Back to index of music pages by Donald Sauter.

Playboy goes to the opera!

Introductory comments.
Conventions and Abbreviations used.
Non-opera opera references.
Loose ends.
1953 DEC

*** There was no "March 1955" issue.


Here are all of the opera references I could dig out of the first ten years of Playboy magazine. Actually, it's ten years plus a few extra months to bring it up to May 1964 - the issue that had the first Beatle mention, and which kicked off that search. Take a look at my Beatles in Yobyalp page. The introductory comments there are more or less applicable - except that the earlier issues examined here border even more closely on the modern day G rating. (My unidentified friend who owns the collection tells me he saw a tv show that made this point by showing playmate foldouts from the 1950s.) This, of course, is more of a comment on changing times, and does not necessarily make your obliging compiler - who believes there are appropriate times and places for everything - happy.

The main reason for doing this - the big significance - is nothing more than to have a glimpse at opera's incursion into a world with no particular opera connections. Anyhow, I got a little kick out of finding each opera mention, and I hope all the fun hasn't drained out by serving them up like this on a silver platter. You'll see that they manage to pop up in the most unexpected places. Virtually every department of the magazine yielded some somewhere along the line.

What counts as an opera reference? Along with grand opera, I lump in European and American operetta as "opera" - no need to split hairs. Also, any appearance of the word itself, as in "soap opera" or "horse opera". Fortunately, there was no regular mention or discussion of the soaps - else I would have been forced to implement stricter guidelines. ("Opera-" when appearing as the first part of a divided word, such as "opera-
tive", did not count, ha ha.) I scanned the pages biologically, and certainly missed some opera references. I'd be pleased to death if somebody would check me out on this. I couldn't face the Jules Feiffer cartoons, but I doubt they were an opera goldmine, anyhow.

If an aria was mentioned without the opera it came from, or an opera was mentioned without its composer, I added this information in a "comment". This is not meant to insult anybody's intelligence, but rather to add a certain completeness and scholarliness and to snag web searches on opera titles and composers. I am not too familiar with American operetta, and so may not have recognized all the song titles which come from that genre. I doubt anyone would be overly concerned about that, but I suspect I did a pretty fair job, anyway, with the help of David Ewen's book, "Popular American Composers". For quick answers to my own questions on "real" opera, I generally grabbed Rosenthal and Warrack's "The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Opera". In the quoted material, I left opera titles and the spelling of composers' names as given in the magazine, but in my own comments I generally used the standardizations given in "Opera, a research and information guide" by Guy A. Marco.

For artists who are primarily associated with opera, such as Caruso or Jan Peerce, I included mentions even when not specifically opera related. Thus, you get Caruso's favorite pizza and Jan Peerce's album of Broadway hits. On the other hand, for artists with some opera connections but not primarily associated with it, such as George Gershwin or Mario Lanza, only the specifically opera-related mentions were collected.

Rather than plowing through the extracts from beginning to end, it might be fun to use various magazine departments as "threads." For example, you might go through the page searching on the word "Fiction" to find all the opera references extracted from short stories. Here's a list of the Playboy departments in which opera references appeared more than once or twice:

Playboy After Hours (reviews of records, movies, etc.)
Playmate of the Month
On the town

If the advertising bugs you, just skip right over it.

In March 1959 Playboy initiated a small feature devoted to reviews of opera records. They called it "Through the opera glass". The fifth and final "Through the opera glass" appeared in June 1961, and there was only one opera album reviewed after that point. In fact, the years 1958 through 1961 represented a sort of "golden age" for opera in Playboy. In each of those years, an opera mention popped up about every 24 pages. In each of the years before and after that period, opera mentions popped up about once every 44 pages. It would be interesting to determine how significant this statistic is. (The effect cannot be blamed on an overdose of Porgy and Bess and Mack the Knife in those years; the results are about the same if we ignore those mentions completely.) Would we observe the same effect in other magazines, and the media in general, throughout that period? If so, why?

If you find an opera mention you think is particularly neat, let me know. Perhaps I will generate an index of "favorites" to save everybody the trouble of slogging through all 400 kilobytes.

Contact Donald Sauter: send an email; view guestbook; sign guestbook.
Back to Donald Sauter's main page.

Conventions and Abbreviations

All of the excerpts are directly quoted from the magazine. My comments are clearly labeled as such.

Since we're coming at this from an opera point of view, I've shown Opera Names in bold-face, at least the first time it appears within each magazine item.

I italicized Aria Names in my own comments. This follows Playboy's own convention of italicizing titles of all kinds in its articles. The advertisers didn't follow any conventions, of course, and I didn't think it was necessary to mimic precisely their line breaks, use of upper- and lower-case, bold-face, italics, capitalization (or lack thereof), and punctuation (generally, the lack of), and certainly not font size or type. But I give you a good taste of it.

I've made very little use of abbreviations, figuring they cause as many problems as they solve. Thus, I spell month names and "page" out in full. In some cases, mainly in this introduction, I use a shorthand of the form "Oct60p34" to indicate month, year and page number of a magazine item.

b&w = "black and white"

... = text deleted by me.

. . . = three dots ("dot dot dot") appearing in the original magazine text.

"Non-opera" opera references

Some characters, stories and other entities bring opera to mind even though the passages in which they appeared were not about opera. The ones in the following list received a more or less substantial treatment or retelling of the story: "The Tales of Hoffman" (Oct55p37); Nero (Jan56p20); Candide (Bernstein show later reworked as an opera, Jan56p25 and Mar56p21); Bluebeard (Aug57p62); Delilah and Salome (Jan63p117); Salome and her belly dance (May63p80); Cinderella spoof (Oct63p107); can-can (Oct63p88). (Offenbach didn't invent the cancan, of course, but it seems to me that it always gets danced to the Galop Infernal from his Orphee aux Enfers.)

The entities in the following list also bring opera to mind, but received very brief, insubstantial or passing mentions. Many of these appeared multiple, if not numerous, times. I haven't supplied the issue dates and page numbers figuring nobody in his right mind could possibly care about seeing them. Here's a list: Le Figaro (French magazine); Figaro (Greenwich Village cafe); Rienzi (Greenwich Village cafe); Carmen Jones; carmen (Latin for "song", and came to mean "magic incantation"; from which we get "charm"); Don Juan; Faust; Orpheus (Black Orpheus, Orpheus Descending, Stravinsky's ballet, etc.); Werther; Medea; Othello (only Shakespeare play I counted as opera-invocative); Poppaea; Bluebeard; Lucrezia Borgia; William Tell; Pelleas and Melisande; Eugene Onegin; Dido and Aeneas; the Mikado; Prince Igor (clothes brand); "poets from the peasants" (von Suppe reference?); John McCormack; Sadler's Wells Ballet; Grand Ole Opry; Bel Canto (record company); cancan/can-can/Can-Can/can can (dance, show, movie, record albums...)

Who knows, maybe Prince Igor shirts were named by somebody humming Borodin?

Loose Ends

I've treated Gaite Parisienne as if it were an operetta, even though it's a ballet, since the music was all taken from Offenbach's operettas and his opera Les Contes d'Hoffmann. The melodies were selected and orchestrated by Manuel Rosenthal. Here are some of the Offenbach operettas which provided material for Gaite Parisienne (I've never seen a complete rundown): La Vie Parisienne; Orphee aux Enfers; La Belle Helene; Le Voyage dans de la Lune; La Perichole; Vert-Vert; Tromb al Cazar.

A few works that were mentioned that are somewhat opera-like in that they are large, seriously composed, and tell a story with the voice are: Schoenberg's "Pierrot Lunaire" (a "melodrama"; Jun63p48), and Stravinsky's "The Soldier's Tale" (a "Faust-like story"; Oct61p151). I think I may have forgone noting a mention or two of Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf", which would fit this "opera-like" definition.

In the November 1960 issue, page 18, we learn in a review of a book about drinking that the word "booze" comes from the Abyssinian brew "bouza". So that explains the spelling in the sailor song in Purcell's Dido and Aeneus: "Take a bouzy short leave of your nymphs on the shore." Neat.

The article "Meeting at the summit" (Jun60p37) shows Frank Sinatra beating a bass drum which says "Eat At Puccini." The text tells us that Puccini's is Sinatra's restaurant, or "beanery." I could not determine if the restaurant name relates to the opera composer.

There's a cartoon by Vargas (Feb64p122) in which the girl says, "If there's anything I love as much as wearing toreador pants, it's hearing them." I doubt that that's a Toreador Song reference, but, since I don't get it, I can't be sure.

Sorry about the overload of Porgy and Bess references. At first I thought it was kind of funny, in a nice way, how this one, very-much-off-the-beaten-path American opera would appear so important to a Martian musicologist getting his information from the most important men's entertainment magazine of Earth's 20th century. Then I began to get fed up documenting every little mention of Summertime and almost determined to provide just a list of issue and page numbers for them.

I went through the same ordeal with Threepenny Opera/Mack the Knife references. Just as I was praying for Porgy to fade away, here comes old Mackie back in town. In the end, I worked up full-blown entries for all of the Porgy and Threepenny references, figuring you can skip over anything you want to.

*** DECEMBER 1953 ***

Jazz: The Dorsey Brothers

Going their separate ways, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey had two of the biggest bands of the big band era; together again, they may bring that era back

Playboy: December 1953, page 30
Writer: Arthur Silver
Comment: This first issue of Playboy nowhere indicates a month, but is later referred to as "December 1953". Song of India is from Sadko, by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

Green Eyes brought down the house... The little man in front of the orchestra was Jimmy Dorsey and these were the wonderful numbers that had made him famous.

One might have expected more JD standards in the next set, but the band opened up with I'll Never Smile Again, then turned their brass loose on Song of India and Marie. There was another fellow up front now, blowing a familiar, sentimental horn, and even the squares who'd wandered into the ballroom without reading the signs outside could guess that Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey were playing together again, though they might not have known it was the first time in eighteen years...

[page 31] Jimmy featured a "Contrasts in Music" style and vocalists Bob Eberly and Helen O'Connell doing numbers like Tangerine, Amapola, and Green Eyes.

Tommy offered star instrumentalists Ziggy Elman, Bunny Berigan, Buddy Rich... and vocalists Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford... playing and singing pop classics like Boogie Woogie, Stardust, Song of India... Jimmy Dorsey sold 40 million records; Tommy Dorsey, 70 million.

*** JANUARY 1954 ***

Fiction: A Scandal in Bohemia

a famous adventure of the world's most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes

Playboy: January 1954, page 28
Writer: Arthur Conan Doyle

[The King of Bohemia said] "Some five years ago, during a lengthy visit to Warsaw, I made the acquaintance of the well-known adventuress, Irene Adler. The name is no doubt familiar to you"

"Kindly look her up in my index, Doctor [Watson]," murmured Holmes without opening his eyes. For many years he had adopted a system of docketing all paragraphs concerning men and things, so that it was difficult to name a subject or person on which he could not at once furnish information...

"Let me see!" said Holmes. "Hum! Born in New Jersey in the year 1858. Contralto - hum! La Scala, hum! Prima donna Imperial Opera of Warsaw - Yes! Retired from operatic stage - ha! Living in London - quite so! Your Majesty, as I understand, became entangled with this young person, wrote her some compromising letters, and is now desirous of getting them back"...

[page 44] "And what of Irene Adler?" I asked [Holmes].

"Oh she has turned all the men's heads down in that part... She lives quietly, sings at concerts, drives out at five every day, and returns at seven sharp for dinner. Seldom goes out at other times, except when she sings. Has only one male visitor, but a good deal of him"...

[page 49] My Dear Mr. Sherlock Holmes,
   You really did it very well... But, you know, I have been trained as an actress myself. Male costume is nothing new to me. I often take advantage of the freedom it gives...
   Well, I followed you to your door, and so made sure that I was really an object of interest to the celebrated Mr. Sherlock Holmes. Then I, rather imprudently, wished you good night and started for the Temple to see my husband...
   Very truly yours,
   Irene Norton,
nee Adler

And that was how... the best plans of Mr. Sherlock Holmes were beaten by a woman's wit. He used to make merry over the cleverness of women, but I have not heard him do it of late. And when he speaks of Irene Adler... it is always with the honourable title of the woman.

*** APRIL 1954 ***

Humor: The body beautiful

America's bust, belly & behind expert gives us the lowdown on the false bosoms, padded gams and rubber feet that the unsuspecting guy often mistakes for . . . [the body beautiful]

Playboy: April 1954, page 37
Writer: Earl Wilson

I went out to 827 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, and saw the leg-pad man, Mr. William Osborn, a lean, kindly man...

He manufactures "symmetricals," which are padded fill-ins for women who want to make their legs look sexier, although primarily these are made for spindly legged Metropolitan Opera stars and Shakespearian actors who have to wear tights... and also for mere average men who are vain and want to look sturdier.

*** MAY 1954 ***

Contents: Playbill

Playboy: May 1954, page 4

This issue includes the last installation of Ray Bradbury's novel, "Fahrenheit 451." Ray writes, "I thought I was describing a world that might evolve in four or five decades. But only a few weeks ago, in Beverly Hills one night, a husband and a wife passed me, walking their dog. I stood staring after them, absolutely stunned. The woman held in one hand a small cigarette-package-sized radio, its antenna quivering. From this sprang tiny copper wires which ended in a dainty cone plugged into her right ear. There she was, oblivious to man and dog, listening to far winds and whispers and soap-opera cries, sleep-walking, helped up and down curbs by a husband who might as well not have been there. This was not fiction. This was a new fact in our changing society. As you can see, I must start writing very fast indeed about our future world in order to stand still."

*** AUGUST 1954 ***

Jazz: Red lights and hot music

New Orlean's Storyville produced more than 4,000 "career prostitutes" and a strange new music called "jass"

Playboy: August 1954, page 10
Writer: James H. Lavely

Another well-known, if unusual, group was the Spasm White Band, made up of eight youngsters and led by Harry Gregson. He carried the melody while the rest of the boys, coaxing music from such instruments as a homemade cigar-box fiddle and cowbell, decorated his central theme with wild, extemporaneous flourishes. The Spasm Band was active in Storyville for a dozen years, playing on street corners and in the whorehouses, and passing the hat after each performance. The sounds produced by the group may not have amounted to much in the way of music, but they were exciting and rhythmic, and the antics of the boys were certainly engaging. They became so popular that, in 1906, they played a couple of engagements at the New Orleans Grand Opera House, billed as Harry Gregson's Razzy Dazzy Spasm Band.

*** SEPTEMBER 1954 ***

Personality: lo-llo-brig-i-da

a form of Italian cheesecake

Playboy: September 1954, page 37
Comment: Can Playboy's syllable divisions possibly be right? In Italian, both letters of a double-letter pair are pronounced. And I'd've guessed that the "gi" hang together. Pagliacci is by Ruggero Leoncavallo.

"I was walking down the street minding my own business when this man came up to me and said he wanted to put me in movies. I got very angry and told him that line stopped working years ago."

The man in this case was Mario Costa, a top Italian film director, and the girl who tells the story is an appetizing morsel with a name even Italians have trouble pronouncing: Gina Lollobrigida.

Costa gave her a feature role in a film version of Pagliacci. At once, lollo and brigida became Italian synonyms for the left and right female mammae, respectively.

*** OCTOBER 1954 ***

Satire: Hollywood and the gladiators

Excited by the current rash of Roman films, Playboy has decided to produce one of its own

Playboy: October 1954, page 20
Writer: Ray Russell
Comment: The Polovtsian Dances are from Prince Igor by Aleksandr Borodin.

FAST DISSOLVE as the musical score invites our undivided attention. This music, written especially for the film, is an original composition pleasantly reminiscent of the Roman Carnival Overture, Entry of the Gladiators, The Fountains of Rome and, oddly, The Polovetzian Dances. It will soon be available on an LP disc.

DISSOLVE IN: A longshot of the great arena. Cast of thousands...

*** DECEMBER 1954 ***

Humor: Limericks

a brace of racy rhymes

Playboy: December 1954, page 10

A deep baritone from Havana
While singing slipped on a banana.
   He was ill for a year,
   Then resumed his career
As a promising lyric soprano!

*** JANUARY 1955 ***

Fashion: The well dressed playboy

Playboy's position on proper male attire

Playboy: January 1955, page 39
Writer: Jack K. Kessie

Although style changes in the men's fashion world are neither as dramatic nor as frequent as those enjoyed by the female, proper masculine dress can become a very confusing matter. If a man is concerned with how he looks, and he should be, he may find himself caught up in a perplexing phantasmagoria of color combinations, patterns, styles, designs, fabrics and cuts. Perhaps he recalls the words of Patrice Munsel, edible young Metropolitan Opera soprano, who claims that, "eight out of ten men are boring to look at," and it's quite possible that odds like those run against him.

But, assuming our man is not totally color blind... [and] earns more than $60 a week... there's no reason why he can't look as tastefully attired as that fellow who sells Schweppes. To accomplish this, there are certain basic concepts about clothing with which he should be familiar. Once mastered, they are as dependable as his favorite bartender, and just as well-calculated to make Miss Munsel, and others of her species, sing with delight.

*** FEBRUARY 1955 ***

Theatre: Broadway's Turkish delight

Josh Logan's "Fanny" gets an exciting assist from Nejla Ates'

Playboy: February 1955, page 11
Comment: Ezio Pinza was the principal bass for the Metropolitan Opera for over 20 years.

There are a number of very good reasons why Fanny is the big musical hit of the Broadway season. It... tells the story of a Marseilles waterfront girl whose lover goes off to sea in search of adventure... It is a warm, poignant story with some fine Harold Rome songs, the excellent voice and acting of Ezio Pinza as the father of the young man who goes off to sea... In addition to all this, there's a show-stopping dance by hip-swinging, Turkish Nejla Ates that makes the young hero long for exotic lands and the life of a sailor.

Personality: Red beans and ricely yours

the story of Satchmo

Playboy: February 1955, page 51
Writer: Charles Beaumont
Comment: Flight of the Bumble Bee is from Skazka o Tsare Saltane (The Tale of Tsar Sultan) by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

Like life itself, you can analyze a man like Louis [Armstrong], break him down into chemical components, describe his technique, show how it all operates - and never say what it is that makes him Great. Is he the world's finest trumpeter because he can hold a high C for a greater length of time than anyone else? ... Is it because he is said to have the strictest sense of melody in the musical world? No... Lots of people do trickier things with a horn. Could Louis play Flight of the Bumble Bee or Hot Canary as fast as Mr. Kenton's former star? Probably not. Yet the trumpeters of other bands are the first to admit that they're not even in the same league. Louis has always been the favorite of musicians...

(There was no March 1955 issue of Playboy.)

*** MAY 1955 ***

Advertisement: Music Treasures of the World

Playboy: May 1955, page 51
Comment: Ad features 1 album, pictured in b&w.

So that you may hear the true miracle of these low-cost high-fidelity recordings we offer
YOURS for only 10 CENTS
this 12-INCH long-playing (33 1/3 rpm) HIGH FIDELITY recording of BEETHOVEN'S 5th Symphony...

An exciting new way for your entire family to learn to enjoy truly great music - and to own the best-loved symphonies, concertos, operas, musical comedies - AT HALF THE USUAL COST!

