The Lass with the Delicate Air

by: Julie Andrews

Julie Andrews was only 22 when she released this, her debut solo album. But she already had an extensive résumé as an entertainer that included recordings dating back ten years; numerous appearances on the London stage; two Broadway musicals, The Boy Friend and My Fair Lady; and two American TV movie musicals, High Tor and Cinderella. She might have been expected to sing show tunes on her own LP, but instead she harked back to her British music hall days as a child and assembled a collection of English folk songs and art songs, tastefully arranged and conducted by Irwin Kostal. Noël Coward's patriotic World War II anthem "London Pride," only 16 years old, was the newest composition, and it set the tone of celebration of Andrews' heritage. There was no trace of the cockney accent of My Fair Lady's Eliza Doolittle, as Andrews negotiated typically English themes such as "As I Went A-Roaming" and "Tally-Ho!" Classical (Handel's Where'er You Walk) and Celtic ("O the Days of the Kerry Dancing") selections joined with a title song that harked back to the Elizabethan era and boasted a harpsichord along with the strings. No matter what Andrews sang, her lovely voice remained appealing. The Lass with the Delicate Air may not have been the most overtly commercial effort she could have made on her first LP, but it no doubt satisfied her old fans back in the U.K., and it demonstrated another side of her talent to her Broadway admirers. ~ William Ruhlmann­

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