I stopped updating this database in January, 2008, because I had too many other things to do and had run out of time and money to keep up with all of the new releases. Now, twelve years later, I am toying with the idea of catching up and see if I can live long enough to get it updated to the present.
- Schedule of Database Maintenance
- What is included?
- Recording data
September 2020: The database is now accessible on mobile telephones at castalbumdb.com. The basic search functions work, and I will be cleaning up and reformatting the text and layout over the next few weeks.
October 2020: Writing the editing interface to enable me to enter new data rapidly, could take a month.
Also, a complete inventory of the cover images is necessary, as many are not being displayed because the database design is faulty.
November 2020: Starting to update the database, beginning with Broadway and London productions from the year 2008. No telling how long this might take, it will have to end someday, as I am about as young as Bruce Yeko. I certainly wish him and me another twenty years of doing what we love to do.
- 1. Where can I purchase...? or Can you make me a copy of...?
I am not a record dealer and have neither the time to do an internet search for you nor the equipment to make copies of the recordings in my collection. To find what you are looking for, I would suggest that you try contacting a RECORD DEALER. There are cast album dealers listed on my website, or you could try amazon.com, Ebay or CDUniverse.com.
If what you are looking for is out-of-print and no longer available, you might try the page https://www.castalbums.org/shopping.html, which contains useful information for record and CD hunters.
- 2. The new releases X, Y and Z are not yet listed in your database.
I stopped maintaining this database in January, 2008. To keep up with new releases I suggest you browse Talkin' Broadway's lists of recent and forthcoming releases.
- 3. Why did you not include Porgy and Bess, The Student Prince, etc., etc.
Please see "What is included?", below.
- 4. Your track listing for musical X is incomplete.
- I probably should have started making track listings when I created my database, but I didn't. I only have song lists, which means there are no overtures, entractes, dance music, reprises, finales, etc. Some musicals have no songs as such, but are through-composed (like Sondheim's Passion). In such cases, where there are no song titles, I have used track listings.
This database provides information about cast albums of stage musicals and recordings of film and TV musicals which were released on long-playing records and compact discs. Movie musicals and TV musicals which were not produced on stage appear in orange type, all others in black.
It wasn't always easy to determine what a musical is, and what not. A few concept albums just barely made it into the list.
Some types of recordings generally not included are:
- Industrial shows
- Recordings of musicals without singers, or with just one singer or just chorus.
- Concept albums which are just collections of songs with no sign of a plot or common theme.
- Opera, operetta, works designated as opera by their composers or works with "Opera" in the title.
The border between musical and opera is pretty clearly defined. Porgy and Bess and some works of Kurt Weill and Schönberg/Boublil, as well as a few "rock operas" and works like Trouble in Tahiti, Sweeney Todd, Rent, and even The Most Happy Fella are to be found close to this border. Some day I should probably add Porgy and Bess and the Threepenny Opera to the database.
Much more problematic is the distinction between operetta and musical. It is becoming harder and harder to omit the works of Romberg, Herbert and Friml. If I include No, No, Nanette, why not The Vagabond King? But if I open the door to operetta, won't I have to include the European operettas as well (Trovaioli is already crept in): Lehár, Kalman, Stolz, etc....?
Film musicals: Again, I try draw the line between genuine movie musicals, and films which contain a song or two. I try to include films which have the emphasis on the plot and the songs, rather than being just vehicles for a particular singer or group, such as Elvis or the Beatles.
Most of the CD information comes from the booklets included with the compact discs themselves. This information is supplemented with data from the following reference works:
Where these sources differ, I have tried to resolve the differences. I take responsibility for all errors in the data in this website. I am grateful for the many letters I get pointing out where I have omitted, mistyped or misinterpreted data.
- "Show Music on Record, the first 100 Years" by the late Jack Raymond (1923 - 2016). The one book no cast album collector should be without, it contains far more information than will ever appear on this website.
An invaluable treasure trove. It can be consulted on the website of the Library of Congress.
- "London Musical Shows on Record 1889 - 1989" by Robert Seeley and Rex Bunnett
1989, General Gramophone Publications, Ltd., ISBN 0-902470-30-2
- "American Song - - the Complete Musical Theatre Companion" by Ken Bloom
1996, Schirmer Books, ISBN 0-02-870484-3
This book does not deal with recordings, but its 2000 pages contain listings (and cross-references) of over 4,800 musicals, 70,000 songs and 27,500 artists.