*** JULY 1955 ***

Entertainment: The old dope peddler

Tom Lehrer is the master of the hollow laugh

Playboy: July 1955, page 34
Writer: Rolf Malcolm
Comment: Rudolf Friml is best known (I believe) for his popular operettas, including The Firefly and Rose-Marie.

For the tender sensibilites of the tv audience, Lehrer confined himself to amusing but relatively innocent stuff, like his disgustingly gemu"tlich bit of pseudo-Strauss, The Wiener Schnitzel Waltz ("Your lips were like wine, if you'll pardon the simile; The music was lovely and quite Rudolf Frimly.")

*** SEPTEMBER 1955 ***

Food: Audacious Italian dishes

and we don't mean Mangano or Lollobrigida

Playboy: September 1955, page 52
Writer: Thomas Mario
Comment: Pagliacci is by Ruggiero Leoncavallo.

Even when liquor is combined with food, it takes a happy turn. Taste the Zuppa Inglese. It's a layer cake particularly liked in Rome. The light sponge cake is doused with rum, a luscious custard is spread between the layers and then the whole cake is finished with whipped cream spread on the top and sides. It's not gourmet's eating. And yet it has a heavenly richness, a harmony as delicious as a Donizetti duet...

For the young fellow exploring Italian cookery in the United States there is only one man-trap - a certain hackneyed type of Italian restaurant. It's the kind of eatery you'll hardly ever find in Italy... Watch out for that fiddle player above everything else... If you make the mistake of smiling at him, he'll bow so deeply the scroll of his fiddle will dip right into the spaghetti sauce.

Get familiar with him and he'll drop the fiddle, clear his throat and begin to bleat a hunk of Pagliacci... Even the dishwashing machine will be drowned out by his grandiose throating.

While you're facing the music, you'll be served the inevitable minestrone soup made once a week... completely lacking the genuine bean flavor that should dominate this wonderful soup...

*** OCTOBER 1955 ***

Pictorial: 2 playmates for the price of one

Hal Adams shoots Miss October twice

Playboy: October 1955, page 29
Comment: The Miss Rheingold beauty contest was a publicity stunt for Rheingold Beer. The beer was supposedly given its name by a Metropolitan Opera conductor; thus, the connection with Das Rheingold by Richard Wagner.

To make the choosing difficult, [Hal Adams] used lovely Jean Moorehead and Johnnie Nicely as models. Jean was runner-up in last year's Miss Rheingold contest.

Fiction: The Taming of the Rake

a tragedy in five acts, namely: Doris, Blossom, Louise Veronica and Ann

Playboy: October 1955, page 62
Writer: Anson Mount
Comment: Wagner is Richard Wagner.

I casually suggested she come up to my apartment to listen to my records, she gave the appearance of wrestling with the idea for a moment and then agreed. But nothing could have surprised me more than to see her make a dash for my record collection when we got up to my place... She selected a Strauss tone-poem and a Mozart concerto...

We talked of music and books and poems for a couple of hours, she with wide-eyed delight and me with astonishment that she knew and understood such values as Wagner and Wordsworth, Berlioz and Housman.

How do you like that , Buz? I run across a girl in a notorious breeding pen like Bughouse Square, pick her up in forty seconds flat, take her up to my apartment, and - what happens?...

*** NOVEMBER 1955 ***

Playboy After Hours: records

Playboy: November 1955, page 8
Comment: This is the first appearance of the Playboy After Hours department. Porgy is presumably I Loves You, Porgy from Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin.

We'd like to mention three other vocal albums here that have been out a little while, but are worth a listen: "Voices in Modern" (Capitol) with the Four Freshman, "Chet Baker Sings and Plays" (Pacific Jazz) and "Lover Man" (Decca) by Billie Holiday...

We don't imagine we have to say very much about Billie Holiday. Along with the title tune, "Lover Man" includes Porgy, That Ole Devil Called Love and You're My Thrill. This is Billie at her best and most benign.

Pictorial: Gina defends her honor

Like other screen beauties before her, she's grown too prig for her breeches

Playboy: November 1955, page 19
Comment: La donna e mobile is from Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi.

In the film [The Most Beautiful Woman in the World], Gina [Lollabrigida] plays a turn-of-the-century prima donna who is insulted by a rival singer. The two hot canaries do a little hair-pulling and finally meet on the field of honor, complete with rapiers, seconds, and other paraphenalia, prepared to perform a bit of spirited surgery on each other...

None of this is new, of course... Joan Crawford, Myrna Loy, Claudette Colbert and a number of other Hollywood notables appeared in near-nude pictures in their starlet days, but shunned the revealing once they were established...

[page 57] What does all this prove? Probably nothing more than the old bromide, la donna e mobile - females are fickle. But we've known that for a long time.

Pictorial: Meet Barbara Cameron

Miss November turns up in a hi-fi shop

Playboy: November 1955, page 30
Comment: Miss November is shown in her store holding a record album. The only legible print on the cover is "Licia Albanese". The soprano's name appears in the bottom right corner of the album cover. Licia's name is almost certainly balanced by one to its left, but the photo cuts off that corner of the album cover. The cover art shows a guitar and other figures that are hard to identify. One looks something like a nutcracker-type toy soldier. Can anyone identify the album?

*** DECEMBER 1955 ***

Playboy After Hours: dining-drinking

Playboy: December 1955, page 5
Comment: Rossini is Gioacchino Rossini.

The Roma in New York City (3rd Ave., between 46th and 47th) is barely the size of two commemorative stamps laid end to end, but there's still room enough for "Mr. Paul" Christi to hustle heavenly spaghetti and linguine in white clam sauce over to your table. Music floats in over a beat-up radio that... plays nothing but Rossini...

Playboy After Hours: books

Playboy: December 1955, page 6

For Christmas and New Year's celebrants, the season would be dull indeed without... at least one copy of The Abe Burrows Songbook... You will find both words and easy-to-ruin music to such light-headed Burrows ballads as The Girl with the Three Blue Eyes, I May Be Sick and The Duke of Dittendorten, this last a memorable Operetta-type Operetta...

Fiction: The Next in Line

The name on the skull was Marie

Playboy: December 1955, page 15
Writer: Ray Bradbury

It was a little caricature of a town square... The whole, from your hotel window, had the fresh ingratiation and unbelievable fantasy one might expect of a French village in the nineties. But no, this was Mexico! and this a plaza in a small colonial Mexican town, with a fine State Opera House (in which movies were shown for two pesos admission: Rasputin and the Empress, The Big House, Madame Curie, Love Affair, Mama Loves Papa).

Food: Gourmet gifts for Christmas

You'll have her eating out of your hand

Playboy: December 1955, page 21
Writer: Thomas Mario
Comment: Peach Melba (and Melba toast) are named for Nellie Melba. Is that a sneaky little Robert le Diable (by Giacomo Meyerbeer) reference in the other two sauce names?

The only part of thyself that need go into a gift is some thoughtfulness... the small intimation to a girl that someone cares for her likes and dislikes... A heart of rock can be melted with a modest jar of, let us say, Melba Sauce. Each sauce sells for about a dollar a bottle.

[page 59] If your young lady happens to like sauces, there is nothing better than chef Escoffier's famous sauces... These are the Diable Sauce, Robert Sauce and Melba Sauce. The first two will enhance hot fresh sauces or may be eaten as is with game, poultry, meat or fish. The Melba Sauce is the original one used for Escoffier's peach melba.

Pictorial: Burlesque in Tokyo

Madame Butterfly has left her cocoon

Playboy: December 1955, page 41
Comment: That's it, but that counts, right?

Personality: The magic lady

Not to have heard Mabel Mercer is to be a little poor in life

Playboy: December 1955, page 60
Writer: Victor Lownes III

A remarkable tribute was paid to Mabel by an exponent of quite a different field of music. Gian-Carlos Menotti, the operatic composer, guaranteed Mabel a measure of immortality by making a Mercer recording an essential prop for his opera, The Consul. Her wonderful voice gives vent to a light French ballad from off-stage at the opening of Act I. No matter where in the world The Consul is performed, Mabel Mercer is, in effect, always part of the cast. This peculiar sort of ubiquity gives rise to letters from fans saying things like, "Heard you at La Scala last night. You were wonderful."

*** JANUARY 1956 ***

Attire: Formal wear

To pomp and circumstance, add comfort

Playboy: January 1956, page 24
Writer: Jack J. Kessie

We can think of few affairs, no matter how gala, at which tails and white tie are absolutely mandatory, but if you insist on dressing to the nines, you'll want your tailcoat and trousers in black, with silk or satin facings on the lapels. Underneath, you'll have to wear a deep V-front white pique waistcoat; under that a white pique starched-front shirt with bold wing collar; a white pique bow tie is also necessary, as are black patent leather evening shoes. Atop the dome, you'll want a high silk hat and, what the hell, around your shoulders, an opera cape. A natty walking stick completes the sartorially splendid fellow that you are.

(Those of you who don't take nourishment at El Morocco or attend the opening of the Met too often will be happy to know that it's possible to rent a complete, correct dinner suit or tailcoat, with all the accoutrements, from the Chicago firm of Gingiss Brothers... Grotesque sizes are no problem.)

Fiction: Love, the Healer

wherein a rather drastic cure is found for the afflictions of the male animal

Playboy: January 1956, page 50
Writer: Herbert Gold

She finally consented to sneak out of the party and have spaghetti with me... She probably imagined some romantic Village restaurant, red-checked tablecloths and Italian opera on the jukebox, but I took her to Bickford's on the next block. This was only because love for her made me lose my appetite for food and I knew it would have the same effect on her, so why waste money on fancy cooking?

*** FEBRUARY 1956 ***

Playboy After Hours: theatre

Playboy: February 1956, page 5

The theatre, though many playrights and directors fail to realize it, is not a subtle medium... The best, the most stimulating, the most theatrical theatre in America is musical comedy. We said musical comedy: this excludes the pompous, "sincere" brand of b.s. promulgated by Messrs. Rodgers & Hammerstein and their emulators - those semi-operatic problem plays filled with facile, half- and quarter-truths about the Dignity of Man... It is unfortunate that a sizable segment of the American audience has been bullied and snob-appealed into considering the likes of Carousel superior to fresh, poppy, honest shows like Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, Kismet and The Pajama Game...

Pictorial: Chuckles with your cocktails

Napkins have developed a sense of humor

Playboy: February 1956, page 22
Writer: Ted M. Levine

Once relegated to such mundane tasks as keeping whiskey rings off the spinet... today's yokked-up cocktail napkins are often the life of the party... A half dozen manufacturers have sold more than fifteen million assorted sets with such provocative titles as... Shakespeare Howls (illustrated quotations from William's plays), Grand Uproar (on opera)...

Picture: napkin shows a woman surrounded by 6 children, apparently supposing to look very different from each other. One of the 6 children is black. The text reads:

(..Donna gets around..) "RIGOLETTO," VERDI

[page 23] Picture: napkin shows a roadside billboard. The billboard advertises a novel about a Japanese woman, who is pictured knitting (a sock?) Is this a Madama Butterfly reference? The text reads:

                   CARRY HARRY 
                   HARI-KARI ?
                  | I WAS   |
            Read  | IN LOVE |
                  | WITH A  |
                  |  G.I.   |

Jazz: Kenton

about the man and his music

Playboy: February 1956, page 56
Writer: Bill Russo

Stan [Kenton] took a long needed rest [starting in late 1946], vacationed in South America, and came back with an idea for a nineteen piece concert band and a new name, "Progressive Jazz." The instrumentation was essentially the same as it had been... but playing jazz concerts across the nation instead of dance dates was an innovation. Sixteen concerts were booked at such established halls as the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, the Civic Opera House in Chicago, Symphony Hall in Boston and Carnegie Hall in New York.

Attire: At ease

lounge wear for the man of leisure

Playboy: February 1956, page 59
Writer: Blake Rutherford
Comment: Don Giovanni is by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The gentleman chooses to do nothing more taxing tonight than elevate a double Scotch, read a bit, and listen to a complete performance of Don Giovanni on FM - all in the gentle opulence of his own apartment. Naturally, he is the kind of a man who demands both good looks and comfort in his indoor leisure attire...

*** MARCH 1956 ***

Playboy After Hours: records

Playboy: March 1956, page 9

Until that happy day when a really stunning score comes along, we intend to console ourselves with the sonorous, bracing music Prokofiev wrote for Eisenstein's film, Alexander Nevsky, way back in 1938... Eugene Ormandy's (Columbia) recording has been selling well for several years, and there's also a newer one, done by the Vienna State Opera gang under Mario Rossi (Vanguard), that's pretty electrifying stuff...

Ribald Classic: The Pitfalls of Prettiness

a satirical episode from Voltaire's masterpiece, Candide

Playboy: March 1956, page 21
Writer: Voltaire

I was betrothed to a ruling prince of Massa-Carrara. What a prince!... The marriage ceremonies were arranged with unheard-of pomp and magnificence; there were continual fetes, revels and comic operas; all Italy wrote sonnets for me, and not a good one among them...

[page 70, much death and personal disaster later] With great difficulty I extricated myself from the tangled limbs... My exhausted senses fell into a sleep that was more like a swoon than repose. I felt myself oppressed by something which moved on my body. I opened my eyes and saw a man of good appearance who was sighing and muttering in Italian between his teeth: "Oh, it is sad to be deprived of one's manhood!" ...

He carried me to a neighboring house, had me put to bed, gave me food, waited on me, consoled me, flattered me, told me he had never seen anyone so beautiful as I, and apologized for being unable to do my beauty the homage it deserved. Poor man!

"I was born in Naples," he said, "and every year they make two or three thousand children there into capons; some die of it, others acquire voices more beautiful than women's, and others become the governors of States. This operation was performed upon me with very great success and I was a musician in the chapel of the Princess of Palestrina."

"Of my mother," I exclaimed...

*** APRIL 1956 ***

Humor: Playboy's party jokes

Playboy: April 1956, page 40
Comment: As far as I know, Rotondo is a joke.

The opera singer Giovanni Rotondo, star of the Metropolitan during its Golden Age, is credited with making the following common-sense statement: "It is not wise to make love in the morning - you never know whom you'll meet later in the day."

Jazz: Goodman a la king

Benny ad libs on jazz

Playboy: April 1956, page 61
Writer: Benny Goodman

Jazz will always be danced to, I guess. But more surprising is the way it is now listened to. There are jazz concerts in New York's Carnegie Hall, Chicago's Civic Opera House and countless other auditoriums all over America and Europe.

*** MAY 1956 ***

Playboy After Hours: records

Playboy: May 1956, page 9

Igor Stravinsky was a stripling of 27 when Serge Diaghilev, the stormy ballet and opera producer, presented him with a commission to whip up some music to a Russian folk legend concerning a sentimental fire bird, Prince Ivan, King Kastchei and 13 curvy princesses who owed allegiance to a bewitching Tsarevna...

Ringleaders in a cult of progressive jazz on the campus, Johnny Eaton and his Princetonians blast off on a winding, flute-filling journey through a milkyway of originals and standards. By admission, pianist Eaton and the rest of his group are students of "serious" music, and it isn't too difficult to discern the influence of Schoenberg, Milhaud and even Rossini cutting liberally across their polytonal orbit...

Fiction: The Splendid Source

Talbert's question was cosmic: where do dirty jokes come from?

Playboy: May 1956, page 28
Writer: Richard Matheson
Comment: As mentioned in my "Loose Ends", I treat the ballet Gaite Parisienne as an operetta by Jacques Offenbach since it is made up of melodies from his operettas.

The hallway was an avenue. Thick wall-to-wall carpeting sponged beneath Talbert's feet as he walked between the Colonel and the Dean. At periodic intervals along the ceiling hung music-emitting speakers; Talbert recognized the Gaite Parisienne. His gaze moved to a pettipointed tepestry on which Dionysian acts ensued above the stitched motto, "Happy is the Man Who is Making Something."

Personality: To Victor belongs the spoils

Jester Borge made $2,000,000 on Broadway's longest solo

Playboy: May 1956, page 69
Writer: Albert C. Lasher

Victor Borge was born Bo"rg Rosenbaum in Copenhagen, Denmark, on January 3, 1909, son of a violinist in the Royal Danish Opera orchestra. For some reason, perhaps because it was shinier and made more noise, young Bo"rg preferred the piano to the violin.

*** JUNE 1956 ***

Contents: Playbill

Playboy: June 1956, page 2
Comment: Line 4 is from Summertime from Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin.

We're abandoning prose - for no better reason
Than to salute the summer season...
O season of swimming and sand-in-the-eye!
The fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high!
(Apologies, please, to a Gershwin named Ira.
Also to ladies named Myrtle or Myra.)
But enough of this nonsense, this gossamer tissue
Of fanciful froth: we must talk of the issue...

Food and Drink: The bachelor dinner

It started in Sparta, but it's hardly Spartan

Playboy: June 1956, page 26
Writer: Thomas Mario

Invite only your closest friends to your bachelor dinner. Ignore every bit of advice they offer. If... you should ask one of your old school buddies where to hold the dinner... he'll... tell you to engage the balcony overlooking the main dining room of the club. His prime motive in suggesting this location is the fact that there is a twenty foot drop from the balcony to the main dining room below. In the event you or one of your aides happens to blank out with too many Martinis, your fall will naturally attract the attention of the clubmen below and create the kind of opera bouffe every bachelor dinner requires...

Fiction: Nunc dimittis

Vengeance was mine, though the lovely Janet was not

Playboy: June 1956, page 28
Writer: Roald Dahl

I jumped out of bed. It was really remarkable how exhilerated I felt all of a sudden. One moment I had been in an agony of despair, contemplating murder and suicide and I don't know what; the next I was whistling an aria from Puccini in my bath...

*** JULY 1956 ***

Travel: Skoal to Scandinavia

making hay while the midnight sun shines

Playboy: July 1956, page 68
Writer: Patrick Chase

There's one other unusual "must" in the entertainment line in Stockholm: the "period" performances of classical opera and ballet at the charming Court Theatre at Drottningholm Palace, preserved intact since 1765. You reach the Palace - one of the King's summer residences - by boat in 45 minutes, and there's an excellent restaurant at the wharf.

*** AUGUST 1956 ***

Playboy After Hours: records

Playboy: August 1956, page 6

Few things are as disarming as the phenomenon of a complex, sophisticated artist doing (and doing well) a simple, direct, unilinear piece of work... In our own time, composer Serge Prokofiev provided a few [examples]. Of them, his score for the film Lieutenant Kije (latest pressing: London) is a favorite of ours... The flip side of the biscuit sports orchestral hunks from Prokofiev's opera, The Love of Three Oranges. Both works are superbly recorded, conducted with relish (and a spot of mustard) by Sir Adrian Boult, who uses two orchestras: The London Phil for Oranges, and L'Orchestre de la Societe des Concerts du Conservatoire (whew!) for Kije.

Satire: No, but I heard the song

What's a movie without a title tune?

Playboy: August 1956, page 33
Writer: Al Amenta
Comment: Summertime is from Porgy and Bess, by George Gershwin.

"Lots of pictures would win Academy Awards if they only had a title song. Take that movie, Summertime."

"Doll, there is a song called Summertime," I pointed out.

"So why didn't they use it in the picture?"

"Because somehow southern cotton doesn't go well with gondolas."

She fretted for a moment, then forgot what I said. "I like a movie you can take home with you," she insisted. "Like The High and the Mighty. What a heavenly song! - Dah, dah dah dah dah dahhhh, dah-dah dah dah - Dimitri outdid himself in that picture"...

