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The true story of Broadway's legendary composer, Jerome Kern is brought to life by a dazzling array of stars performing his best songs in lavish production numbers! The ground-breaking Broadway smash hit of 1927, Showboat, was much more than a triumphant achievement in Jerome Kern's rising career. It marked the dawn of a new age in stage musicals. American audiences had outgrown the sentimental British-based musical revues that had prevailed since the turn of the century. The brilliant Showboat songbook that Kern created with Oscar Hammerstein II gave birth to a more mature, sophisticated form of musical theater. After conquering Broadway, Kern moved on to Hollywood in the mid-thirties, and for the next ten years continued to produce a seemingly endless parade of beautiful melodies. In 1945, at the age of 60, while assisting in the production of Till The Clouds Roll By, Kern died of a stroke, and the film tribute took on the form of an extended musical eulogy to a beloved artistic genius. Opening with a bouquet of songs from Kern's masterpiece, Showboat, and closing with a heavenly reprise of "Ol' Man River" sung by a young Frank Sinatra, Till The Clouds Roll By features a cavalcade of MGM stars performing over a dozen numbers from Kern's vast repertoire. Judy Garland, fresh from her honeymoon with Vincent Minnelli, appears as Broadway star, Marilyn Miller, and shines in two song & dance sequences directed by her adoring new husband. Van Johnson dances, Lena Horne sings, and Angela Lansbury vamps - just a few of the highlights in this fascinating sampler of the best of Jerome Kern.

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ALP5203 Till the Clouds Roll By DVD (1946/Frank Sinatra/Judy Garland) $5.99