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2-CDs of rarities mark Sheldon Harnick's birthday

  • Article by: MARK KENNEDY
  • Associated Press
  • March 19, 2014 - 11:50 AM

NEW YORK — Sheldon Harnick has done some extensive spring cleaning and come up with a two-CD box set of very rare tunes.

Harbinger Records said Wednesday it will release "Sheldon Harnick: Hidden Treasures, 1949-2013" on May 1 in conjunction with the Tony- and Grammy Award-winning lyricist and writer's 90th birthday.

The set will include some 53 demos and songs cut from 17 shows featuring such singers as Audra McDonald, Brian d'Arcy James, Hugh Martin, Charlotte Rae and Sheldon's wife, actress and photographer, Margery Gray. The album is a co-production of The Musical Theater Project.

Harnick is perhaps best known for teaming up with composer Jerry Bock to create the powerhouse musical-theater songwriting duo behind "Fiddler on the Roof," ''Fiorello!" and "The Apple Tree."

Fans will also get to hear rarities from Harnick's less well-known works, including "The Body Beautiful," ''Trafalgar," ''Smiling the Boy Fell Dead," ''Rex" and "A Wonderful Life." From "Fiddler on the Roof," which is returning to Broadway in the fall of 2015, the set includes seven songs cut from the score and performed by Harnick and Bock.

The album, and an accompanying 80-page booklet, will be available through Amazon on May 1.

© 2014 Star Tribune