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Harvey Schmidt Plays Jones and Schmidt

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Album Review

You might wonder about the mighty squeaky piano bench heard from time to time on this release, but the whole thing is about nostalgia, and the bench actually fits in with the overall concept. The piano used is the same one that Harvey Schmidt bought with some of the proceeds from his hit musical the Fantasticks; he's had it ever since, bringing it with him when he returned to his home state of Texas in retirement, and he said, "I'm totally comfortable with it, like an old dancing partner." That sets the tone for this collection of piano renditions by the 75-year-old Schmidt, beginning with his biggest hit of all, "Try to Remember," from the Fantasticks. That tune and most of the others are given a light jazz twist, and the album both attests to Schmidt's stature as a melodist and shows how little syncopation there was originally in some of Schmidt's best-known songs. The chief attraction of the album, however, may be the booklet, in which Schmidt offers detailed recollections about the music, most of which would be hard to find anywhere else. Sometimes Schmidt is thought of as a kind of one-hit wonder, but he and lyricist Tom Jones enjoyed several other reasonable successes in the 1960s and 1970s, and most of the selections do not come from the Fantasticks. An enjoyable souvenir for musical theater buffs, especially Fantasticks fans.~James Manheim, Rovi

Biography

Born: September 12, 1929 in Dallas, TX

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

In partnership with lyricist Tom Jones, Harvey Schmidt has written a half-dozen stage works that are respected and which have even achieved success. But it is their most enduring theatrical work together, The Fantasticks, for which Schmidt and Jones will be known as long as there are singers and audiences capable of embracing songs like "Try to Remember," "Much More," "Soon It's Gonna Rain," and "They Were You." For 40 years and counting, performers ranging from...
Full Bio
Harvey Schmidt Plays Jones and Schmidt, Harvey Schmidt
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