[page 42] "Why if it wasn't for the song, who'd have heard of Davy Crockett?"

She had me there, but I made a gallant attempt at riposte.

"Yes, Walt Disney certainly made a good thing of Davy Crockett. But why didn't he do anything with 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? He could have had the octopus sing tenor; then Mario Lanza could have recorded the song and sold ten million records."

Ballad: Thais

Playboy: August 1956, page 44
Writer: Newman Levy
Comment: This is the story of Thais set humorously in song form to a simple, folk-like melody, which is provided. The story is the basis for Thais by Jules Massenet. The story of Thais predates the opera by about 14 centuries, but I believe this parody to be based more on the opera than even the novel by M. Anatole France on which the opera libretto is based. For instance, the monk in the opera and this parody is called Athanael, whereas in the novel he is Paphnuce. There are 13 verses.

One time... in wicked Alexandria... there lived an adventuress and courtesan... and Thais was her name.

Nearby in peace and piety... there dwelt a band of holy men...

Now one monk... was known as Athanael... At prayer... no other could compare...

He dreamed... of wicked Alexandria: a crowd of men were cheering... as Thais... was dancing there... the shimmy in what artists call the nude.

Said he, "...I'll go to Alexandria and save her soul from Hell."

Said he to Thais: "Pardon me... Let's hit the trail together, kid, and save your soul from Hell."

She coyly answered, "Say, you said a heaping mouthful, Bo."

So... across the desert sands they go... till Thais... finds refuge in... a convent...

But now the monk['s] holy vows of chastity have cracked beneath the strain... "I'd sell my soul to see her do the shimmy once again."

Alas, his pleadings... have come too late - the courtesan has danced her final dance...

*** SEPTEMBER 1956 ***

Playboy After Hours: dining-drinking

Playboy: September 1956, page 14

New York's Russian Tea Room (150 West 57th) sticks you with no cabaret tax, but impressario Sidney Kaye is so funny there should be one. At this bustling caravanserai in the shade of Carnegie Hall, he handles a concourse of theatrical, operatic and ballet customers with all the aplomb of DeMille directing A Cast Of Thousands. The slightly misnomered Tea Room caters... to a lively line-up of celebrities including the likes of Paddy Chayefsky, Marlon Brando, Kim Stanley, Jan Peerce and S. Hurok - all of whom we spotted in the space of one short night...

*** OCTOBER 1956 ***

Playboy After Hours: records

Playboy: October 1956, page 16

Name your paisan: Verdi? Pucini? Mascagni? Leoncavallo? Knotty cadenza and murderous high Cs by all four of these tenor-killers are negotiated with gusto and brilliance on Mario del Monaco Operatic Recital #3 (London), an even dozen tenor tidbits from Otello, Aida, Cavalleria, Rigoletto, Pagliacci and Manon Lescaut. A rarity among the grand old opera chestnuts herein is Possente amor, the brief aria usually cut from Rigoletto, and a peppery little jig it is as belted out by Signor Monaco and a bunch of boisterous spear-toters.

[page 17] German University Songs (Vanguard) is a roaring collection of that period's [middle ages] boola-boolas... Everything's yodeled in German... abetted by the entire male chorus and orchestra of the Vienna Volksoper...

Playboy After Hours: theatre

Playboy: October 1956, page 17
Comment: Die Dreigroschenoper ("The Threepenny Opera") is by Kurt Weill.

The Theatre de Lys wandered aimlessly under several managements until suddenly The Threepenny Opera happened to it. Enjoying the longest off-Broadway run of any house, Threepenny will set you back a scant top of $3.45 weekdays, $4.15 weekends but, to tell you the blushing truth, you may have to wait a couple of weeks to get into the little 299-seat theatre.

[page 18] Other worth-watching stages away from the Broadway Taj Mahals include the Downtown Theatre... and Actor's Playhouse. Of special note is the Amato Opera Theatre (159 Bleecker St.) which doles out the grand stuff creditably well and admission is - of all things - free, although a deep opera hat is passed at the end of each performance.

*** NOVEMBER 1956 ***

Playboy After Hours: records

Playboy: November 1956, page 13

We're suckers for hummable little symphonic melodies, and especially a pan full of Russian corn fritters on a super-fi platter (Vanguard VRS-484): Tchaikovsky's Capriccio Italien and 1812 Overture backed by Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio Espagnol and Easter Overture... In all, an exciting and thoroughly enjoyable LP, with nothing more forbidding than a seventh chord to irk the ears of the musically naive. Mario Rossi and the Vienna State Opera bunch kick up their heels just fine.

*** DECEMBER 1956 ***

Advertisement: Bethlehem Records

Playboy: December 1956, page 15
Comment: Ad features one album, pictured in b&w. Cover shows the left hip pocket of a pair of dungarees.

One of the Great Recordings of Our Time
Mel Torme
Frances Faye

"Porgy and Bess"

On cover: Porgy and Bess
Off cover: Unlike any other "Porgy and Bess" you've ever heard. From the original Gershwin score. Includes Betty Roche, Sallie Blair, Duke Ellington's Orchestra, the Australian Jazz Quintet, Russ Garcia, Al "Jazzbo" Collins, many others. On 3 Hi-Fi 12" LP's. $14.95 at all Dealers. Unique 3-D package.

*** JANUARY 1957 ***

Playboy After Hours: records

Playboy: January 1957, page 11

Composer Gioacchino Rossini had a reputation for facility ("Give me a laundry list; I'll set it to music"), flexibility (pressed for an overture to a new comic opera, he re-used that of an earlier tragic opera and it fit perfectly) and laziness (he retired at 37 to live in blissful idleness for 40 more years). Despite the long vacation, he cranked out, along with other stuff, 35 operas (one of which, The Barber of Seville, is maybe the best musical comedy ever written). He is, today, known to even the lowest of brows and shortest of hairs: everybody's heard that "Figaro, Figaro!" bit from the Barber and the Lone Ranger's theme music (otherwise known as Hi-yo, Silver or, more rarely, the overture to William Tell). Less well-known are Rossini's Sonatas for Strings, the first four of which are now done up gleamingly by the 13 members of the Solisti di Zagreb, under Antonio Janigro (Vanguard). These are sweet, lively, melodic neo-Mozart, but Mozart sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, for they are nothing if not Italian: warm, sunny and "vocal." Rossini said he wrote these charming chamberworks when he was 12, but you know Gioacchino - anything for a gag: he was probably all of 15.

Cartoon by Interlandi

Playboy: January 1957, page 63
Comment: The operetta H.M.S. Pinafore is by Gilbert and Sullivan.

Picture: A man and a woman sit on a tiny deserted island, apparently having just disembarked from a small lifeboat called the H.M.S. Pinafore. The woman wrings out her dress and looks at the man with a somewhat shocked expression as he asks jovially:

"What, never?"

Jazz: Bird

He gave his name to Birdland and his heart to bop

Playboy: January 1957, page 76
Writer: Richard Gehman and Robert George Reisner
Comment: Bird is Charlie Parker. Not an opera reference, but since we just mentioned Arthur Sullivan above... - The Lost Chord is by Arthur Sullivan.

To many of Bird's friends, the funeral... was a sorry shambles. Lennie Tristano had wanted to play the organ; he wanted to play Bird's tunes. Instead, there was The Lost Chord...

*** FEBRUARY 1957 ***

Playboy After Hours: books

Playboy: February 1957, page 9
Comment: Porgy and Bess is by George Gershwin.

And so we have Truman Capote - delicate delineator of murky, omnisexual mysticism - reporting clearly yet comically the adventures of a Porgy and Bess troop in the U.S.S.R. in a book that takes its title from the words of a Soviet Ministry of Culture official: "When the cannons are heard, the muses are silent; when the cannons are silent, The Muses Are Heard" (Random House, $3). We see, through Capote's eyes, a young Russian reach hungrily for an offered stack of U.S. paperbacks, only to break away, mumbling, "I have not the time"; a cast member boning up on Russian from an old Army handbook ("Awr-ga-nih-ra ra-neen v-pa-lavih-yee: I have been wounded in the privates")... a slang-slinging Russky named Josef "Call Me Joe" Adamov ("Gimme a buzz you come to Moscow, you wanta meet some cute kids") and much more... It's a fascinating book.

Advertisement: Crowell-Collier Record Guild

Playboy: February 1957, page 13
Comment: Ad features 10 albums, pictured in b&w.

New kind of record club offers you the World's Greatest Music...
Take any THREE
12 inch long-play high-fidelity albums
for $3.29 with membership

Here's how it works: Each month, the renowned music authority Sigmund Spaeth and his associates listen to releases of many world-famous record companies - and then choose an exciting new album...

On cover: Bizet. Carmen
Off cover: Carmen, Highlights. Many call Bizet's Carmen the world's most popular opera. And it's easy to know why. Here's a breath-taking performance by Cora Canne Meyer and a brilliant operatic cast, plus the full Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra.

*** MARCH 1957 ***

Playmate of the Month: Invitation to the dance

A budding ballerina does a turn as a playmate

Playboy: March 1957, page 43
Comment: The Sadler's Wells ballet company gave performances of its own and as part of Sadler's Wells opera productions.

Though a scant 18 years of age, [Sandra Edwards] has studied art and modern dancing and is currently a soaring ballet pupil. Sandra dotes on nonfiction and has a deep-down, locked-in appreciation for just about all sorts of music. Sandra's ambition is to be tapped for membership in - and eventually to become prima ballerina of - a crack ballet group like Sadler's Wells.

*** APRIL 1957 ***

Playboy After Hours: books

Playboy: April 1957, page 13

Worth pursuing if you dig their respective theatrical subjects... The Gilbert and Sullivan Book (Coward-McCann, $12.50), latest edition of Leslie Bailey's definitive work on the founders of modern musical comedy...

Playboy After Hours: records

Playboy: April 1957, page 16

Of all Italian operas, Giuseppe Verdi's Il Trovatore is possibly the most Italian and the most operatic. Its plot is improbable, its music unrefined. No matter: probability and refinement are not the stuff of which Italian opera is made. What has kept this snorting war horse on the boards for over a century is a cavalier disregard for refinement and a passionate devotion to effect. Verdi's melodies gush and flow, his tempi pound and fret. Carpers may sneer at crudities of orchestration and rhythm, but Trovatore's very flaws seem an integral element of its sublime and corny charm: the kettledrums thump and the cornets squeal and it all sounds apropos. For this is rough-and-ready opera, opera with hair on its chest. In a jimdandy new recording (London), Trovatore is tackled on its own terms. Mario Del Monaco is unafraid of the scalp-tingling tenor arias - he fills his lungs and wallops 'em over the fence like home runs. Renata Tebaldi spins web after web of golden soprano tone. Ugo Savarese displays a baritone voice as smooth and rich as black velvet. Faults? Sure: Del Monaco hasn't the serenity to cope with his one calm aria, Ah si, ben mio, and Giulietta Simionato's contralto isn't rugged enough for the trenchant role of the old gypsy woman; but London has put the Grand back into Grand Opera, and we're not complaining.

*** MAY 1957 ***

Playboy After Hours: records

Playboy: May 1957, page 9

A Drum Is a Woman [is] the most ambitious Duke Ellington effort to date... A sort of off-beat oratorio, it feature's the Duke's wailing band plus a chorus, one operatic-type soprano, one calypso-type male singer and one swinging girl singer. Duke himself narrates the yarn, which purports to parallel the history of the origins of jazz...

Fiction: Master of the Revels

He schooled his starlets in the arts of love

Playboy: May 1957, page 52
Writer: Al Morgan

But, pushing the insecurity to the back of his head, [Otto] enjoyed himself. He went to the fights every Thursday and Saturday night at the Olympic and the Legion. He was the host at a regular Friday evening pinochle session and was in his box at the Hollywood Bowl every time the program included Wagner, Brahms or Beethoven...

Article: Little land of the big wheel

made in Monaco: gambling, Grace and the Grimaldis

Playboy: May 1957, page 58
Writer: John Sack

Eventually, of course, the prince [of Monaco] himself was pauperized. He, Charles III, was living in four threadbare rooms of the gray-and-pink palace and dining on olives, anchovies and red herrings, but, unlike his predecessor, he was open to counsel and, when it was volunteered by a friend in 1851, he listened attentatively: "Set up gambling. You already ruined your own people, so, ruin other peope, too." Such was the start of Monte Carlo Casino and, subsequently, of the Summer Casino, the International Sporting Club (a casino), the Cafe de Paris (a casino), the Monte Carlo Country Club, the Monte Carlo Golf Club, Monte Carlo Opera House, Monte Carlo Theatre... [and on and on and on.]

Article: It's like this with tv

Murder and mirth are staples, but sex got the hex from the start

Playboy: May 1957, page 66
Writer: John Crosby
Comment: Based on the complaint registered in this article, I suppose Playboy has been enthusiastically praising the gutter tv that's been with us since the early 1970s. Yes?

Television is studded with dramatic shows... and you might think sex would have made some inroads there. But no. Television has not yet produced any love story as sizzling as Carmen or as tender as A Farewell to Arms or as savagely sexual as The Postman Always Rings Twice. Granted those are all rather exceptional examples, but television hasn't even made any stabs in that direction...

How about The Other Woman in soap opera? There are plenty of those, all right, trying to snaffle somebody else's husband. But these femme fatales do this in curious ways. They'll slander the wife to the husband... They may even attempt murder. But outright sex appeal - no. They use every weapon except that... Sex... is avoided like the measles.

Advertisement: Music Treasures of the World

Playboy: May 1957, page 73
Comment: Ad features 9 albums, none pictured. Flight of the Bumblebee is from Skazka o Tsare Saltane (The Tale of Tsar Sultan) by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Can-Can is from Orphee aux Enfers by Jacques Offenbach.

9 Exciting Adventures in High Fidelity
YOURS for only 10 CENTS

All 9 complete works on one 12" High-Fidelity 33 1/3 rpm Long-Playing Record

1. Magic Flute Overture. Mozart's shimmering overture - among his most sublime creations
4. Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah. Saint-Saens sensuous, exotic ballet music
6. Flight of the Bumble Bee. Rimsky-Korsakoff's dazzling miniature tone poem
7. Grand March from Aida. Verdi's magnificent paean of triumph
8. Barber of Seville Overture. Rossini's tuneful, rollicking score
9. Can-Can. Offenbach's rousing dance

Vienna Festival Orchestra conducted by Hans Swarowsky

What a thrilling listening experience awaits you...! When you hear the singing beauty of the strings in in Rimsky-Korsakoff's "Flight of the Bumble Bee",... the overwhelming majesty of Verdi's "Grand March", the vivid tonal panorama of all these works - you'll imagine yourself right in the concert hall!

World Famous Orchestras and Conductors - All over the world... engineers are recording and mastering the best-loved works of all the greatest composers... - Brahms, Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Rodgers, Kern, Schubert, Verdi, Strauss, etc. ... And every type of music is represented - symphonies, concertos, ballets, operas, operettas, musical comedies...

Humor: The French they are a funny race

What passion, what intrigue, what danger is in store for the intrepid innocent abroad

Playboy: May 1957, page 80
Writer: William Iversen
Comment: If you don't know what's going on here, neither do I; the story is very confusing if you just jump in somewhere.

Side-stepping the fully-equipped Miss A., Fahnstock adopts a cautious, cultural tone:

"For my part, I prefer a more tranquil life."

"I like the theatre, the cinematograph."

"This evening I am going to the opera, to-morrow to a concert."

But no amount of pretense can save him...

*** JUNE 1957 ***

Playboy After Hours: records

Playboy: June 1957, page 11

In the same blue vein, A Treasury of Ribaldry (Riverside) offers 10 catholic selections from Louis Untermeyer's same-name anthology, by authors like Ovid, Boccaccio, Benjamin Franklin, et al., in readings by erstwhile Gilbert-&-Sullivanite Martyn Green. A great idea, but it lays an egg, chiefly because Green - although he gives it the old Oxonian try - is too brittle, bloodless, arch and arid for this earthy material which needs the range, warmth, dexterity and brio of a Charles Laughton or, at least, the Brobdingnagian leer of a Groucho Marx.

Advertisement: Bethlehem Records

Playboy: June 1957, page 13
Comment: Ad features 5 albums, all pictured except this one. (For picture, see Dec56p15.) The artists referred to are: Frances Faye, Johnny Hartman, Mel Torme, and the Australian Jazz Quintet.


All High Fidelity, all 12" LP's.
These artists also perform together on Bethlehem's magnificent "Porgy and Bess" (3 LP's in one 3-dimensional package.)

Playmate of the Month: Playboy's stage door playmate

A fair filly from Philly tries her luck on the great white way

Playboy: June 1957, page 43

Flame-topped Carrie Radison of Philadelphia... although she tells us she won't be 19 until November, has had her eye on that dressing-room star for some time. She made her dramatic debut at the age of 10 in summer stock in Minnesota and sang choral parts with the New York City Center Opera Company at 13. Behind her now is some tv work, as well as bit parts in films...

Advertisement: Playboy

Playboy: June 1957, page 79
Comment: Parsifal is by Richard Wagner.


The month of June brings with it delights galore, and among these is the dubious delight dubbed Father's Day. On June 16th, papas from coast to coast are showered with mustache cups, handpainted neckties, mink-lined tobacco pouches, complete recordings of Parsifal and other of life's bare necessities. Fellows: why not keep your paters young at heart with the perfect gift this year - a three year subscription to Playboy!

3 years $13. 2 years $10. 1 year $6.

*** JULY 1957 ***

Playboy After Hours: records

Playboy: July 1957, page 10

Fans of Stan Freberg (count us in) will rejoice to learn that some of his best platter-parodies have been gathered together on one LP, A Child's Garden of Freberg (Capitol). The rubber-tonsiled Stan howls, growls, twangs, shrieks and husks through devastating take-offs on Elvis, Johnny Ray, Jack Webb, soap operas (John and Marsha), French singers in general...

*** AUGUST 1957 ***

Playboy After Hours: records

Playboy: August 1957, page 7

The jinks are high on a fun disc made up of La Boutique Fantastique, which Ottorino Respighi pasted up for ballet-master Diaghilev out of spirited old Rossini scraps; The Incredible Flutist, Walter Piston's suite for orchestra, flute, cheering crowds and barking dog... The whole shebang [is] done up slick and snappy by Fiedler and the Boston Pops (Victor)...

Fiction: Do Nice Artistic Girls?

A pointed question is asked and answered, to the satisfaction of all concerned

Playboy: August 1957, page 44
Writer: Herbert Gold
Comment: Wagner is Richard Wagner.

One afternoon Tom asked me to go to a record shop with him. We had been seeing less of each other lately - my attempt to Indian give Sylvia had altered our friendship - and so I was pleased to attempt a return toward our old ease with each other. Later, as we discussed the music, I realized he was not indulging his own taste at all. He turned out to be weighting down his record changer with a work of highly derivative composition - Tom's First Symphony in Erotic Minor, made up of a snippet of Berlioz, a patch of Wagner, and then Ravel's Bolero all the way to the bitter end. He had worked out a theory about blood pressure and how nobody could resist it.

Having put this concoction on the machine, he planned to charge up his coffee table with wine, oysters, cigarettes and tamales, and then to settle down with Sylvia in a determined effort to avoid talking about Lessing's Laocoon. Apart from suggesting the interpolation of a Schubert song to lighten their digestion between oysters and tamales, I offered no judgments.

