevka", one of the foreign titles for that musical!
To search for a title containing accents, you may type accented characters in your search string, or leave them unaccented. For example, you can search for "Misérab" or "Miserab" and you will still get "Les Misérables".
- Year of Première
- This is the year of the first stage performance of a musical. If there was only a concept album and the musical was never produced, there is no year listed. If the film came before the first stage production, this is the year of the release of the film.
- Cast name
- I can understand the reasoning behind not wanting to call every new production of a musical a "revival", and I may someday change all "London Revival Cast" and "Broadway Revival Cast" entries to "London Cast" and "Broadway Cast". I will be grateful to all who point out errors and inconsistencies in these listings. If an original cast CD includes one or more singers who weren't in the original cast, I list the CD as "OCM" (original cast members).
- Year (of recording)
- Unbelievably, there are many musical recordings which do not indicate when they were recorded. This means that in a database in which the listings are ordered by year, these recordings always come first, giving a distorted picture of the chronological releases of a given singer or conductor.
- I have seen up to five different label names on one CD, so that it was not clear how the people who produced and marketed the CD wanted to be identified. Many other recordings were released at different times on different labels. The label field in this database is not meant to be an exhaustive listing of every label that a recording appeared under, but rather a help in distinguishing one recording from another.
If a label number is very long, only the last group of digits is listed. Where the label number includes a final "-2", this is often omitted. I would like to include in the "notes" section information about other label names and numbers under which the same recording was released, and would appreciate any such information. Interesting is the fact that 2000 recordings are spread over some 500 different label names.
- The same CD will show a slightly different length when inserted into different CD-players. I have seen variations up to 20 seconds on the same CD. The times listed are the total playing times shown on my Sony, Mitsumi and Toshiba players. Lengths for LP's and MC's are only approximate.
- When a recording was re-released with additional tracks (or remastered), I dropped the original release from my list. Remastering and bonus tracks are ingenious ways of lightening the pocketbooks of collectors!
- As important as the conductor is for a musical recording, it's difficult to find his name on many CD's. Sometimes the booklet lists a Musical Supervisor, a Musical Director and a Conductor. A couple of albums list a conductor for the orchestra and another conductor for the cast. I try always to name the orchestra conductor of the recording, not of the stage production.
- Very often the CD leaflet lists the cast of the stage production, but doesn't always specify which of those singers can actually be heard on the recording. I try to list only those persons whose voices are actually heard on the recording, but this is not always possible. In case of doubt, I list all available names, so as not to omit anyone who might have sung anything on the recording.
- I basically list only song titles, not musical numbers or tracks. This means there are no overtures, entr'actes, dance numbers, exit music, etc. in the song lists. When the musicals are through-composed and operatic in style, it becomes harder to distinguish between songs, fragments, orchestral recitatives, transitions, melodramas, etc. Again, I have sometimes included more to avoid including too little.
Links to Homepages of Database Subjects
Michael Bitterman, the composer of "Five After Eight", suggested adding links to the homepages of musicals and artists. The way the database is constructed, this is now possible for composers, lyricists and musical titles. Since I don't have time to search the web for all possible links to thousands of titles and persons, these links will be set-up on an individual request or submission basis.