I have already posted a cover for a record that has music from Gigi and from My Fair Lady. Here are four more similar records – music from Gigi and one to three other shows. The one for Gigi/The Music Man is a ridiculous combination, but anything to make a buck goes. The others are at least themed around Lerner and Loewe. Gigi is a selling point for each of these records, perhaps aimed at people who already had the original soundtrack.
The second Jazz version. Andre Previn and Shelly Manne scored big with a jazz My Fair Lady, and proceeded to try the same trick a bunch more times in the next 5 years. I showed their Gigi in the last post. Here, a minor label gets Hank Jones to do the same thing. It is a tolerably good record, marred by the fact that most of the songs in Gigi aren’t so wonderful.
It wasn’t just bargain labels that cashed in on whatever was possible. Here are RCA and Columbia, the two giants, and some other good quality companies recording the songs from Gigi in various formats to make a buck. One of these is the original cast from the attempt to turn Gigi into a stage show, in 1973. That is the only dedicated Gigi that does not date back to within 5 years of the movie’s release. Jazz versions, a French version, and a schlock organ version. Is there a schlock organ version of the songs from Mama Mia? I doubt it.
Popular music in the 1950s was different from what it is today. Gigi came out on the original soundtrack. Other people recorded the entire show, either as an imitation of the soundtrack, or in a different language, or in a different genre like easy listening or jazz. Still other companies used highlights of Gigi combined with other shows. And finally, one of the best known songs from Gigi, typically the song “Gigi” or “Thank Heavens for Little Girls” made its way onto an album of, say, movie songs, in one genre or another. This same process happened to every broadway show and every movie soundtrack that was popular. I don’t think it happens anymore.
Here I show a budget label’s combination of Gigi with My Fair Lady. The cover works for either, I think. Bravo and Grand Prix are obviously the same company.
Remington was one of the best budget labels. I have posted some of their covers before – Steinweiss and Curt John Witt designs. Poorly printed (as Steinweiss pointed out to me the one time I talked to him) but good cover designs. Often pretty good music, too. I did not even realize they were still using the name Remington in 1958 or 1959, when these came out. Mostly, they had morphed into Masterseal. Masterseal covers were gaudy photographs that looked like imitation Steinweiss. This one is no exception. I show here the Remington version, the Masterseal monophonic version with two different backs, and the Masterseal stereo version with a sticker to identify stereo. I like the layout. Cheap labels used the same music over and over in different formats, anything to make a buck. Much like big labels.
Another budget label, overlooked by me in the last post. Terrible cover, in my opinion.
At the time that the soundtrack to Gigi was released, there were many record companies that would cash in on anything that they thought could make money. Here are the Gigi releases of a few of them. Note how they generally did their best to imitate the graphics of the original. The one on Tops is particularly egregious about that.