Sunday, May 31, 2015

Texas, Li'l Darlin' — feat. Kenny Delmar

Artist: Kenny Delmar w/ Mary Hatcher and Chorus
LP: Texas, Li'l Darlin' [10" EP]
Song: "Texas, Li'l Darlin'" 
[ listen ]
Song: "The Yodel Blues" 
[ listen ]

I just got back from Dallas, Texas! I was there for an AIRS conference related to my work, but I did manage to slip away for a few hours to explore the city and to see if I could track down some records. My first attempt involved walking 2½ miles round trip in the muggy Texas sunshine from the Dallas Sheraton to Shake Rag Music. I had unwisely remained in the dark blue velveteen pants, dress shoes, and long-sleeved dress shirt that I'd worn at the conference, and by the time I arrived at the store I was a sweaty Texan mess.

[ Shake Rag Music Store — Dallas, Texas ]

It looked like a neat store from the outside, with the exception of this discouraging sign stuck on the door:

I set out the following evening in a slightly different direction (and in slightly more comfortable clothing) to visit Lula B's, an antique mall in the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas that was rumored to have some vinyl. They did indeed have some records, including this terrific 1950 Broadway musical soundtrack 10" EP featuring eight songs from Texas, Li'l Darlin', a realistic portrayal of Lone Star state politics, where honesty, integrity, and old-fashioned American values triumph over corruption and deceit every time.

[ Lula B's — Dallas, Texas ]

Texas, Li'l Darlin' opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre in New York City on November 25, 1949 and closed on September 9th of the following year after 293 performances. I was excited to have stumbled upon a record that could double as a Texas souvenir, and when I got home I discovered that the show includes an upstanding primary lead character named Dallas, so that's even better! The show's song lyrics are by Johnny Mercer; the cast includes Kenny Delmar, Danny Scholl, Mary Hatcher, Fredd Wayne, and Loring Smith. You'll find brief cast bios along with the entire plot outline of Texas, Li'l Darlin' in the liner notes included below.
[ Kenny Delmar: September 5, 1910 — July 14, 1984 ]

[ Danny Scholl: July 2, 1921 — June 21, 1983 ]

[ Mary Hatcher: born June 6, 1929 ]

[ Fredd Wayne: born October 17, 1924 ]

[ Loring Smith: November 18, 1890 — July 8, 1981 ]

[ Texas Li'l Darlin' — Cast Photo ]

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