- "The Hollywood Musical" by Clive Hirschhorn, 1981, Crown Publishers, ISBN 0-517-54044-4
When you browse the title list, you will see alternate titles as well as foreign titles. When you click on one of these alternate titles, you will be forwarded to the main page of the original title. For example, if you click on Anatevka (the German title of "Fiddler"), you will get the page for Fiddler on the Roof.
When I could find the information, I included the theatre in which the musical was first performed, and often the number of performances in the initial run. In the case of musicals which opened on Broadway, I do not include previews or out-of-town tryouts. However if a show opened off-Broadway and then moved to Broadway, the off-Broadway theatre is usually listed, but the length of run is the combined run in both theatres. There are bound to be inconsistencies in these entries.
When you search for a name or title, don't use a search string which is too short or too long. If your string is very short ("do", "M", "and") you will get a long list in return, which will take a long time to load and display. If you type a long string, you risk misspelling a name and getting nothing in return. Good search strings contain five or six letters, such as "Dolly", "Sondh", "Patink", "Friend", etc.
When you search for a title, and your search string matches a foreign title, the search results show only the original title. For example, if you search for "ana", you will get Top Banana and Fiddler on the Roof, because "ana" is contained in "Anatevka", one of the foreign titles for that musical!
To search for a title containing accents, you may type accented characters in your search string, or leave them unaccented. For example, you can search for "Misérab" or "Miserab" and you will still get "Les Misérables".
- Year of Première
- This is the year of the first stage performance of a musical. If there was only a concept album and the musical was never produced, there is no year listed. If the film came before the first stage production, this is the year of the release of the film.
- Cast name
- I can understand the reasoning behind not wanting to call every new production of a musical a "revival", and I may someday change all "London Revival Cast" and "Broadway Revival Cast" entries to "London Cast" and "Broadway Cast". I will be grateful to all who point out errors and inconsistencies in these listings. If an original cast CD includes one or more singers who weren't in the original cast, I list the CD as "OCM" (original cast members).
- Year (of recording)
- Unbelievably, there are many musical recordings which do not indicate when they were recorded. This means that in a database in which the listings are ordered by year, these recordings always come first, giving a distorted picture of the chronological releases of a given singer or conductor.
- I have seen up to five different label names on one CD, so that it was not clear how the people who produced and marketed the CD wanted to be identified. Many other recordings were released at different times on different labels. The label field in this database is not meant to be an exhaustive listing of every label that a recording appeared under, but rather a help in distinguishing one recording from another.
If a label number is very long, only the last group of digits is listed. Where the label number includes a final "-2", this is often omitted. I would like to include in the "notes" section information about other label names and numbers under which the same recording was released, and would appreciate any such information. Interesting is the fact that 2000 recordings are spread over some 500 different label names.
- The same CD will show a slightly different length when inserted into different CD-players. I have seen variations up to 20 seconds on the same CD. The times listed are the total playing times shown on my Sony, Mitsumi and Toshiba players. Lengths for LP's and MC's are only approximate.
- When a recording was re-released with additional tracks (or remastered), I dropped the original release from my list. Remastering and bonus tracks are ingenious ways of lightening the pocketbooks of collectors!
- As important as the conductor is for a musical recording, it's difficult to find his name on many CD's. Sometimes the booklet lists a Musical Supervisor, a Musical Director and a Conductor. A couple of albums list a conductor for the orchestra and another conductor for the cast. I try always to name the orchestra conductor of the recording, not of the stage production.
- Very often the CD leaflet lists the cast of the stage production, but doesn't always specify which of those singers can actually be heard on the recording. I try to list only those persons whose voices are actually heard on the recording, but this is not always possible. In case of doubt, I list all available names, so as not to omit anyone who might have sung anything on the recording.
- I basically list only song titles, not musical numbers or tracks. This means there are no overtures, entr'actes, dance numbers, exit music, etc. in the song lists. When the musicals are through-composed and operatic in style, it becomes harder to distinguish between songs, fragments, orchestral recitatives, transitions, melodramas, etc. Again, I have sometimes included more to avoid including too little.