Sep 8, 2015

Bucket Of Sads: Dean Jones


On September 1st, 2015, many a Broadway Baby shed a little tear (myself included). Bobby (or Bobby-Boobie, Bobby-Baby, Rob-o) - the perennial single guy amidst his married friends in Sondheim's landmark musical "Company" - winged off to Heaven, or at least Dean Jones did, who played Bobby to perfection in the original 1970 production. But only for two weeks. He suddenly fell ill. Or at least that's what he said to the press.

In reality, he was in the midst of a painful, contentious divorce. And starring in a show about marriage - one that, while comedic, jabbed at the institution with an ice pick - proved too much. He was nearing a nervous breakdown. Larry Kert took over, and as Elaine Stritch once said, "Larry was great, he was 'wow.' But Dean - man, he just broke your heart." Which is exactly what the musical needed (nevertheless, Larry took home the Tony for the role that year).

Luckily, it was Dean who recorded the cast album. And today, something Cheerfully Exclusive! just for you. The LP was originally released in quadrophonic sound, a 4-channel system that never caught on. But dont'cha know, I just so happen to have a digital copy of it, which I've carefully re-jiggered to 2-track stereo.

Trust me, "Company" has never sounded so good. But more than that, the music has stood the test of time. Even if you don't know the show, or maybe aren't even familiar with Sondheim, this musical dissection of marriage is still modern, still laugh-out-loud funny, and, yes, when Dean sings "Being Alive," he'll break your heart. Oh, fair warning, this is a large file for you audiophiles out there, but you can always convert it for free with this.

4 comments:

Larry said...

I'm grateful to you for posting this. Somehow this was the first time I'd ever sat down and listened to the entire Broadway recording of COMPANY. And it was incredible. I listened to it again immediately. Then I located and listened to the revival recording.

Works of this depth and quality and rare. I was moved. Thank you for bringing that experience into my life.

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

You're welcome, Larry! Everyone should have this, I think.

E Craig said...

Thanks for this. I've never heard this before.

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Enjoy, E Craig!