Travel: Playboy's International Datebook

Playboy: August 1957, page 72
Writer: Patrick Chase

Give us, if you will, Paris in the fall. More than 40 theatres will be reopening then, to say nothing of six music halls... and, of course, the Paris Opera glittering like mad. Friday's gala night there, with troops of the Garde Republicaine lining the grand staircase and a white-tied crowd circling the great hall quaffing champagne. Good way to see it all - and a lot more - is the Four Capitals Tour, which hits London, Paris, Rome and Madrid. The package offers the cream of European big-city life in 17 days for $823 roundtrip from Gotham.

*** SEPTEMBER 1957 ***

Playboy After Hours: dining-drinking

Playboy: September 1957, page 12
Comment: There are two very rare Playboy typos preserved in the paragraph below - one spelling and one punctuation. (The other typos in this web page are all mine!)

Maurice's in Philadelphia is an atmospheric spa sequestered on a Shinbone Alley sort of street. Here, about eight years ago, a longhair fan, Maurice Rotenberg, took over three 250-year-old houses, knocked out some walls, and set up a dozen small rooms where old-master addicts could sip and munch by candlelight to golden sounds via jukebox. The motto is "Food for the stomach and food for the soul," and patrons still speak in shocked tones of the night Sammy Davis, Jr., slipped one of his own blues-shoutin' discs on the turntable. The menu and bar items are named for composers, conductors and opera artists: order a Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Club Special and you'll end up with a tuna salad double-decker. A cheese blintz is a kitchen concerto to Giuseppe Verdi, while the strawberry shortcake stands as a sweet memorial to Golden Age baritone Titta Ruffo. The barkeep will whip up a martini if you ask for a Ludwig von Beethoven. The rest rooms, of course, are marked "Tristan" and "Isolde." Corny? Maybe. But it's a good spot to tote your girl if she's cold to the Crew Cuts and melts to Moussorgsky.

Pictorial: Westerns are better than ever

Sex gallops into horse opera and never is heard a discouraging word

Playboy: September 1957, page 51
Comment: That's it, just the word "opera".

*** OCTOBER 1957 ***

Advertisement: Vox

Playboy: October 1957, page 7
Comment: Ad features 2 albums, none pictured.

The inexpensive way to musical riches!

The new VOX BOXES are exactly that . . . 3 famous 12" Vox recordings in a box, for little more than the price of 1! ... Vox records are for those who are absolute hi-fi purists. And for those familiar with artists of international fame...

Vox Box-2 - "Orchestra Box" - has conductors Perlea, Couraud and Horenstein performing Ravel's Bolero... Bizet's Carmen Suite...

Playmate of the Month: La donna e mobile

Miss October's inconstant coif proves again that "women are changeable"

Playboy: October 1957, page 43
Comment: Colleen Farrington was a brunette when a Playboy photographer discovered her. When they got around to the shoot, she was blonde. She turned back to brunette at Playboy's request. The photographer thought it would be funny to take some shots of her as a redhead, too, ha ha. La donna e mobile is from Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi.

*** NOVEMBER 1957 ***

Playboy After Hours: films

Playboy: November 1957, page 14

The son of deaf-mute parents, Lon Chaney was also harried by marital woes with his first wife; he exploited his own physical "un-handsomeness" by pushing it to extremes in the bitter roles of Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the paralytic in The Miracle Man and the memorable title role in The Phantom of the Opera, among so many well-remembered others.

Jazz: Ella meets the Duke

a session with two of jazzdom's all-time greats

Playboy: November 1957, page 40
Writer: Leonard Feather

Forced to resume the weary amateur hour routine in the hope of making a buck, Ella [Fitzgerald] lost a contest for the first - and last - time... Her long-delayed professional debut took place soon afterward - a week's work at the Harlem Opera House for $50.

Advertisement: Vox

Playboy: November 1957, page 85
Comment: Ad features 5 albums, none pictured. Leonore Overture No. 3 was one of the overtures written for Fidelio by Ludwig van Beethoven. The Polovtsian Dances are from Prince Igor by Aleksandr Borodin.

16 2/3 . . . the speed you haven't heard yet!

If your record player is fairly new, it has turntable speeds of 78, 45 (Extended Play), 33 1/3 (Long Play) and 16 2/3. And chances are you have records for all the speeds but 16 2/3 . . . the speed that actually gives you the most listening time per record... as much as 100 minutes of listening per 12" record!

Beethoven: Coriolan Overture... Leonore Overture No. 3 (Horenstein) VXL-2

Rimsky-Korsakov: Scherezade... Borodin: Polovetsian Dances (Perlea) VXL-3

*** DECEMBER 1957 ***

Playboy After Hours: records

Playboy: December 1957, page 20

Be warned: the Poet and Peasant overture is no longer a cornball relic of concerts-in-the-park. You are now the innest of the in if you appreciate its schmaltzy bravura and shameless sentimentality, outest of the out if you sneer at the thinness of its gold plate. So toss discretion to the winds and get with Franz von Suppe: 6 Overtures (Angel), a beautifully blowsy, bustling batch of puffpaste that is comprised of the aforementioned P & P; plus Light Cavalry; Pique Dame; Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna and a couple of others, all evocative of bierstuben, lederhosen, meerschaum pipes, pewter mugs, handlebarred men and corseted cuties. Henry Krips conducts with gusto a group called the Philharmonia Promenade Orchestra.

*** JANUARY 1958 ***

Advertisement: HiFi & Music Review magazine

Playboy: January 1958, page 4
Comment: Ask me what I know about those old, double-groove stereo discs! (And 10-hour LPs???)


These amazing new stereo discs promise to revolutionize the world of high fidelity! Now being readied for release, these long-playing binaural recordings are single grooved . . . can be played by simple adaptation of your present hi-fi rig... These new discs will at last make stereophonic sound possible for everyone...

HiFi & Music Review will be big, lavish, generously illustrated... You will cherish each issue!

No matter what interests you most . . . opera or blues . . . jazz or mood . . . symphonies or string quartets . . . whether you want to know more about fabulous stereo sound . . . 33 1/3 records . . . tape . . . or the new 12 inch discs that play for 10 hours - you'll find it all in this elegant publication.

Advertisement: Columbia Lp Record Club

Playboy: January 1958, page 5
Comment: Ad features 24 albums, pictured in b&w. Der Zigeunerbaron is by Johann Strauss II. Die Lustige Witwe is by Franz Lehar.

FREE . . . ANY 3
of these superb High-Fidelity

On cover: Strauss Waltzes and Overtures. Bruno Walter
Off cover: Emperor Waltz, Blue Danube, Vienna Life, Gypsy Baron Overture - 3 more.

On cover: Gaite Parisienne. Les Sylphides. The Philadelpia Orchestra. Ormandy conductor.
Off cover: 2 ballet scores - Offenbach's Gaite Parisienne, Chopin's Les Sylphides.

On cover: The Merry Widow. Dorothy Kirsten, Robert Rounsville
Off cover: An enchanting rendition of the favorite of everybody - young and old.

4. Gaite Parisienne; Les Sylphides
13. Johann Strauss - Waltzes
23. The Merry Widow

Nostalgia: The postpaid poet

A magical catalog transports us down memory lane without a paddle

Playboy: January 1958, page 65
Writer: Ray Russell
Comment: I declare this a reference to Die Zauberflo"te by W. A. Mozart.

Music was not neglected by Johnson Smith [& Co.]... The Magic Flute, or Humanatone (10 cents), was "a unique and novel musical instrument that is played with nose and mouth combined." It was said to "produce very sweet music that somewhat resembles a flute. . . . The effect is charming, as it is surprising." In a rather different musical category was the little box you could buy for 15 cents and which bore the label "World's Smallest Wind Instrument". There was a solitary bean within.

*** FEBRUARY 1958 ***

Advertisement: Columbia Lp Record Club

Playboy: February 1958. page 7
Comment: Ad features 24 albums, pictured in b&w. Ad pitch is the same as before.

On cover (rerun): Gaite Parisienne. Les Sylphides...
Off cover (new): Two delightful and romantic ballet scores by Offenbach and Chopin.

On cover (rerun): Strauss Waltzes and Overtures...
Off cover (new): Emperor Waltz, Blue Danube, Vienna Life, Gypsy Baron Overture - 2 more.

On cover (rerun): The Merry Widow. Dorothy Kirsten...
Off cover (new): The complete score of Lehar's operetta - Vilia, Maxim's, Women, etc.

4. Gaite Parisienne; Les Sylphides
13. Johann Strauss - Waltzes
23. The Merry Widow

Playboy After Hours: records

Playboy: February 1958, page 15
Comment: It came as a surprise to me, but my opera reference books count Carmina Burana as an opera, or "scenic cantata".

A pagan suckled in a creed outmoded but far from outworn is contemporary German composer Carl Orff: he writes good, sound, uncomplicated music in the style of another day. Carmina Burana (Vanguard) is a kind of cantata based on medieval Bavarian student songs in praise of life and love, Lady Luck, springtime and strong waters, sung with open throats in low Latin and lower German by the Hartford Symphony Chorale, against a backdrop of biting brass and thumping drums... In 1935, Orff (then 40) destroyed all the music he had written up to that time and devoted himself to music like Carmina Burana, music written for the stage, and, hence, for immediate and unabashed effect. The effect is stunning in this powerful performance - full of spasmodic outbursts - conducted by Fritz Mahler.

Playboy After Hours: films

Playboy: February 1958, page 18
Comment: Madame Butterfly is by Giacomo Puccini.

The agonies posed in... Sayonara seem trivial indeed: the headaches encountered by the Yanks in fraternizing with, and frequently marrying, Japanese dolls... The main story line follows Major Marlon Brando who, on leave from Korea, finds himself involved in a love affair with a graceful Japanese entertainer... A similar romantic liaison, involving Red Buttons and another local girl, ends more tragically than Madame Butterfly.

Article: The beat mystique - cool swinging in New York

aspects of the new nihilism - frozen faced, far out, devoid of normal meanings

Playboy: February 1958, page 21
Writer: Sam Boal
Comment: Dichter und Bauer (Poet and Peasant) is by Franz von Suppe.

Some cat will turn on the hi-fi and in the very beginning it will be resonably low, but someone complains: "Man, I can't make that. Give it some head, Pops."

The hi-fi will then be turned up... It doesn't matter too much what's being played, but chances are it's either the iciest, most tunelessly embroidered modern jazz, or something like The Poet and Peasant Overture or some other hunk of corn, which is too banal to be exciting (excitement is for squares) and so square that playing it proves how "out" the people are who think they're "in" because they profess not to like it.

Article: The beat mystique - a frigid frolic in Frisco

aspects of the new nihilism - frozen faced, far out, devoid of normal meanings

Playboy: February 1958, page 21
Writer: Noel Clad

The party was swinging by nine, not an early start by Coast standards; by 10 most of the people had arrived except a few stragglers, white collars who'd had tickets to the Civic Center Opera and had gone there either because they bore a few of the fading earmarks of squares, or because they were so far out that opera gave them some snide, snickering kicks.

*** MARCH 1958 ***

Advertisement: Columbia Lp Record Club

Playboy: March 1958, page 7
Comment: Ad features 24 albums, pictured in b&w. Ad pitch is similar to previous ones.

On cover (rerun): Gaite Parisienne. Les Sylphides...
Off cover (new): 4. Offenbach: Gaite Parisienne; Chopin: Les Sylphides. Two delightful ballet scores performed by The Philadelpia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy conductor.

On cover (rerun): Strauss Waltzes and Overtures...
Off cover (new): 13. Bruno Walter conducting the New York Philharmonic...

On cover (rerun): The Merry Widow. Dorothy Kirsten...
Off cover (new): 23. The Merry Widow. Dorothy Kirsten and Robert Rounsville. The complete score of Lehar's gay operetta.

Playboy After Hours: records

Playboy: March 1958, page 13

A fine example of [the Bach Guild's] work - and of J.S.B.'s - is now available on Magnificat in D (Vanguard)... Conductor Felix Prohaska and the choir and orchestra of the Vienna State Opera do the considerable honors.

Modern living: Music for people with two ears

through darkest stereoland with tape and disc

Playboy: March 1958, page 47
Writer: John M. Conly

Granted, [a three-dimensional audio picture of the ensemble] is not always musically important. An Art Tatum solo or a late Beethoven quartet gains little from sonic perspective; with them the idea is the whole thing. But a musical comedy or an opera, or a march by the Scots Guards, or a Richard Strauss tone poem is enormously more effective when another dimension of hearing is added. You can see why without explanation.

Advertisement: Vox

Playboy: March 1958, page 77
Comment: Ad features 7 albums, none pictured.
Reruns: Horenstein conducts Leonore Overture No. 3. Perlea conducts Polovtsian Dances.

Have you caught up with the new speed in records?
VOX 16 2/3 RPM Extended Long Play

Now . . . many of your favorites are on VXL's . . . the longest playing records you can buy... How lucky you are to have a 16 2/3 speed on your phonograph. Use it!

*** APRIL 1958 ***

Advertisement: Westminster Records

Playboy: April 1958, page 72

Not a Club, Not a Gimmick, No Strings . . .
A New Way to Buy Records . . . And Save Money Too
PREVIEWS by Westminster HI-FI

Here's how it works: Superb musical excerpts from outstanding Westminster releases are specially pressed on full 7" Long Play high fidelity records. You get these records directly from Westminster FREE.

Here's what you get on your first Previews. Excerpts from:


Suppe. Overtures: Light Cavalry, Poet & Peasant, etc. Philharmonic Promenade Orchestra, conducted by Sir Adrian Boult.


Deutschmeister Drums and Brasses...
Night and Day...
Ketelby. In a Chinese Temple Garden, etc.; Vienna State Opera Orchestra, conducted by Armando Aliberti.

*** MAY 1958 ***

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club

Playboy: May 1958, page 7
Comment: Ad features 18 albums, 5 pictured in b&w.

To Introduce You to the New
These five or any five of the 18 albums described below for only $3.98 (Retail value as high as $23.90)

Check the five albums you want. Do not detach from the coupon.

[no picture] Mario Lanza - Student Prince. Hits from Romberg's operetta, plus Lehar, Rodgers gems, etc. 14 favorites by the exciting tenor.

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: May 1958, page 14
Comment: I'm betting the album title is a nod to Mozart's opera, Die Zauberflo"te.

The Magic Flute of Herbie Mann (Verve) is as accurately descriptive a title as we've run across in a long time: Herbie weaves a wide range of flautistic spells...

Article: The birth of a Broadway show

"Oh Captain!" from initial notion to opening night

Playboy: May 1958, page 56
Writer: Richard Gehman

Nov. 22. Final auditions for the dancers are held at the Phyllis Anderson Theatre, lower Second Avenue. About 60 girls and boys are on the bare stage, their faces eager and apprehensive in the light from a single enormous bulb hanging from a ratty cord...

The choreographer, Zachary Solov, on leave from the Metropolitan Opera (this is his first Broadway show), points to an exotic dark-haired girl who resembles Sophia Loren. "There'll be spots where she'll be effective," he says to [director Jose] Ferrer.

"If you want her, pick her," Ferrer says...

*** JUNE 1958 ***

Pictorial: Silverstein in Italy

Our boy capishes and finds it delicious

Playboy: June 1958, page 23

The lambent land of Italy is the home of mandolins and macaroni, olive oil and opera, gorgonzola and gondolas... The Boot meets the Beard this month as the fine Italian hand of Shel Silverstein - Playboy's ambulating Americano - sketches sunny Italy.

[page 25. Cartoon shows Silverstein fallen into a canal, desperately waving for rescue while a gondolier poles by.] "Gondola, signore? Three thousand lire for the first hour . . . two thousand for each additional hour . . . a small additional charge if you wish accordion music or romantic arias . . . "

Personality: The little world of Harry Kurnitz

quips and quiddities of a jester's jester

Playboy: June 1958, page 67
Writer: Richard Gehman
Comment: Die Walku"re is by Richard Wagner. Melba is Australian soprano Nellie Melba.

As might be expected, many Kurnitz jokes are laced with literary allusions... George Oppenheimer, the screenwriter, told Kurnitz he was going to see Die Walku"re and asked what it was about. "The story starts with a girl named Bru"nnhilde," Kurnitz said. "She comes from a very good family. In fact, her father was God." ...

[page 68] He also got a reputation for a fast funny line, mainly because of cracks like these: ...

A director asked Kurnitz if Melba, for which he wrote the screenplay, was based on fact. Kurnitz nodded solemnly. "I took no liberties," he said, "except with the plot and the characters."

In company with the screenwriter Charles Lederer, Kurnitz has been responsible for some elaborate practical jokes. On their way to Europe via ship, they encountered Gregor Piatigorsky, the great cellist. Kurnitz introduced Lederer as "the eminent Hollywood musician," in such a way as to imply that Piatigorsky surely had heard of him. "I am an ignoramus about all music," Lederer has said. "Also, I dislike it. I can't stand opera, symphony or music of any kind"... [Kurnitz gets Lederer to assert that nobody can play Hora Staccato on the cello. Piatigorsky declares he can, and while he goes to get his cello, Kurnitz and Lederer sell tickets to the passengers.]

*** JULY 1958 ***

Pictorial: Music to make your eyeballs pop

Jacket art hath pulchritude to sooth the savage breast

Playboy: July 1958, page 32
Comment: Pictorial shows 12 album covers with nude women.

Cagey record manufacturers quickly outstripped the paperback boys at their own game - so much so that today's well-stocked record dealer disarmingly displays more nudes than the Louvre.

Album cover text: Rimsky-Korsakov. Christmas Eve (Suite). Sadko (Musical Picture). Flight Of The Bumblebee (from Tsar Sultan). Durnushka. Ansel Ansermet conducting L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. LONDON Records.

Travel: Playboy's International Datebook

Playboy: July 1958, page 72
Writer: Patrick Chase

Venice will be swarming with saucer-eyed starlets during the August 24-September 7 International Film Festival. Most of the fun takes place at the Lido (book hotel space quicklike) and we can tell you that no one has ever devised a more winsome way to enjoy the Queen of the Adriatic than by gondola at night, complete with Verdi-spouting gondolier and a snugglesome Venetian chick.

*** AUGUST 1958 ***

Advertisement: Columbia Lp Record Club

Playboy: August 1958, page 5
Comment: Ad features 24 albums, pictured in b&w.

of these superb High-Fidelity

On cover: Rossini: William Tell and Barber of Seville Overtures. Donizetti: Daughter of the Regiment Overture. Schubert... Tchaikovsky... Strauss... Van Kempen, Concertgebouw and Lamoureux Orchestras
Off cover: 9. Six thrilling overtures and marches

9. Rossini: William Tell Overture, etc.

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: August 1958, page 7
Comment: What's a labansa? I include this first mention only of the Bel Canto company figuring that, while bel canto singing is not limited to opera, it has a very strong association with Italian opera. The Bel Canto company ran 6 ads in Playboy throughout 1960 which I did not document in this page.

