A Child's Introduction to Gilbert and Sullivan (1959)

Mitch Miller directs
The Golden Orchestra and Chorus

Voices of
Michael Stewart, Ralph Nyland, Anne Lloyd, Robert Miller, Leonard Stokes, Percival Dove, Lois Winter, Audrey Marsh, Johanne Moreland, Carter Farriss, Marjorie Miller
Golden Records A198.11
Golden Records A198.11
Golden Records Album 9, MH 9908
Golden Records Album 9, MH 9908
Golden Records 2076
Golden Records 2076

This disc contains excerpts from some 31 G&S numbers, most of them abridged and performed as a series of medleys. J. Donald Smith reports that it's "a somewhat strange selection, but remember that this was done for young children. It does seem to work."

I agree with Don's assessment, with the only complaint that the singers make no attempt at English accents ("vase" in "If you want to know who we are" rhymed with "base"). Nevertheless, as an introduction to G&S, it ain't bad. If only G&S albums for children were still on the market!

Don also located a six-inch "unbreakable" 78rpm children's record including what appear to be two items from the above, "I'm Called Little Buttercup" and "We Sail the Ocean Blue." The record credits Anne Lloyd, The Sandpipers, and Mitchell Miller and Orchestra. The record jacket features two sailors dancing on a dock with H.M.S. Pinafore in the background. It is dated 1952, which suggests that the 1959 dating for the LP issues below is either wrong, or there are earlier issues I don't know about.

Bruce Miller added:

Don located a "Little Golden record," which is a familiar item from my childhood. Most, if not all, of the items on the lp were originally issued on Little Golden Records (made by Columbia as contractor for Bell Records and distributed through the Simon & Schuster Publishing Company), and recorded and released over a period of years — so the dates above are not wrong. The lp is a recycling of previously issued, or recorded, material.

Mitch Miller was the house conductor for Columbia during this period. The TV program "Sing Along With Mitch" used the Sandpipers as the on stage chorus — all the soloists were reliable studio union New York Singers. Some of the soloists you will recognize from Al Goodman and Coté.

The selections are as follows:

"We sail the ocean blue"
"I'm called little buttercup"
"My gallant crew … I am the captain"
"I'm the monarch of the sea"
"When I was a lad"
"Things are seldom what they seem"
"Nevermind the why and wherefore"
"Kind captain"
"Carefully on tiptoe stealing"
"He is an Englishman"
"Oh joy, oh rapture unforeseen" (Finale)
"Gentlemen of Japan"
"A wandering minstrel"
"Three little maids"
"Here's a howdy-do"
"My object all sublime"
"The criminal cried"
"The flowers that bloom in Spring"
"Beauty in the bellow of the blast"
"For he's gone and married Yum-Yum" (finale)
Pirates of Penzance:
"When Frederic was a little lad"
"Pirate king"
"Poor wandering one"
"I am the very model"
"When the foeman bares his steel"
"A paradox" [sic]
"A policeman's lot"
"Poor wandering one" (Finale)
Issue History
1952 Little Golden Records 6" 78RPM R92 See discussion above
195/6-? A.A.Records Mono LP LP 11 a/b Mitch Miller credited, but not soloists
1959 Golden Records Mono LP GLP-11
Includes full credits, as above
196-? Golden Records Mono LP Album 9, MH 9908 Titled "The Best of Gilbert and Sullivan." Neither Mitch Miller nor soloists credited.
196-? Golden Records Mono LP LP-142 Mitch Miller credited, but not soloists
196-? Golden Records 45rpm EP EP 751 This catalogue number is listed as previously issued on the cover of #2076, below.
196-? Golden Records 45rpm EP 2076 Titled "Gilbert & Sullivan: | The Mikado | H.M.S. Pinafore | The Pirates of Penzance." Credits to Mitch Miller, The Sandpiper Chorus and Orchestra, but not to soloists.

Contents: "We sail the ocean blue," "Captain of the Pinafore," "I am a Pirate King," "When the foeman bares his steel," "We are the gentlemen from Japan," and "Tit willow" [all sic].
196-? Golden Records Mono LP LP-142 Mitch Miller credited, but not soloists