Jerry Hadley: Golden Days – Songs of Romberg, Friml, and Herbert
Song of the Vagabonds / Stout-hearted Men: This rousing combination Friml / Romberg call to arms is the perfect opener for our journey. In those days, the line between good and evil was clear. The good guys always won! Victor Herbert fans needn’t feel left out, for Bill Brohn must have gone to sleep listening to the fanfare from Babes in Toyland the night before he wrote this arrangement.
I’m Falling in Love with Someone: A beautiful melody and the unbridled romance of a bygone era find their expression in this Victor Herbert classic.
The Streets of New York: You’ve handed your buffalo nickel to the trolley conductor on the Lower East Side and slowly progress uptown along the Bowery and up Fifth Avenue, finally setting down at Central Park for a leisurely promenade, while the girls of Manhattan display their various charms all along the way.
Neapolitan Love Song: It is not known whether Victor Herbert ever saw the sunset over the Bay of Naples, but Caruso himself, Naples’s favorite son, would have felt right at home amid the strains of this passionate serenade.
The Desert Song / One Alone: T.E. Lawrence made headlines with his exploits in the Arabian Desert; Sigmund Romberg made that desert a land of music and romance. Now if only Rudolf Valentino had been able to sing!
Every Day Is Ladies’ Day with Me: While not politically correct by today’s standards, Victor Herbert’s tongue-in-cheek patter song has the charm of a simpler time, especially in Bill Brohn’s Central Park brass band arrangement.
Donkey Serenade: It was Alan Jones who popularized this wonderful bit of Friml’s musical whimsy. Movie buffs will remember him as Gaylord Ravenal in the first film version of Show Boat, as well as the romantic foil to the antics of the Marx Brothers in A Night at the Opera.
Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise: When Rudolf Valentino danced the tango on the screen it caused an international sensation! Here is a sensational café band arrangement of Romberg’s delicious rendition of that particularly South American brand of romance.
Drinking Song from The Student Prince: This rollicking arrangement of Romberg’s bonafide showstopper magnificently captures the camaraderie of a Heidelberg beer garden. Pretzels, anyone?
When You’re Away: A man in love, a violin obbligato, and Herbert’s beautiful melody equal romance in one of the loveliest ballads ever written.
I Love To Go Swimmin’ with Wimmin: Vaudeville and burlesque houses always had novelty acts featuring rapid-fire gags and snappy tunes. Tony Randall and I couldn’t agree on who should get to be top banana in this Romberg romp, so we took turns. But will it play in Peoria?
I Might Be Your ‘Once in a While’: The sentiment of this song is most striking in its sophistication. Victor Herbert must have been inspired by the chanteuses of Paris, though we present it here with a decidedly ragtime feeling.
Marianne: A Sunday afternoon in Central Park; a boy, a girl, a rowboat, a couple of ukuleles, a barbershop quartet, and Sigmund Romberg. That’s a pretty crowded boat!
Serenade: The strains of Gaudeamus igitur give way to the most ravishing of Romberg tunes from The Student Prince as the student corps lends its collective voice to Karl Franz’s wooing of Kathy the barmaid. Thanks to the members of the Harvard Men’s Glee Club for providing an air of authenticity.
Indian Summer: Debussy’s Les Nuages comes to mind in this stunning arrangement of Victor Herbert’s impressionistic hymn of bittersweet remembrance.
When I Grow Too Old To Dream: This probably evokes the age of innocence best of all. One must truly be made of stone not to shed a quiet tear of nostalgia listening to the beautiful melody and lovely sentiment of this great Romberg song.
Gypsy Love Song: There must have been gypsies in Dublin, for none of Herbert’s melodies is more Irish than this! Imagine the loving renditions of countless Irish tenors in the saloons of old New York.
Golden Days: It seemed fitting to end our journey through the age of innocence here, with the opportunity to pay homage to Mario Lanza. His voice first introduced me to the music I have grown to hold in my heart “all else above,” and his legacy is truly one of “golden days of youth and love.”
– Jerry Hadley
Jerry Hadley, tenor
Featuring members of the Harvard Glee Club: Aaron A. Arzu II, R. Christopher Basaldú, Daniel M. Bikel, Brent W. Blackaby, Sam Hilton, David E. Hoglund, Kendall A. Huffhines, Scott T. Kerr, Kevin C. Leong, David Lim, Alvin C. Lin, Darren L. Walker, Seth A. Weinstein, C. Christopher Wilson
Special Guest Star: Tony Randall
Special Guest Star: Mario Lanza
The American Theatre Orchestra
Paul Gemignani, conductor
Orchestrations by William D. Brohn