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 Posted:   Mar 4, 2019 - 11:57 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Had it not taken so long to get to the point where we could do dual licenses, we might have done these projects years ago.


There's still no excuse for Fox failing to preserve its assets.

 
 Posted:   Mar 5, 2019 - 11:45 PM   
 By:   Mike Matessino   (Member)

Had it not taken so long to get to the point where we could do dual licenses, we might have done these projects years ago.

There's still no excuse for Fox failing to preserve its assets.


That's the point. Fox did not consider them to be "its" assets because phonographic rights rested with another company. The films and their mixed audio tracks were preserved, but they would likely have had to spend $50K per title to transfer 200 rolls of mag (on each title) containing music recordings which they had no ability to monetize, and which, looking at hard numbers, were for two box office failures. This is a bitter pill, but that's why the material was never transferred.

 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2019 - 8:06 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

This is a bitter pill, but that's why the material was never transferred.

It's still rather incredible. Hello Dolly is a film which sort of exists in large billboard lit titles. During my younger years there were two Barbara Streisand vehicles which made her stand out - Funny Girl and Hello Dolly from my father's influence in the housefold - he had both LPs for regular listening ventures. It doesn't really matter that she did several more because more wasn't really needed, and Streisand herself has never seemed to crave the limelight in posterity even though it seems clear she demanded a great deal of creative control wherever she presided. But Dolly was directed by Gene Kelly of gotta sing, gotta dance notoriety, and the fact he wielded something of a double edged sword when it came to directing is of immense interest.

Hard to believe no one that mattered, including Streisand herself, vouched to preserve it for posterity.

 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2019 - 8:21 AM   
 By:   SchiffyM   (Member)

Hard to believe no one that mattered, including Streisand herself, vouched to preserve it for posterity.

Mike has laid it out pretty clearly. $50,000 is a lot of money, and it was an investment from which they could get $0 in return. The film itself lost a lot of money, and even the album at the time was a financial disappointment. What kind of "vouching" could Streisand do (and how would she even be aware of the state of the recording?). Honestly, what would be hard for me to believe is that anybody could defend spending that money.

 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2019 - 8:38 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

I'm completely in agreement with you, Schiffy. But the seeming indifference of chance which favors Doctor Dolittle on one hand and not Star or Dolly on the other is perplexing. Sure, Barbara Streisand can't be held to book for the loss of a title for which her face & voice stands out from the crowd to such a large extent, but I guess there's enough of it left to perpetuate that notion.

 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2019 - 11:00 AM   
 By:   Mike Matessino   (Member)

Nick Redman's memorial was last night. It was mentioned by one of the speakers that in 1994 he tried to expand Dolly and it was impossible. In the meantime he got more than 700 scores out there, so that should really be the focus here. It's just bad luck that by the time there was an ability to pursue it that the notoriously dodgy 1960s elements would have deteriorated. It's just to do with the stock of the time because the material from earlier is generally better. Can-Can, for example, is in great shape, and had already been backed up to 24-track 2-inch back when the DVD isolated score track was done. The other problem is that the market has shrunk. Dolittle was a great release and the original album went gold, but it has only done modestly well. A Barbra album would have had a decent chance of doing better if we had been able to do the project, but not in the numbers it would have sold if it had been done for its 25th anniversary.

 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2019 - 11:58 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

Yipes, Mike, I just had a Kelly's Heroes moment - "stop calling me Barbara!"

Thanks for pointing out all those imponderables. It's just that when Dolly became somewhat topical a short while ago, that was the one project where I immediately set about imagining the double page, full-color image spreads of The Parade and everything else that was big about it "passing by." The gatefold LP, if I remember correctly, had a black and white image of the parade in the centre, and it was one of the highlights because it started off low, and the volume increased until Streisand vocally crescendoed at full blast - very, very cleverly done indeed. And the other thing is she was essentially singing along to a marching band piece. Thor would be 'structurally' very complimentary about how that album was arranged.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 7, 2019 - 8:17 AM   
 By:   Mike_H   (Member)

That's a terrible terrible shame about DOLLY. Correct me if I'm wrong but the reason there were so many orchestrators on that picture was because the score was recorded twice. Originally the orchestrations were much more lavish but Barbra wanted it to feel more like the Broadway production. I doubt any manuscripts survive but it's always fascinated me.

Mike do you have any intel on THOROUGHLY MODEN MILLIE? With André Previn and Carol Channing passing recently it's made me revisit the film. And the fact that it's Elmer's only Oscar win. Though with it being Universal (fire?) and from the same period as DOLLY (dodgy stock) has me worried.

 
 Posted:   Mar 7, 2019 - 6:56 PM   
 By:   Mike Matessino   (Member)

I haven't looked into Millie but I will. Crazy movie that was Universal's biggest hit of all time up to that point, and it also earned Elmer his only Oscar. Go figure.

Universal material has been generally good and the studio scoring elements were not in the building the fire destroyed. On the flip side, Uni doesn't have as much from the earlier decades like Fox does.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 8, 2019 - 2:09 AM   
 By:   jef29bow   (Member)

Nick Redman's memorial was last night. It was mentioned by one of the speakers that in 1994 he tried to expand Dolly and it was impossible. In the meantime he got more than 700 scores out there, so that should really be the focus here. It's just bad luck that by the time there was an ability to pursue it that the notoriously dodgy 1960s elements would have deteriorated. It's just to do with the stock of the time because the material from earlier is generally better. Can-Can, for example, is in great shape, and had already been backed up to 24-track 2-inch back when the DVD isolated score track was done. The other problem is that the market has shrunk. Dolittle was a great release and the original album went gold, but it has only done modestly well. A Barbra album would have had a decent chance of doing better if we had been able to do the project, but not in the numbers it would have sold if it had been done for its 25th anniversary.

Truly sorry to hear that the superlative DOLITTLE release has only done "modestly well." It certainly deserves better.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2019 - 9:35 AM   
 By:   MikeyKW   (Member)

I haven't looked into Millie but I will. Crazy movie that was Universal's biggest hit of all time up to that point, and it also earned Elmer his only Oscar. Go figure.

Universal material has been generally good and the studio scoring elements were not in the building the fire destroyed. On the flip side, Uni doesn't have as much from the earlier decades like Fox does.


Interesting. I wonder if an expanded Sweet Charity might be a possibility at some point. There's a measurable amount of unreleased music (including score), including missing portions of songs (i.e. Sammy Davis' The Rhythm of Life). The Decca CD also appears to be OOP, after a short availability.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 11, 2019 - 1:55 PM   
 By:   Mike_H   (Member)

Revisiting this thread after the NYT article on the Universal fire and it just makes me sad. Unrelated, but it’s part of the larger issue of preservation and responsibility. Luckily we have people like Mike Matessino fighting the good fight.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 11, 2019 - 2:35 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

According to the NYT article, Polygram's album masters, which may well have included the HELLO, DOLLY! album tapes, were nearly lost in their own water-line break incident in 2004, a decade after the CD was released.

 
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