"Caruso" is one of those names that has almost become a word: it is synonymous with the zenith of vocal art. On The Best of Caruso (Victor, two discs), the lyrical Enrico can be dug in 30 songs and arias recorded between 1904 and 1920, and culled from the 260-odd pressings the Italian tenor made in his flamboyant lifetime. Though waxed before the days of electrical recording and thus sounding a bit as if they are sung by a genii [sic] from a tightly capped pickle jar in the rear of the bottom shelf of a shut fridge, Caruso's thrusting tones knife through the barriers of time, death and primitive recording technique to emerge victorious and, if not golden, at least a richly burnished copper. Most famous number: Vesti la giubba from Pagliacci, sung with the bitterness the aria demands but seldom gets; nicest surprise: the dark, classic, stateliness he brings to the "Largo" from Handel's Xerxes; oddest oddity: Over There, which, in broken English and fractured French, he belts right in the labansa.

[page 8] Bel Canto has come up with four show-tune tapes you might want... The Music Man... South Pacific...

Personalities: On the scene [with Leonard Bernstein]

hot podium for a wunderkind

Playboy: August 1958, page 23

Leonard Bernstein... last November became the first American-born conductor to be appointed musical director of the New York Philharmonic... For the past two decades, Wunderkind Bernstein has had his talented fingers in a variety of musical pies: he'd tear off a symphony or a movie score, knock out a Broadway show... give lively lectures on jazz and Bach via tv's Omnibus... do some serious conducting, compose an opera (Trouble In Tahiti), play a little jazz piano.

*** SEPTEMBER 1958 ***

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club

Playboy: September 1958, page 5
Comment: Ad features 19 albums, 1 pictured in b&w.
Reruns: Mario Lanza sings Student Prince hits.

5-RECORD Glenn Miller Album FREE
with the first album you buy as a member of the

Begin membership with any of these . . . indicate title in coupon

[no picture] Porgy and Bess. Highlights from Gershwin's classic. All-star cast featuring Rise Stevens, Robert Merrill.

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: September 1958, page 15

The Modern Jazz Quartet and the Oscar Peterson Trio at the Opera House (Verve) gives one side to each group, was recorded at the Chicago Opera House, nicely contrasts the studied frigidities of the quartet with the trio's rolling drive.

Playboy After Hours: books

Playboy: September 1958, page 17

When Wilma Montesi's half-clad body was found on the beach near Rome in 1953, nobody but her family paid much attention. But within a year, her poor corpse had been postmortemed 18 times... All this because it was claimed that she had been lured to a nearby estate - the site of evil orgies - by the son of a Cabinet-minister, then killed because she knew too much. The ensuing hubbub is reprised by Wayland Young in The Montesi Scandal... Mr. Young... recounts it all in a curious mixture of sober documentation and tabloid sensationalism... The total effect is somehow that of a bad verismo opera, sung in English.

*** OCTOBER 1958 ***

Advertisement: Columbia Lp Record Club

Playboy: October 1958, page 7
Comment: Ad features 24 albums, pictured in b&w. There is no off-cover text.
Rerun covers: 13. Rossini: William Tell and Barber of Seville Overtures... 14. Strauss Waltzes and Overtures...

of these superb Classical High-Fidelity
COLUMBIA and EPIC RECORDS for only $3.98.

The finest selection of American and European classical records ever offered by the world's largest record club

Members regularly enjoy performances by great artists like these: Amsterdam Concertgebouw... Leonard Bernstein... Paul van Kempen... Metropolitan Opera Assn... Vienna Symphony, Bruno Walter

13. Rossini: William Tell Overture, etc.
14. Strauss: Waltzes and Overtures

Playboy After Hours

Playboy: October 1958, page 9
Comment: "The Student Blintz" is a take-off on The Student Prince by Sigmund Romberg.

A Jewish show business friend of ours cooks up musical revues for the Catskill borscht circuit, and though we usually avoid humor related to any particular nationality or religious group, we think Playboy readers will enjoy his latest cogitations and accept them in the spirit of good fun in which they were intended... Knish Me, Kate... Matzo Do About Nothing... and, of course, The Student Blintz...

Advertisement: Columbia Records

Playboy: October 1958, page 13
Comment: Ad features 18 albums in the "masterworks" category, none pictured. Schwanda the Bagpiper is by Jaromir Weinberger.

THIS PAGE IS WORTH $10 Clip Lp dividends below and take to your record dealer!

Choose from these brand new Lp records:


The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy cond. Prokofiev: Classical Symphony. Weinberger: Schwanda. Bizet: Symphony in C Major. $3.98

Lotte Lenya. Weill/Brecht: The Threepenny Opera. Sung in German (2-record set) $9.98

Antonietta Stella, Gianni Poggi. Puccini: La Boheme (2-record set) $7.98

Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Columbia's invention of the modern Long-Playing Record.

Advertisement: London Records

Playboy: October 1958, page 15
Comment: Ad features 5 albums pictured in b&w, none with opera connections.

Of course I'm getting
Isn't everybody?

Stereophonic recordings have not only been perfected, they've been produced - in a wide variety to please every taste...

The world's finest Stereo comes from London Records . . . and bears the symbol ffss [full frequency stereo sound]. These recordings feature such artists as Renata Tebaldi, Mario del Monaco, Ernest Ansermet and Mantovani.

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: October 1958, page 17
Comment: It Ain't Necessarily So is from Porgy and Bess by Gershwin.

Now the rest of the world can hear what all the raving has been about: Volume II of Ramsey Lewis and his Gentle-Men (Argo) gives us a generous sampling... Best bets, by us, are... It Ain't Necessarily So, starring bassist Eldee Young...

Advertisement: London Records

Playboy: October 1958, page 19
Comment: Ad features 16 albums, in 4 categories, pictured in b&w. None of the albums have off-cover text.

"No longer a promise but a performance"
Irving Kolodin, Saturday Review, June 28, 1958


On cover: Stereophonic. Gilbert and Sullivan. The Mikado. The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company.

On cover: Stereophonic. Die Walku"re, Act 1. Flagstad; Svanholm; Vienna Philharmonic; Knappertsbusch.

On cover: Stereophonic. Giordano. Andrea Chenier. Mario Del Monaco; Renata Tebaldi.

On cover: Stereophonic. Mozart. Le Nozze di Figaro. Siepi; Gueden; Della Casa; Vienna Philharmonic - Kleiber.

Modern Living: The stereo scene

What's what with the two-tracks - tapes and discs

Playboy: October 1958, page 20

All God's chillun got two ears, in consequence of which, they all want stereophonic records and record playing equipment - with justification. The first stereo discs came out midsummer last, and, while most were rather tame (and not really very stereophonic), others were quite breath-takingly good. Why, Kirsten Flagstad and her sister Valkyries plotted against old one-eyed Wotan and, by George, there they stood, real as the Rhine, on a rock ledge across the end of the living room. And, when they had gone: lo, the Dukes of Dixieland, their funny hats almost visible...

Advertisement: Vox Productions, Inc.

Playboy: October 1958, page 22
Comment: Ad features 8 albums, none pictured. I'm betting the Lehar album includes the Merry Widow waltz.

NOW . . . VOX
puts you in the middle of the music with

You'll be surrounded by beautiful sounds . . . and you won't want to escape! Stereovox records wake up your ears...

Shut your eyes, and you're in Old Vienna . . . as the music waltzes around you!
Lehar In Stereo. Victor Hruby and his Viennese Orchestra

Article: The pros of Paris

love for sale in the City of Light

Playboy: October 1958, page 34
Writer: Sam Boal

Thus, a dozen years after the law clamped down, the world's oldest profession continues in the City of Light... And where does one find these girls?

It isn't hard. It isn't hard and it's kind of fun. Let us examine the region around the Place de l'Opera, one of the favorite haunts of the chicks.

The girls here - the $7-or-so girls - may, in pleasant weather, stroll the streets, in which case they will talk to you. But mostly they hang around in bars... Almost any of the streets around the Opera... has these little bars...

You pick your bar and walk in, order a drink... You will say that you are a foreigner and that you will offer to buy a drink for the cute little trick three bar stools away from you... She will consume her drink... You will suggest a second drink, which she will take... She will then suggest a little walk, you will ask her price and she will name it. If you were a Frenchman you would argue about it; but since you are not, you will agree - only a few dollars are involved anyway. So you will walk away with Georgette.

The procedure is much the same on the Champs-Elysees, except that while the bars around the Opera are small and dark, the bars on the Champs-Elysees tend to be somewhat more chromium and mirror...

These girls will - like the girls of the Opera - sometimes pace the streets, but mostly they will sit in the cafes of the streets off the Champs-Elysees...

The procedure is absurdly simple. You see your girl, you ask the waiter if mademoiselle would like a drink and she would... and she will act the immemorial part of the French cocotte - probably a little more adroitly than the less expensive girls of the Opera - and then you will have your girl...

Playmates of the Month: Le rouge et le blanc

with women and wine, it's simply a matter of taste

Playboy: October 1958, page 46
Comment: This issue presents two playmates: red-haired Mara Corday and white-haired Pat Sheehan. Probably not a bona fide opera reference, but I can't help thinking of Orlofsky's Ich lade gern mir Ga"ste ein in Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss II.

One occasion may cry for the companionship of a flaxen-tressed damozel... another may demand the presence of a darker beauty with auburn locks... Chacun, as they say, a son gout.

*** November 1958 ***

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club

Playboy: November 1958, page 5
Comment: Ad features 5 albums, pictured in b&w. Song of India is from Sadko, by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Indian Love Call is from Rose-Marie by Rudolf Friml.

Exciting offer to new members of the RCA VICTOR POPULAR ALBUM CLUB
for only $3.98

On cover: Yes Indeed! Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra
Off cover: Tommy Dorsey. The great Dorsey group of the late 1930s and early 40s playing their biggest hits... 12 selections, including Marie, Star Dust... Song of India...

On cover: Moonglow. Artie Shaw and his Orchestra
Off cover: Shaw's two most successful big bands in 12 history-making hits recorded in 1938-43. Includes Begin the Beguine... Indian Love Call...

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: November 1958, page 12

That woman is offered up again on Ella Fitzgerald at the Opera House (Verve), cut in 1957 with the wild JATP group. High point is her stunning scat version of Stompin' at the Savoy.

Advertisement: Reeves Soundcraft Corp.

Playboy: November 1958, page 15
Comment: Ad features 1 album, pictured in b&w. Summertime is from Porgy and Bess by Gershwin.

dares prove its superior quality!

Hear it for yourself . . . in "Sweet Moods of Jazz in Stereo" featuring Coleman Hawkins, "Red" Allen, Marty Napolean and other jazz greats in interpretations of "Summertime," "Tea for Two"...

Yours for just $1.00 extra . . . when you buy two 7" reels of tape in Soundcraft's New Premium Pack...

Playboy After Hours: books

Playboy: November 1958, page 21

Once upon a time, to judge by Rona Jaffe's first novel, The Best of Everything, there were not one, not two, but five Little Red Riding Hoods, who set out from the typing pool of a big publishing house to make their way through the stone forests of Manhattan to Grandmother's Matrimonial Bureau... Though Miss Jaffe does her best to make it all very brittle and modern, it's like listening to five soap operas in a row.

*** DECEMBER 1958 ***

Advertisement: Epic Records

Playboy: December 1958, page 9
Comment: Ad features 14 albums, 10 pictured in b&w. Off-cover text is more or less lifted from the on-cover text, some of which is hard to make out.

New! EPIC High Fidelity Radial Sound

The most startingly lifelike stereophonic sound you've ever heard! These are the very first releases in Epic's new STEREORAMA sound!...

Off cover: Offenbach: Tales of Hoffmann - Mattiwilda Dobbs, Leopold Simoneau, Chorus and Orchestra of the "Concerts of Paris"
Off cover: Tchaikovsky... Rimsky-Korsakov... Borodin: Polovtsian Dances from "Prince Igor". Moussorgsky: Dawn on the Moskva River, from "Khovantchina" - the Cleveland Orchestra, George Szell, conductor

[no picture] Merry Overtures - The Cleveland Orchestra, George Szell, conductor

Advertisement: Columbia Records

Playboy: December 1958, page 16
Comment: 2-page ad features 30 albums in 7 "fun for..." categories. No albums pictured.


Want to please everyone on your list? Use our list to choose the right gift for anyone.


PUCCINI: Tosca - Antonietta Stella, soprano; Gianni Poggi, tenor; with the chorus and orchestra of the Teatro di San Carlo di Napoli conducted by Tullio Serafin

Playboy After Hours: books

Playboy: December 1958, page 21

Until now, there was no book devoted solely to the American musical show... Now the lack has been remedied, via David Ewen's 447-page, photo-larded Complete Book of the American Musical Theatre... Ewen has given "musical" the broad interpretation that embraces operettas, ballad operas, comic operas, extravaganzas, spectacles, burlesques, revues, musical comedies and musical plays...

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: December 1958, page 22
Comment: Jokey reference is to Carmen by Georges Bizet.

Ungimmicked and gently swinging is Carmen for the Cool Ones (Decca), not a hipster's reading of the Bizet bit, but rather Carmen McRae thrushing prettily to beat the band...

[page 24] Want to be #1 Santa to a Mozart buff? Then gift him or her with the new stereo Don Giovanni (London) done handsomely by the Vienna Phil, State Chorus, Josef Krips (blowing baton) and socko soloists; four discs, boxed, libretto in Italian and English.

Personalities: On the scene [with Andre Previn]

Funky Firebird and Squatty Roo

Playboy: December 1958, page 63

Jazz pianist and arranger... classical conductor and soloist... conductor and/or composer for over two dozen films, Previn is, musically, one of the most protean personalities around... He also wins the man-sized awards... and gets the man-sized jobs: Sam Goldwyn recently borrowed him from Metro to musical-direct the important upcoming opus, Porgy and Bess. ("It will probably have more music in it than any other Hollywood movie ever made.") But lest anyone fear that Porgy is forcing him to neglect his other two lives, Previn is currently on a North American tour, playing and lecturing on both classical music and jazz...

Advertisement: Columbia Lp Record Club

Playboy: December 1958, page 105
Comment: 2-page ad features 32 albums pictured in color. Ad pitch similar to previous ones.

On cover (rerun): Rossini: William Tell and Barber of Seville Overtures...
Off cover (new): 9. A real hi-fi thriller. Six stirring overtures and marches - performed with gusto and zest!

On cover (rerun): Strauss Waltzes and Overtures...
Off cover (new): Emperor Waltz, Blue Danube, Vienna Life, Gypsy Baron Overture, Die Fledermaus Overture, etc.

9. Rossini: William Tell Overture, etc.
26. Strauss Waltzes and Overtures

*** JANUARY 1959 ***

Advertisement: Columbia Lp Record Club

Playboy: January 1959, page 3
Comment: Ad features 32 albums, pictured in b&w. Gypsy Love Song is from The Fortune Teller by Victor Herbert. A Kiss in the Dark is from Orange Blossoms by Victor Herbert.

of these superb High-Fidelity
for only $3.98

On cover: The Desert Song. Nelson Eddy, Doretta Morrow
Off cover: 17. Desert Song. Romberg's operetta is still a joy to hear

On cover: Music of Victor Herbert, vol. 1. Percy Faith and his Orchestra
Off cover: 60. Music of Victor Herbert - Faith. Dream Girl, A Kiss in the Dark, Gypsy Love Song, 9 more

On cover (rerun): Rossini: William Tell and Barber of Seville Overtures...
Off cover (new): 61. Rossini: William Tell Overture, etc. Six stirring overtures and marches

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club

Playboy: January 1959, page 7
Comment: Ad same as Sep58p5.
Reruns: Mario Lanza sings Student Prince hits. Porgy and Bess highlights with Rise Stevens.

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: January 1959, page 9

A new disc by Miss Pony Tail... is on the market. Its title (the title department must have been pooped that day) is Pat Suzuki... She describes her voice as "a cross between Shirley Temple and Lawrence Tibbett," of all things, though to us there is something of Lena Horne... of Eartha Kitt... and of Judy Garland [in it]...

[page 10] Two timber-shivering American singers have recorded recent recital junkets - the Met's Leonard Warren on Tour (Victor) and Russia-dwelling Paul Robeson (Vanguard), who, last May, made his first Carnegie Hall appearance in 11 years. Warren (or YOPPEH, as it was spelled on the Soviet posters) is heard in on-the-spot pickups of concert performances in Kiev and Leningrad (also last May) complete with applause, stifled coughs and a brief introduction by a native announcer (standard concert procedure in the U.S.S.R.), offering chiefly familiar recital fare by Bach, Beethoven and the Italians, a roistering Ravel drinking song, etc. The folks seem to have dug the most a traditional cowpoke tune, Colorado Trail. Yoppeh is in good voice and so are his demonstrative auditors... Robeson... lacks not one decibel of his famous power...

*** FEBRUARY 1959 ***

Advertisement: RCA Victor

Playboy: February 1959, page 12
Comment: Ad features 1 album, pictured in b&w. Summertime is from Porgy and Bess, by George Gershwin.


On cover: Torch Time. Gogi Grant
Off cover: Save $1 on this Save-on-Records popular selection for January. Gogi turns the flame up high on 12 stunning standards, including My Man, Bewitched, Summertime...

Playboy After Hours: books

Playboy: February 1959, page 14
Comment: Mack The Knife is a character in Die Dreigroschenoper by Kurt Weill. Who's Mac the Knife?

It's long been clear that the adman's patron saint is Mac The Knife, but it took Playboy-regular and agency veep Henry Slesar to write the first grade-A whodunit with an Ad Alley setting: The Gray Flannel Shroud. The story is as hip as its title...

*** MARCH 1959 ***

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club

Playboy: March 1959, page 7
Comment: Ad features 24 albums, 12 pictured in b&w.

To introduce you to the
Any five of the 24 albums below for only $3.98 (Nationally advertised prices total up to $24.90)

On cover: Gershwin. Porgy and Bess. Stevens; Merrill; Robert Shaw Chorale
Off cover: Porgy and Bess. Gershwin highlights. Rise Stevens; Robert Merrill

On cover (first time shown): Mario Lanza. Student Prince
Off cover: Mario Lanza - Student Prince

Advertisement: Columbia Lp Record Club

Playboy: March 1959, page 9
Comment: Ad is identical to Jan59p3.
Reruns: 17. Nelson Eddy sings The Desert Song; 61. Van Kempen conducts William Tell; 60. Faith conducts Music of Victor Herbert.

Advertisement: Audio Fidelity, Inc.

Playboy: March 1959, page 15
Comment: Ad features 6 albums. No album covers are pictured. Carmen is by Georges Bizet. Le Nozze di Figaro is by Mozart. Aida is by Giuseppe Verdi. Tannha"user is by Richard Wagner.

1st Component Stereo Series

Axiom: The first and most important component of a High Fidelity Stereophonic phonograph system is the phonogragh record.

We do not recommend that you buy these records unless your equipment is of the first rank... The following arms and cartridges have been found by Audio Fidelity to be capable of tracking its First Component Series records...

Music of the Virtuoso Symphony of London

Bolero, Ravel - Carmen Suite, Bizet, Alfred Wallenstein, Conductor

Marches from Operas, (Figaro, Aida, Tannhauser, etc.) Arthur Winograd, Conductor

Russian Composer Masterpieces, (Rimsky-Korsakoff, Mussorgsky, etc.), Emanuel Vardi, Conductor

Stereo Test Record
Side One: Tracking and frequency response tests
Side Two: Excerpts from complete First Component Classical Series

Playboy After Hours: dining-drinking

Playboy: March 1959, page 16

Brown's is the name of a newish Manhattan eatery, opened by long-time theatrical agent Gloria Safier... Oscar-winning costume designer Irene Sharaff did the simplified interior... before she took off for Hollywood to design Goldwyn's Porgy and Bess costumes...

