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FSM is digging deep into the stereophonic vaults at 20th Century Fox and there is no better place to start than the first CinemaScope feature to be shot (and second to be released), the 1953 widescreen comedy How to Marry a Millionaire, starring Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable as glamorous New York models in search of rich husbands.
In order to introduce CinemaScope's wide image and stereophonic sound, Alfred Newman conducted the tuxedo-clad Fox orchestra on-screen in a 5:36 suite from his 1931 score to Street Scene—the quintessential New York movie tune. This prologue stands as a monumental tribute to Newman's stature at Fox and in Hollywood—that a studio would choose to introduce its new technology in such a fashion. We have remixed and remastered Newman's recording of "Street Scene" from the original six-track magnetic film stems for the best possible sound.
For the body of How to Marry a Millionaire, the lion's share of scoring duties fell to Fox workhorse Cyril Mockridge, a veteran composer and arranger responsible for many of the most memorable renditions of Alfred Newman's themes. Millionaire was in many ways treated as an "instrumental musical" by Newman, Mockridge and the rest of the Fox staff, comprised of indelible arrangements of pop standards of the day ("How About You," "You'll Never Know," "I've Got a Feelin' You're Fooling" and many more) with connective tissue by Mockridge. The main title, "New York," was a pre-existing song by Lionel Newman and Ken Darby, and Alfred Newman contributed an original theme for the character of Hanley, played by William Powell.
This CD of How to Marry a Millionaire features the complete music recorded for the film in stereo including source music and unused cues. The booklet contains complete breakdowns of the songwriters represented and the orchestrators and arrangers utilized: Edward Powell, Bernard Mayers, Alexander Courage, Leo Arnaud and the legendary Nelson Riddle, who contributed several big band charts. Overall the CD is an irresistible, indelible representation of the period's popular music, of Hollywood's colorful glamour, and of the peerless playing by the Fox orchestra under Alfred Newman.