In 1955, lyricists, librettists, and screenwriters Betty Comden
and Adolph Green
recorded two albums for the small Heritage Records label. The first, Show Music at Its Best, Vol. 1
, contained their renditions of songs they had written for five Broadway shows between 1944 and 1954, along with one song written for the film Good News; the second, It's Always Fair Weather, contained the songs they had written for the new movie musical of the same name. Veteran performers who had worked in nightclubs and been in their first stage musical, On the Town, the two were more than amateur singers, even if they were unlikely to give much of a fright to the likes of Frank Sinatra
and Mary Martin
, who were better remembered for the material. They had the enthusiasm and insight of the actual authors, knowing how to sing their patter-filled, witty lyrics for greatest comprehension, so that tunes like "Taxi Song" and "If" turned into minor comic masterpieces. And though the songs were written in character, to be sung by everyone from a lusty New York cabbie to Captain Hook, the authors' flip urban sensibility was always apparent. This CD reissue combines the two albums, though it's still the earlier performances that impress. It's Always Fair Weather was a flop, and while its songs are interesting as part of the Comden
and Green catalog, they aren't really memorable.