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: March 1959, page 26

Through the opera glass: Puccini's original gossamer texture has been restored to Madama Butterfly (Victor), an opera which repeated performances have made heavy-laden with overinterpretation and weighty emphases. The "new" translucency has been achieved in part by assigning the roles of Butterfly and Pinkerton to Anna Moffo and Cesare Valletti, light voices both; conductor Leinsdorf has obviously kept in mind the composer's own description of the score, "a thread of smoke." If you're big for Puccini, this low-calorie Butterfly might be just your dish.

Giordano, though his music often shamelessly echoed Puccini's in style, created a near-masterwork in his Andrea Chenier (London). A large-cast show set to a sprawling, verbose libretto based on real personages of French Revolutionary times, it is an effective stage piece full of ringing arias for star singers. Mario Del Monaco, in the title role, displays a tenor voice of thrilling power and brilliance; soprano Tebaldi sings with poignancy and warmth; baritone Bastianini tends to bellow down the rain barrel a bit in lieu of perfect mask resonance, but his dynamic readings of such high-voltage solos as Nemico della patria! compensate for any number of hollow tones. Gianandrea Gavazzeni conducts.

Verdi's Simon Boccanegra (Capitol EMI), a kind of Italian Boris Godounoff, is a product of his early period; suffers from a moronic story line and a dramatis personae heavy with basses and baritones, light on lighter voices; was extensively revised by the old boy near the end of his career. The revisions are the best parts, and there aren't enough of them, but this set rates a spinning if only for: the electric Council Chamber Scene (Act I Scene II) which alternatively bristles and glows with Otello-like high drama and noble melody; the Recognition Duet between Simon and his long-lost daughter; the gravy-rich bass aria, Il lacerato spirito. Most of the rest is gloomy, uninventive and numbingly monotonous. Castwise, Tito Gobbi (Simon), Boris Christoff (Fiesco) and Victoria de los Angeles (Maria, the only female in the piece) are names worth mentioning; Gabriele Santini conducts with a sure hand. Verdi, even when spotty, had a way of making other operatic composers seem like organ grinders. Bilingual librettos are provided with all these operas, and they sure help.

Advertisement: Shaw-White & Associates

Playboy: March 1959, page 26
Comment: Ad photo shows the FI-RACK in use on a wall. 10 album covers are shown, one of which is Carmen Suite. Only the large word "Carmen" is legible, but I found a copy of the album in May 2006. It is on the Masterseal Hi Fi label and it also includes Die Moldau and Finlandia. The album cover shows half of Carmen's face and her fan.

FI-RACK. These Racks Hold 80 Record Albums. A new concept in record storage - decorate with your albums!

Stop hiding the beautiful women on your record albums! Decorate your den or living room with them... FI-RACK consists of slotted aluminum bands which fasten easily to the wall, holds 12" albums 8 deep...

Advertisement: Stereo-Fidelity

Playboy: March 1959, page 27
Comment: Ad features 8 albums, pictured in b&w. Rudolf Friml is best known (I believe) for his popular operettas, including The Firefly and Rose-Marie.

Somerset - the wondrous world of STEREO-FIDELITY
has outsold every label in the stereo market . . . There is a reason far more important than price!
The World's First STEREO SCORED Orchestra - 101 Strings

With a channel separation that puts you at the conductor's desk. Your volume controls become your baton.

On cover: 101 Strings play the Sugar and Spice of Rudolph Friml
Off cover: Friml conducts Friml

Travel: The wild valleys of Hell

In Andorra, the lusty sons of Charlemagne have a go at the smuggler's craft

Playboy: March 1959, page 66
Writer: John Sack
Comment: Carmen is by Georges Bizet. Mr. Bing is Rudolf Bing, general manager of the Metropolitan Opera.

Well, smuggling isn't a thing of the past, and how I know this is from nobody else but M. Auguste Pi - a smuggler... M. Pi said, in conclusion, that the usual procedure of the smugglers was to put the chinaware, watches, I-beams, etc., into a truck or one of the Cadillacs [smuggled items, themselves], drive to the border, and give a three- or four-hundred-dollar bribe to the customs people, en passant.

Frankly, I was rather disappointed by this. I explained to M. Pi that everything I'd known of smuggling in the Pyrenees had been gotten from Act III of Carmen; it had been my belief, consequently, that a smuggler went by night over the dire, snow-blown passes, with a pistol at his side and a swad of contraband on his back, and to discover that what a smuggler really did was to drive a Cadillac full of chinaware and French tulle to the border, tossing three or four hundred smackers to the customs people, was, naturally, a good deal of a letdown. M. Pi looked hurt; he assured me that the smugglers to be met in Carmen are also met in Andorra. They're none of them in the big time, M. Pi said, as they handle only tobacco and every once in a while a case of absinthe, but, if I wished to be introduced to some, he'd gladly take me to one of their haunts. I thanked him and said I did.

The scene that ensued was straight from Carmen, Act III. The smugglers I met were dark, weather-beaten men of all ages, dressed in blue or brown corduroy; there were a dozen, and they were playing cards, just like Carmen. Some of them wore sneakers, some berets. The part of Carmen herself was provided by Mrs. Diana Browne, a young, blonde, American woman at my hotel, who had asked to accompany M. Pi and me. Diana had never worked at a cigarette factory, but she had visited one that very afternoon, in Sant Julia de Loria. Her husband, Mr. Malcolm Browne, also was with us - I suppose he corresponds to Don Jose - and a discordant note from Acts II and IV was sounded by the presence of a real toreador, Paco, a friend of M. Pi's, who had fought at Madrid and Barcelona, had been badly gored on two occasions, had come to Andorra to recuperate and get his morale back, and who spent the evening combing his hair and protesting his love to Diana. All of us were assembled for this at the Posada Catalun^a, a cafe that's popular with the smuggling set in Andorra the Old, where Diana, Malcolm, Paco and I had graciously been taken by M. Pi. The Posada Catalun^a was another discordant note from Act II; it was murky, it was naked, it was full of soot and of scurfy, unwashed drinking glasses... Nearby, at the center of the room, was a black, pot-bellied stove, and circling it was an eight-sided table, and circling it were the smugglers, all of them playing cards, smoking roll-your-own cigarettes and Charlemagnes... I gathered they were taking the night off; M. Pi said later that most of their colleagues had gone into the mountains some days earlier, with several bales of something, and the smugglers at Posada Catalun^a were waiting for a telephone call from Barcelona to hear if it got there safely (it did). The smugglers were friendly, and we quickly took to each other. One of them bowed to Diana gallantly as we got there, complimenting her on her long golden hair: it was like a saint's halo, he said, and therefore he wouldn't kill us. He was smiling all the while and I'm certain he said it in fun, but I thanked him nevertheless.

I'm sorry to keep harping on the theme of Carmen, but it's my recollection that in the middle of Act III, Carmen is having her fortune told in the Pyrenees and draws the ace of spades, and I think it ought to be pointed out to Mr. Bing, or whoever is in charge of these matters, that in the Pyrenees there isn't an ace of spades. The playing cards the smugglers were using at the Posada Catalun^a had an ace of clubs, an ace of swords, an ace of cups and an ace of oros - that's all. The oros were golden coins that had been used in Catalonia, I was told...

*** APRIL 1959 ***

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club

Playboy: April 1959, page 4
Comment: 2-page ad features 66 albums, pictured in b&w. La donna e mobile is from Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi. Cielo e mar! is from La Gioconda by Amilcare Ponchielli.

Choose from these 66 albums
Any five for only $3.98

On cover: Giorgio Tozzi, Kathy Barr. The Desert Song
Off cover: 6. The Desert Song. A glorious new recording of Romberg's melodious operetta. Giorgio Tozzi, large cast.

On cover (rerun): Gershwin. Porgy and Bess...
Off cover (new): 9. Porgy and Bess. Rise Stevens, Robert Merrill sing Gershwin's Summertime, Bess, You Is My Woman Now, etc.

On cover (rerun): Mario Lanza. Student Prince
Off cover (new): 32. Student Prince. Mario Lanza sings hit show tunes by Romberg, also Lehar, Rodgers, Brodszky and Coward.

On cover: Guckenheimer Sour Kraut Band. Sour Kraut in Hi-Fi
Off cover: 71. Hi-Fi Hilarity with the Guckenheimer Sour Kraur Band fracturing Poet and Peasant Overture, Skater's Waltz, etc.

On cover: The Touch of Eddie Heywood. Eddie Heywood
Off cover: 77. The Touch of Eddie Heywood. Trio plays Summertime, The Man I Love...

On cover: The Great Caruso. Lanza
Off cover: 88. The Great Caruso: Mario Lanza. Film soundtrack, top tenor arias: La donna e mobile, Cielo e mar!, etc.

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: April 1959, page 13

Through the Opera Glass: Despite the stern cragginess of its Caledonian locale, Sir Walter Scott's novel The Bride of Lammermoor provided a perfect plot for that most florid and breast-beatingest of Italian operas Lucia di Lammermoor (Victor). Its composer, Donizetti (appropriately the grandson of one Donald Izett, a Scot) draped festoons of splendrous melody on the romantic story, and these melodies are belted out slickly and skillfully by a Met cast featuring Roberta Peters, Jan Peerce and Giorgio Tozzi, under the stick of Erich Leinsdorf. Peters sings clearly and prettily; Tozzi is vocally dark and rich; Peerce is, as always, dependable, but (on the basis of this performance, anyway) the years have clouded his once vital and penetrating voice.

Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana (Victor) is a one-act opera we have always thought too long; its star is the chorus, and though the choral passages are lovely, they act on the fast, fierce story like quicksand. Nevertheless, this first verismo opera, created in eight days by a fledgling composer who never wrote another hit, seethes with seering Sicilian passion, captured in this pressing by Renata Tebaldi, Jussi Bjoerling and Ettore Bastiannini, under Alberto Erede. The popular drinking song is a standout: Bjoerling's metallic tenor gleams and Erede whips the chorus and ork into an infectious frenzy of brio. Both operas come complete with biliingual librettos.

Novelette: What's Become of Your Creature?

The god of judgment became an angel of mercy and sent unmerited joy

Playboy: April 1959, page 22
Writer: Herbert Gold
Comment: I count Carl Orff as an "opera composer".

In music... [Lenka] went as far out toward the commercial as admitting that she could listen to Kai Winding, pass the time anyway, also Bartok, Dessau, Carl Orff.

Personalities: On the scene [with Sidney Poitier]

calling his own shots

Playboy: April 1959, page 39

While even the most protean members of his race have rarely made headway in more than one acting medium, Sidney Poitier, at 35, has already taken a giant step in three. Starring in the new play, A Raisin in the Sun, a dozen films (including the upcoming Porgy and Bess), and featured prominently in TV drama, Poitier is not only a Negro actor carrying out an unprecedented work load, but equally important, he's calling his own shots... When, after ten years of negotiations, Samuel Goldwyn finally got screen rights for Porgy and Bess, he said, "I've never considered anybody else for the role of Porgy but Sidney Poitier." The filmed version of the Gershwin-Heywood folk classic is very important to Poitier, aside from being a top-drawer showcase for him: "Few examples of American culture have received as enthusiastic a reception around the world as Porgy. The film should reach many areas that touring companies couldn't get to." When Poitier, as Porgy, ends the film with the rousing number, I'm On My Way, he is, if anything, understating his real-life case.

*** MAY 1959 ***

Advertisement: Warner Bros. Records

Playboy: May 1959, page 12

Four Letter Word

We've put together ten albums in different styles of jazz... Listed below are the varied ways we have spelled that four-letter word called jazz...

Trombones, Inc...
Folk Songs For Far Out Folk. Fred Katz Orch.
Gilbert And Sullivan Revisited. Jim Timmens All Stars...
Jazz Festival - Near In And Far Out

Food: Viva pizza!

The secret of success is a tantalizing plumpness

Playboy: May 1959, page 29
Writer: Thomas Mario

Even though he doesn't go around singing O Sole Mio all day long, a Neapolitan is usually an amiable person... When he finally reaches the point of rage he is liable to... shout Ti faccio la testa come un pizza! (I'll flatten your head like a pizza!) ... Which particular pizza does the angry Neapolitan have in mind? It certainly isn't the great tender pizza rustica with its top and bottom crust filled with cheese and egg... or the rich mushroom pizza which Caruso loved...

Advertisement: Columbia

Playboy: May 1959, page 74
Comment: Ad features a single album.


Miles Davis, like the south wind, blows hot all the time... This album will probably be part of your collection tomorrow. As for the score, what do you say about "Porgy and Bess" that everybody doesn't already know?

Porgy and Bess - Miles Davis with orchestra under the direction of Gil Evans

Travel: The art of travel

pertinent pointers for a bon voyage

Playboy: May 1959, page 86
Writer: Patrick Chase

Shows - music halls in London, the Folies-Bergere in Paris and opera in Italy are obvious. Actually, there's first-rate theatre - in London and Paris in particular - and Sadler's Wells ballet and the Old Vic repertory in London and the Opera-Comique, Theatre Francais and Opera in Paris should all positively be on your list... Open-air opera in Rome is good summer fare - mostly because of the setting in the baths of Caracalla.

*** JUNE 1959 ***

Letters: Dear Playboy

Playboy International

Playboy: June 1959, page 5
Writer: Jean J. Hugot; Paris, France

Let me congratulate you for providing entertainment to a Paris bachelor. I could not find your 1959 Playboy Playmate Calendar, even at Brentano's shop, Avenue de l'Opera and I feel very sorry! I hope you will help me before I get what you call the blues.

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: June 1959, page 17

The firm of Audio Fidelity, something of a leader in the hi-fi dodge... now comes along with... The First Component Series. Idea is that the first and most important component in a stereo rig is the record itself. The new series, says AF, demands the best equipment and unless you have it you shouldn't buy the records... If your gear can make the grade, you can go on with Ravel's Bolero and a Bizet Carmen Suite... conducted by Alfred Wallenstein; Marches from Operas and Russian Composer Masterpieces, both batonized by Arthur Winograd; and Strauss Waltzes led by Emanuel Vardi - all played by the Virtuoso Symphony of London... Superbly recorded and just dandy for demonstration purposes or to shatter windows five blocks away...

Satire: Veni, vidi, Vespa!

Amusing horizons beckon in the brave new world of the motor scooter

Playboy: June 1959, page 28
Writer: Jerry Yulsman
Comment: Article consists mainly of photos of motor scooters being put to futuristic use, with descriptive captions. Besides the woman being chauffeured to the opera, there's an 8-man "car" pool, a polo player, and motor scooter taxis and paddy wagons, etc.

[caption] High society lady enjoys look back in hauteur while chauffeur scoots her to the opera. Advantage of the motor scooter to the upper crust is that one's self, one's jewels and one's furs are seen before and after, as well as during, performances.

Travel: Playboy's International Datebook

Playboy: June 1959, page 88
Writer: Patrick Chase
Comment: Opera, not only by Mozart, is a basic component of the Salzburg Music Festival.

Once in Europe, you can take your pick of things to do and see. If you dig the Bard, there's the annual Shakespeare Festival... And if longhair music is your wish, there's the annual Salzburg Music Festival in Austria.

*** July 1959 ***

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club

Playboy: July 1959, page 7
Comment: Ad features 15 albums, pictured in b&w. Song of India is from Sadko, by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

Any Five of these 15 JAZZ and SWING CLASSICS...
for only $3.98

On cover (rerun): Yes Indeed! Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra
Off cover (new): 48. All-time great hits by TD from the Sinatra-Stafford-Berigan years. Marie, Song of India...

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: July 1959, page 12

Pomp and circumstance never had it so good as they did with England's most venerated composer, transplanted German George Frederick Handel (perfectly OK to pronounce it handle, as do the British, or hendle, as do the Germans, but never hahndle). Concentrating mainly on massive operas and oratorios about what Sir Thomas Beecham calls "a lot of Old Testament gangsters," Handel's works form a total bulk just about equal to the combined outputs of Bach and Beethoven, neither of whom were exactly slugabeds... "The great and good Mr. Handel" (to quote his obit) died in 1759, and this year marks the 200th anniversary of his death, with special concerts and recordings making obeisance to the occasion. We like a recent pressing of eight Handel Overtures (Vox): stately and sprightly are the words for these introductions to all-but-forgotten operas and oratorios played by the Bamberg Symphony under Rolf Reinhardt...

Playboy After Hours: books

Playboy: July 1959, page 14

No marquees set apart Soviet theatres from other buildings; no casting is posted on the small billboards that do modestly mark the playhouses; scripts are almost always published in magazines prior to production - and yet the entertainment industry (in all its forms: drama, ballet, opera, operetta, circus, puppetry) flourishes with such robust health in Russia that theatre cicerone Faubion Bowers can justifiably title his recent book on the Soviet stage Broadway, U.S.S.R. There are 29 legit houses in Moscow... and they're seldom dark, always packed. A play is usually called something else: Lyric Comedy, Comic-Farce... or Drama with Circus and Fireworks. Happy endings are favored, even in traditionally tragic ballets, but this may not be a result of official ukase so much as an example of mass preference (there have been French and Italian operatic versions of Hamlet and Othello with happy endings)... In one operetta, Western ways are interpreted as including men in full dress in the morning, slugging green Chartreuse out of whiskey bottles or ordering "1001 Nights cocktails" (gin, whiskey, vodka, cognac and spirits)... Bower says in summation: "A far clearer picture of Russian life . . . emerges from a study of entertainments than from enquiring into politics."

Advertisement: RCA Victor

Playboy: July 1959, page 22
Comment: One-third page ad devoted to this single album, pictured in b&w.

In the greatest "Porgy and Bess" of them all!

On cover: Porgy and Bess. Lena Horne, Harry Belafonte.
Off cover: Lena Horne and Harry Belafonte in a moving performance of Gershwin's marvelous music. Here is a musical mating that brings new meaning to songs like Summertime; Oh, I Got Plenty of Nothin'; Bess, You Is My Woman; It Ain't Necessarily So; A Woman Is a Sometime Thing, and all the other highlights of that fabulous score...

Fiction: The Incredible Adventures of Dino

Do you think a man succeeds because he has a song in his heart and a sneaky bookkeeper? It is not so simple

Playboy: July 1959, page 76
Writer: Herbert Gold
Comment: Story is set in mid- to late-1950s.

Dino dodged the brass paperweight thrown by his father, and went.

Now he was listening to Michael Mainwaring, well-known young critic, lecturing about how only those who appreciate today's music can absorb a true sense of contemporary life and poetry. "You must not get out of touch," said Mainwaring. "The day of the ivory tower is past. Attention, attention must be paid modern man! Go out and purchase a record of Muggsy Spanier or Glenn Miller - play it on your gramophone - hear the beat of today's hearts. Those who say that Porgy and Bess will never sell are wrong! I predict a great success for Gershwin, as well as for the poetry of T. S. Eliot, W. H. Auden, and if the fates only will it, yours truly."

Advertisement: Columbia Lp Record Club

Playboy: July 1959, page 97
Comment: 2-page ad features 64 albums, pictured in color. Schwanda is Schwanda the Bagpiper, by Jaromir Weinberger. Dance of the Seven Veils is from Salome by Richard Strauss.


