For those of us who love classic musicals, there’s a thrill about what I like to call archaeology: finding things that hardly anyone knows about — even our friends who know a lot!
Here at Harbinger Records/The Musical Theater Project, we just released the 1975 Original Cast Recording of Philemon, written by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, the guys who gave us The Fantasticks and I Do! I Do!
I worked on this project on and off for a year. How come it took so long?
Well, although it’s an amazing piece about courage, spirituality and true freedom — and although it won the major Off Broadway awards that year — the cast album on LP was only sold at specialty stores in New York. And I doubt that more than 500 copies were pressed. I wore mine out 44 years ago!
So we had to track down a mint copy of the LP to work from, and along the way I’m happy to report that the negatives from the original photo shoot were unearthed. See what I mean about archaeology?
Now it’s finished — complete with a 24-page booklet and notes by Tom Jones himself, who says he thinks it’s the most interesting musical he and Harvey ever wrote.
I think he’s right about that. Here’s to the gifts that come from archaeological digs!