Monday, July 02, 2012

High Art for Low People

The things I do for you guys.

Okay, the short version. Heh.

The above two LP set derives from a 1951 NBC radio broadcast adaptation of the Shakespeare play. I got it out of the Teaneck public library when I was ten or eleven years old, and -- perhaps because it was my first exposure to Shakespeare, and definitely because I was already at that time a huge fan of radio dramas of a slightly less respectable type (The Lone Ranger, Suspense!, Space Patrol, The Green Hornet) -- I just flipped over it. And over the next couple of years I checked it out of the library countless times.

Seriously -- I had it memorized word for word, and that includes every one of the actor's inflections. You know how some people do air guitar? Well, I was the first kid in the world to do air Shakespeare.

Of course, not too long after, I was exposed to both the actual Shakespeare play on the printed page, and to various other versions (both live and on film), and I discovered that this one was, shall we say, rather severely abridged. And the other day, listening to it for the time in decades, I realized with some bemusement that Gielgud actually kind of sucks in the role.

That said, the album has never been on CD, and probably never will, so I took the liberty of having the LPs (which I got on eBay recently for more money than a sane person would have paid) professionally transferred and cleaned up by a pro engineer of my acquaintance (also for more money than a sane person, etc).

And so, here it is, more or less exactly as it was heard on my mono record player in 1959.


Side 1

Side 2

Side 3

Side 4


Jai Guru Dave said...

Was Gielgud the lead guitarist, or the singer?

steve simels said...

The guy in the tutu.

buzzbabyjesus said...

When Gielgud left this band he went on to form Dr. Feelgood.

FD13NYC said...

Double double blog in trouble.

steve simels said...

Blogger FD13NYC said...

Double double blog in trouble.

Hey, I dropped a hundred bucks for this stuff...have a little gratitude.

dSmith said...

Dorothy McGuire? Of the McGuire Sisters?

steve simels said...

Dorothy McGuire the highly versatile Hollywood actress. Gregory Peck's fiance in GENTLEMEN'S AGREEMENT, among many other fine performances in a long and varied career.