The Columbia Lp Record Club offers ANY SIX
of these 12" High-Fidelity COLUMBIA and EPIC RECORDS for only $3.98
Retail value up to $29.88

On cover: Offenbach: Gaite Parisienne (complete). Philadelphia Orch., Ormandy
Off cover: 12. Paris of the 90's comes alive in this electrifying score

On cover: Miles Davis Plays Porgy and Bess
Off cover: 43. "The jazz personality of the year" plays Gershwin

On cover (rerun): The Desert Song. Nelson Eddy...
Off cover (new): 47. Romberg's romantic operetta is always a joy to hear

On cover (rerun): Rossini: William Tell and Barber of Seville Overtures...
Off cover (new): 65. A hi-fi thriller. Six stirring overtures and marches

On cover: Sorcerer's Apprentice. Les Preludes. Dance of the Seven Veils. N. Y. Philharmonic; Mitropoulos
Off cover: 70. Also includes Polka and Fugue from Schwanda

*** AUGUST 1959 ***

Advertisement: RCA Victor

Playboy: August 1959, page 8
Comment: Ad features 1 album, pictured in b&w.

2 - Great Instrumentals on One LP! - 2


On cover: Gershwin's Porgy And Bess. Robert Russell Bennett. Bernstein - dance music from West Side Story
Off cover: Stunning orchestral interpretations by Robert Russell Bennett of two outstanding stage works. Fabulous sound in either Living Stereo or regular Long Play version.

When ordering Stereo, say . . . RCA Victor

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club

Playboy: August 1959, page 13
Comment: Ad features 42 albums, pictured in b&w. Indian Love Call is from Rose-Marie by Rudolf Friml. I presume the Friml selection(s) on The Mighty Wurlitzer... are operetta-ic.

To introduce you to the RCA VICTOR POPULAR ALBUM CLUB
Choose From 42 Albums
ANY FIVE for only $3.98

On cover: Jeanette MacDonald & Nelson Eddy Favorites in Hi-Fi
Off cover: 4. Operetta film stars remake their 12 biggest hits, Indian Love Call, etc.

On cover (rerun): The Touch of Eddie Heywood...
Off cover (new): 17. Pianist's trio plays Summertime...

On cover: The Mighty Wurlitzer and the Roaring Hi-Fi Twenties. Leonard Leigh
Off cover: Mighty pipe-organ sounds, colors plus 24 favorites by Gershwin, Friml, etc.

Advertisement: London Records

Playboy: August 1959, page 14
Comment: Ad features 1 album, not pictured. ffss is full frequency stereophonic sound. Das Rheingold is by Richard Wagner.

Sounds Best On

"High in the ranks of all-time great opera recordings" Irving Kolodin, Saturday Review

Das Rheingold

Kirsten Flagstad as Fricka
George London as Wotan
Jean Madeira as Erda
Set Svanholm as Loge
Eberhard Wachter as Donner
Waldemarr Kmentt as Froh
Gustav Neidlinger as Alberich
Paul Kuen as Mime
Georg Solti; conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Playboy After Hours: films

Playboy: August 1959, page 16

Take 10 pounds of old soap-opera scripts and grind well; add a dash of sex for spice and talent for surprise and guess what? It's The Young Philadelphians...

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: August 1959, page 19
Comment: Mack the Knife is from Die Dreigroschenoper by Weill.

A gentle, infectious style of singing... can be sampled on Bobby Darin's That's All (Atco). Bobby, as you probably know,... has enjoyed socko success with the soda set,... and herein launches a full-fledged attempt to capture the gin-and-tonic crowd. He does it with this snappy collection of ballads and show tunes (outstanding: Mack the Knife and the title tune)...

Playboy After Hours: books

Playboy: August 1959, page 29-30
Comment: Fyodor Shalyapin (Chaliapin) was a Russian bass.

Conversations With Igor Stravinsky is just that: diamond-faceted gumbeating held with and recorded by the famous composer's friend, Robert Craft... But Stravinsky's most winning comments are about people - people in general... and specific people he has known, loved, despised:... Chaliapin ("that idiot from every nonvocal point of view, and from some of these"),... his great teacher Rimsky-Korsakov, in his coffin ("I could not help crying. His widow . . . said, 'Why so unhappy? We still have Glazounov.' It was the cruelest remark I have ever heard, and I have never hated again as I did in that moment"). In May of 1953, Stravinsky and Dylan Thomas decided to collaborate on an opera, and the composer built an annex to his Hollywood home to house the blowsy Welsh poet for the duration of their creative labors. "I wrote him October 25 in New York and asked for word of his arrival plans in Hollywood. I expected a telegram . . . announcing the hour of his airplane. On November 9 the telegram came. It said he was dead"... Of the alto saxophone, an instrument he does not esteem, he can yet say that its "juvenile-delinquent personality floating out over all the vast decadence of [Berg's] Lulu is the very apple of that opera's fascination"...

Fiction: OK, So I'm a Cookooboo

The redhead had him feeling like a yogi in the umpteenth beatitude

Playboy: August 1959, page 50
Writer: Charles Beaumont

Joe stomped in on his dead leg... "We're going fishing." ...

"OK. When?"

"Sundown. Dress warm. It can git mighty cold out there." Joe picked a record album off the floor. "Fidelio by Beethoven. What's it about?"

I yawned. "Freedom, I guess. Like not shaving your beard to suit some sawn-off Hitler at a gas station."

"That so?" The vet placed the disc gently on the record rack. "Better start getting ready," he said, and stomped back out the door.

Playboy on the town: Chicago

a cosmopolite's guide to the Midwest metropolis

Playboy: August 1959, page 64
Comment: Le Coq d'Or is by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. A tournedos is a filet of beef cut from the tenderloin, often bound in bacon or suet for cooking. I guess Rossini is Gioacchino Rossini.

[caption] Left, specializing in superlative smorgasbord, the Kungsholm draws the gourmet, also boasts a midget opera house, where expertly manipulated puppets do pantomime to stereophonic opera recordings.

[page 100] Once you've gathered up a date, you can either stay put for further cocktails at the places we've already mentioned, or move on to some other worthwhile watering spots. The hotel beat rates your attention here:... the Coq d'Or in the Drake...

Expensive but not unreasonable is the Cafe de Paris, featuring good service and outstanding food; specialties are tournedos Rossini and duckling a la Belasco...

[page 101] Pasta addicts will want to try... La Scala (with private booths for the serious-minded)...

Lovers of Swedish smorgasbord can do no better than Kungsholm, an elegantly-appointed restaurant with one of the best smorgasbord tables in the country. Before or after your dinner, you may watch the nightly puppet opera.

*** SEPTEMBER 1959 ***

Playboy After Hours: films

Playboy: September 1959, page 35

Samuel Goldwyn's production of Porgy and Bess is overpowering. It's bawdy, poignant, brutal, full of big passions and musically eloquent... Sidney is extremely touching as the crippled Porgy, resignedly accepting the fact that he must walk on his knees, and driven to ecstasy by the gift of Bess' sometime love. Dorothy Dandridge is sleekly beautiful and pitiable as the temptation-fighting Bess, hooked on cocaine. Sammy Davis, Jr., as Sportin' Life, is a lively, dapper little snake, forever trying to get Bess to traipse off to New York with him, his bait the happy dust she needs. As Bess' man Crown, Brock Peters is a bull-like hunk of evil, involved in a street fight and an explosive rape scene, among the most effective of the sort ever filmed. Pearl Bailey is a treat as the bumptious, gold-hearted Maria. One strange drawback: the cast was evidently so anxious to avoid the cimematic stereotype of Negro speech (this is supposed to be Charleston in the year 1912) that they speak with stagey, unrealistic clarity. Oliver Smith's sets are impressively broken down, Otto Preminger's direction is taut, with an ever-present note of forboding, and Leon Shamroy's photography is filled with subtle pictorial delights. N. Richard Nash's screenplay, based on the Gershwin-DuBose Heyward opera, makes good use of all the talented people. Heard on the soundtrack as Bess is Adele Addison; Robert McFerrin sings Porgy's songs, and an outstanding job they - along with the others singing for themselves - do.

*** OCTOBER 1959 ***

Advertisement: Columbia Lp Record Club

Playboy: October 1959, page 9
Comment: Ad features 32 albums, pictured in b&w. Ad pitch similar to previous ones. Beloved Choruses by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir includes one by Rimsky-Korsakov; would that be from an opera?
Reruns: 65. Van Kempen conducts William Tell.

Advertisement: Mercury Record Corporation

Playboy: October 1959, page 11
Comment: Ad features 4 albums, pictured in b&w.

A New World Of Inspired Entertainment on

On cover: Maria Meneghini Callas. Medea by Luigi Cherubini. Teatro alla Scala, Tullio Serafin conductor
Off cover: The electrifying Maria Callas performs the tragic role of Medea. And Mercury brings you this actual on-the-scene recording from the famed LaScala Opera House in Milan.

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club

Playboy: October 1959, page 19
Comment: Ad features 39 albums, pictured in b&w. Not to insult anyone's intelligence, but the Straus below is Oscar Straus, not a misspelled Johann Strauss. El Capitan march is from El Capitan by John Phillip Sousa.
Reruns: 9. Jeanette MacDonald, operetta film star; 37. Eddie Heywood plays Summertime.

Choose From 39 Albums
ANY FIVE for only $3.98

On cover: Morton Gould. Brass & Percussion.
Off cover: 18. 17 swaggering marches: El Capitan, Semper Fidelis...

On cover: Gaite Parisienne; Gayne Ballet Suite. Boston Pops Orchestra; Arthur Fiedler
Off cover: 25. Absolutely the last word in sound and performance. The greatest Gaite!

On cover: The Chocolate Soldier. Rise Stevens; Robert Merrill
Off cover: 31. Lilting Straus operetta. Rise Stevens, Robert Merrill, Jo Sullivan, others.

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: October 1959, page 25

Anyone who remains unconvinced that we have living among us bizarre types from other solar systems should test his belief by listening to Wet Toe in a Hot Sprocket (Mirrosonic), a collection of comic grotesqueries by a female, of sorts, named Phyllis Diller... A few quotations suggest her outre effects: "A highbrow is a person who can listen to the William Tell Overture and not think of the Lone Ranger. I do it all the time. I think of Tonto"...

[page 28] If Handel's operas today seem stiff and static, some of his oratorios, paradoxically, have the theatrical savvy of bustling operas. One such is Judas Maccabaeus (Westminster)... Maccabaeus (it means "hammer"), the Jewish soldier whose triumphs are told of in the Apocrypha, is a tenor hero as potent as his operatic fellow-warriors, Samson, Rhadames and Otello, but unlike them, he does not come to a sticky end through women. John McCollum projects a sinewy Maccabaeus in this recording, bravely belting out the lung-busting, trumpet-embroidered arias... As his brother, High Priest Simon, basso Don Watts runs him a close second in the virile numbers... In any oratorio, however, the real hero is the chorus...

[page 31] If your shelves aren't already groaning under Porgy and Bess LPs, make a note to investigate a truly wild one entitled The Jazz Soul of Porgy and Bess (United Artists). The hero of this bravura venture is one William Orie Potts... whose big band charts either capture the quintessence of the songs in jazz terms (as on It Ain't Necessarily So, featuring Al Cohn) or invest them with a new and dashing personality (Summertime, with Harry Edison, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims)...

*** NOVEMBER 1959 ***

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: November 1959, page 26

Dedicated Wagnerites and neophytes alike will find ample cause to rejoice in the first available complete recording of Das Rheingold (London). Not only is it superbly performed; stereo seems to have been meant for this sort of operatic grandeur and spaciousness, and the full exploitations of its potentials as utilized here - with virtually no yielding to the temptation of overdoing stereo effects (well, maybe a little in the anvils) - comes as closed to recording perfection as we've encountered. The seldom-heard opera, first in the tetralogy called The Ring, resounds with a Gothic splendor wonderfully suited to the Norse and Teutonic myths from which Wagner drew his epic of dwarfs, giants, gods and godesses, Rhine maidens and mortals in the heroic mold. An impressive cast, under the direction of Georg Solti conducting the Vienna Philharmonic, seems to have been inspired to do its best: Flagstad, lured out of retirement last October especially for this session and singing a mezzo role as Fricka, has never sounded better in any recording - or any live performance of hers we've heard; Claire Watson (Freia), Gustav Neidlinger (Alberich), Walter Kreppel (Fasolt), Paul Kuen (Mime), and Set Svanholm (Loge) pour forth in full-voiced fervor yet with total control; George London as Wotan is expectably impressive, though he seems a bit out of his metier now and then (a small matter, really), and Eberhard Wa"chter, a comparative newcomer who sings Donner, quite obviously has a rich Wagnerian career ahead of him. If all this sounds like a rich layer-cake of superlatives, it's no more than this great three-disc offering deserves.

Article: When prankhood was in flower

being a flavorful assortment of thespian jokes, japes, jibes... perpetrated by and upon many mighty members of the theatrical profession

Playboy: November 1959, page 54
Writer: Rolf Malcolm
Comment: The Beggar's Opera was arranged and partly composed by John Christopher Pepusch. La Gioconda is by Amilcare Ponchielli. La Boheme is by Giacomo Puccini. Il Pirata is by Vincenzo Bellini.

Mr. Moody [author of The Astor Place Riot] has also recorded the price riots at the Covent Garden Theatre in the fall of 1809. An increase in the admission fee caused irate audiences to greet every performance with chants of "Old prices! Old prices!" Actor-producer John Kemble believed that "When there is Danger of a Riot always act an Opera; for Musick drowns the Noise of Opposition," so he scrapped Macbeth and quickly scheduled The Beggar's Opera. It didn't help. The riots continued to the end of the year - at which time, it is refreshing to note, the rioters won and the prices came down.

[page 94] The egg trick was also a favorite gag of Enrico Caruso's, though he used two of them and was kind enough to leave them in their shells. While singing with baritone Giraldoni in La Gioconda, the great tenor once managed to get a henfruit into both of the victim's hands as he raised them to heaven to protest his hapless lot.

But is was in La Boheme that cut-up Caruso really ran riot. His didoes during Mimi's death throes in the garret unhinged his Left bank cronies. When Scotti (another unlucky baritone) exited to fetch medicine for Mimi, he had to dart into the ostensibly cold night coatless because Caruso had sewn his sleeves together. A basso in the cast once found his hat filled with water; and on another memorable night, Mimi's deathbed was shifted to stage center as per custom, only to reveal a yawning chamber pot previously planted beneath it by the supposedly grief-stricken Enrico.

A more recent operatic upheaval occurred last year at the La Scala opera house in Milan, when volatile diva Maria Callas, miffed at La Scala's manager, Antonio Ghiringhelli, took grandiloquent revenge during a performance of Il Pirata. Claimed Time: "Instead of pointing offstage to her lover mounting the gallows, Callas leveled a finger at Ghiringhelli's box as she sang: 'There you see . . . distressing torture.'"

Personalities: On the scene [with Theodore Bikel]

wandering Jew

Playboy: November 1959, page 86
Comment: Ezio Pinza was the principal bass for the Metropolitan Opera for over 20 years.

Crowning his hydra-headed career, this month Bikel opens on Broadway opposite Mary Martin in The Sound of Music... Since Miss Martin's past leading men have included Yul Brynner, Ezio Pinza and Charles Boyer, 35-year-old Theo [Bikel]... may add a new characterization to his brimming repertoire: that of romantic leading man.

*** DECEMBER 1959 ***

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club

Playboy: December 1959, page 6
Comment: 2-page ad features 29 albums, pictured in b&w. Indian Love Call is from Rose-Marie by Rudolf Friml. Vesti la giubba is from Pagliacci by Ruggiero Leoncavallo. La donna e mobile is from Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi. Cielo e mar is from La Gioconda by Amilcare Ponchielli. Una furtiva lagrima is from L'Elisir d'Amore by Gaetano Donizetti. Celeste Aida is from Aida by Giuseppe Verdi. O Paradiso! is from L'Africaine by Giacomo Meyerbeer. Che gelida manina is from La Boheme by Giacomo Puccini. Air de la fleur is from Carmen by Georges Bizet. Song of India is from Sadko, by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

To introduce you to the RCA VICTOR POPULAR ALBUM CLUB
for only $3.98 (Nationally advertised prices total up to $20.90)

On cover (rerun): Moonglow. Artie Shaw and his Orchestra
Off cover (new): Artie's 12 biggest band hits, 1938-43. Begin the Beguine... Indian Love Call (Tony Pastor)...

On cover: Caruso.
Off cover: 123. Classic Caruso favorites recorded at the peak of his incredible career. Vesti la giubba, La donna e mobile, Cielo e mar, Una furtiva lagrima, Celeste Aida, O Paradiso!, Che gelida manina, Air de la fleur, etc. Enhanced sound.

On cover (rerun): Yes Indeed! Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra
Off cover (new): With Sinatra, Stafford... All big ones. Marie, Song of India...

Advertisement: Columbia Records

Playboy: December 1959, page 14
Comment: Ad features 34 albums; about half are represented with pictures of the album covers, the others represented with pictures of the performers. In the case of Porgy and Bess, a picture of the two stars of the movie, taken from the album cover, is supplied. (However, neither one sings on the soundtrack. See Sep59p35.)

Give the lasting gift of music:

Porgy and Bess - original sound track

Advertisement: Audio Fidelity Records

Playboy: December 1959, page 35
Comment: Ad features 6 albums, pictured in b&w. There's a Boat That's Leavin' Soon for New York and Summertime are from Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin.

NEW HOLIDAY RELEASES FROM AUDIO FIDELITY... the ultimate in high fidelity listening pleasure from . . . the highest standard in high fidelity!

On cover: Larry Adler. A study in high fidelity sound. Audio Fidelity
Off cover: Outstanding artistry . . . unequalled virtuosity . . . Larry Adler . . . playing "There's a Boat Leaving", "Genevieve", and "Summer Time".

Article: The legend of Don Juan

Out of the crucible of renaissance Spain came an image of freedom for all men.

Playboy: December 1959, page 57-60
Writer: J. A. Gato

In Spain... at Christmas... a certain play is performed in the theatres throughout the nation... The character who has so stirred [the spectators]... is Don Juan.

Man and myth... he is the subject of not only this 19th Century Spanish play (Don Juan Tenorio, by Jose Zorrilla) but also of other plays and other stories, songs, poems, operas and films in many languages...

The world was made for man, say the Spanish... Fertile ground this, in which to grow a Don Juan... The artist was a 17th Century Mercenarian friar named Gabril Tellez.

Tellez gained immortality under the nom de plume Tirso de Molina, as the author of a play, El Burlador de Sevilla (The Deceiver of Seville). In this play, Don Juan - who was later to be treated by Byron, Moliere, Goldoni, Pushkin, Mozart, Rostand, Dumas, Shaw, Richard Strauss and others - made his first appearance in world literature. Don Giovanni enthusiasts will find the Tirso plot somewhat similar to the Mozart opera:

Juan has just made love to an Italian noblewoman in her bedroom. She had given herself to him thinking he was her intended, Duke Octavio. Juan makes his escape under dramatic circumstances, and after many priapic encounters with fishergirls, peasantgirls, harlots and others, he disguises himself as the affianced of another lady called Dona Ana. The girl's father, Don Gonzalo, catches him and Juan has to kill the old gentleman in order to escape. Later, in a cemetary, Juan sees the statue of Don Gonzalo on a grave. He insults it. The statue comes alive and Juan invites it to dinner. The statue accepts, and the play ends with Juan being dragged down to Hell by the stony avenger...

