RCA Victor LSP-2116
RCA LSP-2116
RCA Camden CAL-7018
RCA Victor Camden CAL-7018

A Gilbert & Sullivan Songbook (1960)

The Ralph Hunter Choir

This is a set of affectionate — yet, in some ways, irreverent — G&S selections sung by the superb Ralph Hunter Choir. Orchestrations and part-writing are souped up in many places, but the choir sing with virtuoso skill, and I would gladly have heard more.

Ralph Hunter, who prepared choruses for some of the NBC Toscanini broadcasts, clearly knew his Gilbert and Sullivan, as indicated by the eclectic mix of repertory. All of the selections are sung by the full choir, even for items that were solos as originally written. It is meant to be a "sing-a-long," and the package contains eight "songbooks" containing the lyrics and background information about all the songs.

Mel Moratti had these comments about the record:

This had us rolling around the floor laughing. The whole album is sung by the (American) Ralph Hunter Choir with some (wonderful) cutesy orchestrations. There are no soloists. Some of the numbers worked well — an unaccompanied "Ah, leave me not to pine" in four part harmony was a delight. "Tit Willow" in glee-club harmony was forgettable. "Modern Major-General" complete with xylophone was a hilarious predecessor to the Papp version.

The contents are as follows:

Side 1Side 2
  • "I am the monarch of the sea" / "When I was a lad" (Pinafore)
  • "I'm called Little Buttercup" (Pinafore)
  • "When I, good friends, was called to the bar" (Trial)
  • "Ah, leave me not to pine" (Pirates)
  • "Merrily ring the luncheon bell" (Ida)
  • "Tit-willow" (Mikado)
  • "I am the very model" (Pirates)
  • "I've got a little list" (Mikado)
  • "A wand'ring minstrel" (Mikado)
  • "Three little maids" (Mikado)
  • "I built upon a rock" (Ida)
  • "When the foeman bares his steel" (Pirates)
  • "A policeman's lot" (Pirates)
  • "Brightly dawns our wedding day" (Mikado)
  • "The flowers that bloom in the spring" (Mikado)
  • "Hail, Poetry" (Pirates)
  • "When I go out of door" (Patience)
Issue History
1960 RCA Victor Mono LP LPM-2116
Stereo LP LSP-2116
196-? RCA Camden Mono LP CAL-7018