Burt Bacharach, Neil Diamond, Carol Burnett, Ethel Merman & Marvin Hamlisch featured on Great YouTube finds by Broadway Babe
February 18, 2023: Broadway Babe, Randie Levine-Miller is at it again… Excavating some great entertainment finds which are on YouTube —A great concert in memory of Burt Bacharach; Neil Diamond’s greatest hits; a Carol Burnett, show reunion; and Ethel Merman and Marvin Hamlisch performing together at Sardis.
RIP Burt Bacharach
This is one of my most favorite finds– “Burt Bacharach and Associates” is the name of the show. This 1972 Burt Bacharach TV special from the BBC, stars Burt and Sammy Davis,Jr., Anthony Newley, and Vicky Carr — all incomparable talents. Watching Anthony Newley sing and dance with the beautiful chorus boys and girls, is such wonderful nostalgia. He was a great song and dance man, actor, as well as a fine composer, too. He and Bacharach were great friends and they toured together doing concerts. This is as good as variety shows get!
So many highlights! The most versatile Sammy Davis, Jr., sings and dances to Burt’s songs including “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head.” You can really see the great affection that each of these legendary performers have for each other.
The special also shows Burt rehearsing with his orchestra. There are film clips of Burt with his daughter Nikki, as the most gorgeous piece of music that he wrote for her is played — called “Nikki”. Vicky sings “The Look of Love” in Spanish, as Burt sings with her in English.
Another highlight of this show is Sammy and Anthony Newley singing a medley of Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse songs. They really demonstrate what great showmanship is— And Newley wrote some of the great classics, too. (“Who Can I Turn To”, “What Kind of Fool Am I,” Once in a Lifetime” and The Candy Man”
I can’t believe this special is 50 years old… Never had the privilege of meeting Mr. Bacharach though Hal David came to an event I produced at the Friars Club honoring composer Charles Strouse.
RIP Burt Bacharach.
Neil Diamond: Greatest Hits Live
This was produced in 1988, when Neil Diamond was still in his prime. He had a great team behind this special working with him, as it was televised. Not having been a Neil Diamond fan when I was younger (as I was totally consumed with theater music), I was surprised at how much I love his music now — especially after experiencing “The Neil Diamond Musical: A Beautiful Noise”, currently on Broadway which I had the distinct pleasure of seeing a few weeks ago, with good friend, Donna McKechnie.
The two of us were mesmerized from start to finish and were totally moved by the show. I actually had gooseflesh while seeing it. Will Swenson really becomes Neil and truly captures who he was, as he’s such an excellent actor and singer. Broadway veteran, Mark Jacoby who brilliantly plays the older Neil and narrates his story, gives a speech towards the end of the show which had both Donna and myself in tears. Basically, it’s a jukebox musical with great heart and one of the best things I’ve seen this season, and so is this concert with the real Neil!
The Carol Burnett Show: A Reunion
From 1993, a TV special to absolutely treasure, in my opinion… Pure nostalgic entertainment, with Carol doing a special material song “25 Years Ago” as her opener (the show aired on CBS-TV from 1967-1978) with memorable clips from the multiple Emmy Award winning show. Highlights include show stopping skits, including some of the best movie parodies her “repertory” group did. Her troupe includes: Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, Vicki Lawrence and Lyle Waggoner. “One Last Good Night“ sung by Carol and Vicki Lawrence is a beautiful moment of the two of them in true harmony (they really do look like sisters) and then Carol sings the finale with Harvey, Lyle and Tim and surprisingly, they all sing beautifully, too. Fans will get gooseflesh… I know I did!
Ethel Merman and Marvin Hamlisch
This is a rare find, from 1976, with Ethel Merman and Marvin Hamlisch having the best time, performing for an audience at Sardi’s. Marvin was about 30 at the time and you can see his delicious personality and his great sense of humor, as well as his great musical skills. He and Merman were truly in sync, doing “schtick” …yes, Merman showing her sense of humor—(sort of) but of course, her bigger than life personality comes through. Broadway veteran, Hal Linden, introduces Merman as “the.first lady of musical comedy”, who then sings “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” moving from Shubert Alley over to Sardi’s. You get that real Sardi’s feel — we even get a glimpse of the late Sardi’s proprietor, Vincent Sardi greeting everyone. As you’ll see, there is really great chemistry between Marvin, Merman and the room … Plus Merman really delights in working with young Marvin!