Zorilla's play is another matter... Zorilla knew his Spaniards and he knew theater audiences.

In [the] last scene... Juan is on his knees... "Let me go," he pleads... "God have mercy upon me!"

Don Gonzalo says, "No, it is too late."

On this cue, a tomb opens and one Dona Inez steps forth. She is the one woman Juan truly loved in his life, and she is pure Zorilla. "No!" she cries to the statue. "I am here, Don Juan. My hand protects that hand of yours that you have held out to the Most High in true repentence; and God pardons Don Juan at the very edge of the grave."

The play ends spectacularly. To quote the stage directions: "Flowers open and give passage to various tiny angels, which surround Dona Inez and Don Juan... The sepulchre... vanishes."

For Spaniards - perhaps for all men - shrewd showman Zorrilla provided a loophole... It is as if Don Juan were saying to us: Live! Taste of life's joys... If at the final hour there is a real masculine forthrightness, an honest man-to-God talk, then things may not go badly for you.

[page 59, captions] Gaity reigns in a scene from Don Giovanni. [Picture shows Don Giovanni feasting.] An old engraving depicts the statue's revenge. [Picture shows Don Giovanni struggling to free his right hand from the statue's grip, while Leporello peeks from below a table.]

[caption] Popular basso Ezio Pinza epitomized the Mozartian Juan of Don Giovanni.

Travel: Playboy's International Datebook

Playboy: December 1959, page 140
Writer: Patrick Chase

In February, too, giddy festivities abound elsewhere, from Norway's sun pageant in Narvik (the sun's a gas, we've always said) which welcomes the shining hours back after a prolonged winter, to the bejeweled Opera Ball in Vienna.

Advertisement: Columbia Lp Record Club

Playboy: December 1959, page 141
Comment: Ad features 56 albums, pictured in color. Ad same as Jul59p97.
Reruns: 12. Ormandy conducts Gaite Parisienne. 43. Miles Davis plays Porgy and Bess. 47. The Desert Song by Nelson Eddy. 65. Van Kempen conducts William Tell. 70. Mitropoulos conducts Dance of the Seven Veils.

*** JANUARY 1960 ***

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club

Playboy: January 1960, page 2
Comment: Ad features 72 albums, pictured in b&w. Indian Love Call is from Rose-Marie by Rudolf Friml. Will You Remember is from Maytime by Sigmund Romberg. Wanting You is from New Moon by Sigmund Romberg. The Anvil Chorus is from Il Trovatore by Giuseppe Verdi. The March of the Toys is from Babes In Toyland by Victor Herbert.
Reruns: 18. Morton Gould conducts El Capitan march; 37. Eddie Heywood plays Summertime.

To introduce you to the RCA VICTOR POPULAR ALBUM CLUB
ANY FIVE for only $3.98

On cover (rerun): Jeanette MacDonald & Nelson Eddy...
Off cover (new): 9. Operetta film stars remake their 12 biggest hits. Indian Love Call, Will You Remember, Rosalie, Wanting You.

On cover: "Prez" Perez Prado
Off cover: 21. Cha chas, hot and cool, by Prado's crackling big band. Lullaby of Birdland, Flight of the Bumblebee, 9 more

On cover (rerun): Gaite Parisienne, Gayne Ballet suite...
Off cover (new): 25. Absolutely the last word in sound, performance - the greatest Gaite of all!...

On cover (rerun): The Chocolate Soldier...
Off cover (new): 31. Handsome production of Straus operetta stars Rise Stevens, Robert Merrill, Jo Sullivan. My Hero, Sympathy, etc.

On cover: Torch Time. Gogi Grant
Off cover: 35. My Man... Summertime, more.

On cover: Musically MAD. Bernie Green with the Stereo Mad-Men
Off cover: 48. Hilarious musical satire, caricature plus commentary by Henry Morgan. Gunsmirk Suite; Anvils, Of Course; more.

On cover (rerun): The Mighty Wurlitzer...
Off cover (new): 52. Mighty pipe-organ sounds, colors, plus 24 favorites by Gershwin, Friml, Youmans, Rodgers, Romberg, others.

On cover: Marches in Hi-Fi. Arthur Fiedler, Boston Pops
Off cover: 54. 15 strutting marches by diverse composers. Colonel Bogey... March of the Toys...

On cover: Jan Peerce in Las Vegas, with Joe Reisman Orchestra
Off cover: 94. Great tenor's favorite pop specials: Bluebird of Happiness, Granada, Because, I Believe, Around the World, etc.

On cover: Porgy and Bess. Lena Horne, Harry Belafonte
Off cover: 100. Two super-stars render 12 Gershwin treasures in fresh, modern manner. The best-selling version.

Advertisement: Columbia Lp Record Club

Playboy: January 1960, page 9
Comment: Ad features 36 albums, pictured in b&w. One Kiss is from The New Moon by Sigmund Romberg. Will You Remember is from Maytime by Sigmund Romberg. Song of Love is from Blossom Time by Sigmund Romberg.

COLUMBIA Lp RECORD CLUB offers new members
of these 12" long-playing STEREO records for only $4.98

On cover: Porgy and Bess. Original soundtrack recording from the Samuel Goldwyn motion picture production
Off cover: 6. Bess, You Is My Woman Now; It Ain't Necessarily So; etc.

On cover: A Night With Sigmund Romberg. Percy Faith and his Orchestra. Earl Wrightson and Lois Hunt
Off cover: 7. One Kiss, Will You Remember, Song of Love, 9 more.

Advertisement: Somerset Stereo Fidelity

Playboy: January 1960, page 15
Comment: Ad features 4 albums, pictured in b&w. Prince Igor is by Aleksandr Borodin. Tannha"user is by Richard Wagner.

For the playboy who takes pride in his stereo equipment . . .
Presents The Most Exciting Stereo In The World Today!

On cover: Swingin' with Prince Igor and Tannha"user. Skip Martin's symphony in jazz
Off cover: Swingin' with Prince Igor. Here are the Polovtsian Dances rescored by Skip Martin with a full symphony orchestra plus a driving, swinging jazz band of leading West Coast men. A brilliant stereo jazz experiment.

Advertisement: Shaw-White & Associates

Playboy: January 1960, page 16
Comment: Ad similar to Mar59p26. Carmen Suite album cover visible in the FI-RACK record storage rack.

Advertisement: Atco Records

Playboy: January 1960, page 17
Comment: Ad features 1 album, pictured in b&w. Mack the Knife is from Die Dreigroschenoper by Kurt Weill.

"That's All"

On cover: Bobby Darin: That's All
Off cover: Bobby Darin, America's hottest show business personality, has a fabulous LP here that is taking all America by storm. Includes his hit, Mack the Knife, and 11 other swinging standards, to orchestral accompaniment by Richard Wess.

Fiction: Softly Walks the Beetle

At a sidewalk cafe on the Champs-Elysees, a shrewd business deal was transacted

Playboy: January 1960, page 34
Writer: John Collier

The young man, thinking it unprofitable to talk to a lunatic, merely grunted, and lifted his newspaper again...

"I love the arts," said the dear old boy, "and I do what I can to encourage them. I love the theatre. I love the ballet. I love, above all, the art of the motion picture. Film, with its amazing potentialities... the juxtaposition, to take the most obvious example, of vast panoramic shots and the most intimate 'close-ups,' as they call them, which were invented, as you know, by the great innovator D. W. Griffith, a director whom I never had the privilege of meeting, but who . . ."

At this point, his voice swelled to an organ note, and I, as one sometimes does at the opera, focused my attention on the music without too much heeding a libretto I had heard too often before. After a time the flat utterance of the name of a very promising young film director signaled the end of the recitative and the resumption of ordinary dialog.

*** FEBRUARY 1960 ***

Advertisement: Columbia Lp Record Club

Playboy: February 1960, page 2
Comment: Ad features 64 albums, pictured in color.
Reruns: 2. Porgy and Bess, original soundtrack. 40. A Night With Sigmund Romberg.

From The World's Largest Record Club
Columbia Lp Record Club now offers new members
of these $3.98 and $4.98 high-fidelity 12" long-playing records for only $1.97

64 records to choose from.

On cover (rerun): Gaite Parisienne complete... Ormandy
Off cover (new): 50. All the fire and dash of this ever-popular ballet score

On cover: Sorrento. Richard Tucker
Off cover: 39. The great Metropolitan tenor sings 12 Italian favorites

On cover: La Boheme highlights starring Antonietta Stella
Off cover: 10. "Sure-fire Puccini . . . fine cast" - New York Times

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club

Playboy: February 1960, page 9
Comment: Ad features 40 albums, pictured in b&w. Ad pitch similar to previous ones.
Reruns: 9. Jeanette MacDonald, operetta film star; 37. Eddie Heywood plays Summertime.

On cover (rerun): Porgy and Bess. Lena Horne...
Off cover (new): 100. 12 Gershwin treasures in fresh, modern manner. The best-selling version.

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: February 1960, page 19

If you've been bugged by both traditional and modern jazz, Hairy Jazz (Elektra) may be your salve. The hairy shouter... is Shel Silverstein... Silverstein comes to grip with a dozen vintage items... and the quality of his voice lies somewhere between Caruso's and Andy Devine's...

[page 21] Anyone for chestnuts? There are five of the chsetnuttiest roasted to a turn on a recent budget-priced fun disc (Telefunken): Enesco,... Liszt,... Borodin's In the Steppes of Central Asia and Polovtsian Dances. Franz Andre works the Belgian National Radio Orchestra into a lather, especially in the Borodin selections, from which most of the score of Kismet was cannily lifted. In fact, this part of the platter allmost seems like an enriched potpourri of Broadway's baubel-bangle-bead-bedizened bonanza; with a full-throated chorus aiding the ork, fantasies of flashing eyes, thrashing thighs, winking navels and other Central Asian goodies are effectively evoked. The fi is sky-high, the performances exciting.

Advertisement: Somerset Stereo Fidelity

Playboy: February 1960, page 21
Comment: Ad features 10 albums, none pictured.

The World's First
101 Strings

The lush magnificence and emotional depth of "101 Strings" is due to a combination of factors. First, in importance, is the concept of scoring for strings... "101 Strings" is composed of 128 to 141 players... These players represent the finest musicians in Europe today.

Crand Canyon Suite
Concerto Under the Stars
Porgy and Bess
Russian Fireworks

*** MARCH 1960 ***

Advertisement: RCA Victor

Playboy: March 1960, page 13
Comment: Ad features 36 full, and 20 partial album covers, pictured in b&w. Note that this is not the RCA Victor Popular Album Club. There is no off-cover text. All covers have "Living Stereo RCA Victor" logo. These pictures provide a better look at the album covers than in previous ads.

Your RCA Victor record dealer's second smash stereo sale!
when you buy one in same category at regular price

On cover: Offenbach Gaite Parisienne. Khachaturian Gayne Ballet Suite. Boston Pops Orch. Arthur Fiedler

On cover: Romberg The Student Prince. Mario Lanzo

On cover: Porgy and Bess. Lena Horne, Harry Belafonte

On cover: Mozart The Marriage of Figaro. Tozzi, Peters, Della Casa, London, Elias.

Advertisement: Somerset Stereo Fidelity

Playboy: March 1960, page 23
Comment: Ad features 3 albums, pictured in b&w. Prince Igor is by Aleksandr Borodin.

To hell with adjectives, just listen . . .

Stereo scored for dancing
More Skip Martin

On cover (rerun): Swingin' with Prince Igor...
Off cover (new): Swingin' with Prince Igor.

Humor: The Roger Price theory of nomenclature

A rose by any other name would be a gardenia

Playboy: March 1960, page 80
Writer: Roger Price
Comment: It seems a good bet the writer had Enrico Caruso in mind when he wrote this.

I can see the time coming when all personality problems may be solved by professional name-changers who could be called namalysts. If George is tired of being imposed on and feels he's a failure, he goes to the namalyst who gives him a new first name (changing the last name won't help). The new name is Clark. No one is going to impose on Clark or give him bum tips on the market... Or perhaps George gets the name Enrico. He becomes an Italian, takes voice lessons and gets his own TV show.

*** APRIL 1960 ***

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club

Playboy: April 1960, page 2
Comment: 2-page ad features 70 albums, pictured in b&w. Vesti la giubba is from Pagliacci by Ruggiero Leoncavallo.
Reruns: 9. Jeanette MacDonald, operetta film star; 21. Perez Prado plays Flight of the Bumblebee; 35. Gogi Grant sings Summertime; 37. Eddie Heywood plays Summertime; 48. Musically Mad with Anvils, of Course; 52. The Mighty Wurlitzer plays Friml, Romberg; 94. Jan Peerce in Las Vegas.

Select the best in popular albums from this up-to-date list of RCA VICTOR best-sellers
ANY FIVE for only $3.98

On cover (rerun): Porgy and Bess. Lena Horne...
Off cover (new): 100. Two super-stars render 12 Gershwin treasures in fresh, modern manner. A current best-seller.

On cover: Mario Lanza. For the First Time
Off cover: 202. Soundtrack recording from the late tenor's last film. Come Prima, Vesti la giubba, O sole mio, Shubert's Ave Maria.

On cover: Rose-Marie. Julie Andrews, Giorgio Tozzi
Off cover: 208. New hi-fi version of Friml-Hammerstein hit. Julie Andrews, Giorgio Tozzi. Indian Love Call, other favorites.

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: April 1960, page 21

On The Exciting Artistry of Will Holt... Holt turns to some non-folksy stuff... in addition to a batch of traditional saws and one gay blade, Mack the Knife...

Playboy After Hours: books

Playboy: April 1960, page 22

Love and Like is Herbert Gold's first collection of short stories... If one wished to carp, it would be possible to speak of Gold's perhaps unwise decision to to eschew many lighthearted confections and collect only his most sober-sided stories... Elsewhere, Gold has said he knows the difference "between something that speaks my truth and something amusing to fit between the advertisements" and in that statement one may detect a tinge of apology for his amusing work. But - and this is not to deprecate the stories that speak Gold's truth - artists are notoriously the worst judges of their own work, and posterity plays puckish tricks: the serious plays of Gilbert and the lofty operas and oratorios of Sullivan are dead and unlamented today while Pinafore and The Mikado still hold the stage...

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Playboy: April 1960, page 105
Comment: 2-page ad features 51 albums, pictured in color. Note that "Columbia Record Club" eschews the "Lp" for the first time.
Reruns: 2. Porgy and Bess, original soundtrack. 10. La Boheme with Stella. 39. Richard Tucker sings Sorrento. 40. A Night With Sigmund Romberg. 50. Ormandy conducts Gaite Parisienne.

Records for every musical taste!
Classical! Popular! Dance music! Broadway Hits! Jazz!

*** MAY 1960 ***

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Playboy: May 1960, page 5
Comment: Ad features 42 albums, none pictured. Some of the artists are pictured.

JAZZ by the greatest jazz stars of all time!

Columbia Record Club invites you to accept
of these high-fidelity 12" long-playing
Jazz Records records for only $1.97. Retail value $19.90

18. Ella Fitzgerald - At the Opera House. Goody Goody, Ill Wind, Moonlight In Vermont, 6 others.

26. Miles Davis - Porgy and Bess. It Ain't Necessarily So; Bess, You Is My Woman Now; Summertime; 10 others.

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: May 1960, page 22

New York's Town Hall has been the site of many recitals in its thirty-nine year history, but few could match in scope the one Nina Simone presented in the hallowed hall last September. The high points of that performance comprise Nina Simone at Town Hall (Colpix). The singer-pianist conquers various worlds in this outing: folk ballad... pop standard... bistro ballad... Broadway (Summertime)... It is an astonishing program...

Fiction: Trouble in Makeoutsville

a cross-country junket with a boy, a girl and that old devil frustration

Playboy: May 1960, page 32
Writer: Herbert Gold
Comment: The Miss Rheingold beauty contest was a publicity stunt for Rheingold Beer. The beer was supposedly given its name by a Metropolitan Opera conductor; thus, the connection with Das Rheingold by Richard Wagner.

Hike! would send a typical American couple across country in the Lisbon [Station Wagon], reporting for the magazine on the travel scene [and] publicizing the Lisbon...

And so we auditioned models... "Not you, honey. Well, maybe for another job, but not this one. No, sorry, honey, but just call me Max." We talked with a Miss Rheingold runner-up; we talked with a girl who smoothed her stockings on the late, late show... we talked with a girl who had played Medea on Second Avenue. But the first girl couldn't write or type, the second one felt that the double bed [in the station wagon] wasn't large enough for the two of us... and the third felt that the payment in travel expenses plus heartfelt thanks and all the publicity we could garner was not enough for the job.

Nostalgia: Requiem for radio

It created a world that had to be believed to be seen

Playboy: May 1960, page 85
Writer: Charles Beaumont

I think of my childhood friend, radio, and I wish I could go back to him for a little while. For an hour. One hour with my eyes closed and my mind open, lying on my back under those great carved wooden legs, listening. Listening to the kid shows, but to many of the grown-up shows, too; listening and listening and listening . . .

To Little Orphan Annie ("Who's that little chatterbox, the one with the pretty auburn locks?"); Don Winslow of the Navy... Buck Rogers... Og, Son of Fire... The Hermit's Cave... Theatre Guild on the Air... and the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic... To James Fassett, who taught us that Mozart wrote some pretty tunes...

Advertisement: Arnold Bennett

Playboy: May 1960, page 88
Comment: Opera connection an exercise for the reader...

The Livin' Is Easy . . .

in our colorful leisure wear. Here, a well cut knit cotton boat neck shirt... Summertime colors: blue/white, olive/gold, blue/black...

Article: The Cannes film festival

At this gala Riviera hotel, both movies and maidens are better than ever

Playboy: May 1960, page 88
Writer: C. B. Grenier

The audience, you'll note, behaves in a way special and peculiar to film festival crowds. Don't be surprised by bursts of applause right in the middle of a movie. Bold or original shots, or a really good piece of acting, are applauded, the way opera lovers respond to an aria. Some old Festival hands claim they can predict the awards from the pattern of applause throughout a film.

Travel: Playboy's International Datebook

Playboy: May 1960, page 110
Writer: Patrick Chase

If your taste in music leans toward the classical, July's your month, too. Festivals throughout Europe are more inviting than ever. Devotees of Wagner should make it to Bayreuth, Germany (beginning on July 23). Mozart buffs won't want to miss the annual to-do in Salzburg, Austria (from July 26 through August.)

*** JUNE 1960 ***

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: June 1960, page 20

Through the Opera Glass: We yield to no one in admiration of Giuseppe Verdi, nor of Shakespeare, nor of those great Shakespeare-based operas, Otello and Falstaff; but, more's the pity, Verdi's early Macbeth (RCA Victor) is doggedly uninspired. This is a dandy recording from the technical and performing standpoints, though: Erich Leinsdorf wrings every drop from a turnip of a score; the late Leonard Warren is a tower of power in the title role, his superhuman voice coloring the production with rich veins of mahogany; Leonie Rysanek brings a big meaty tone to the Lady Macbeth music. And the libretto, despite what some snide commentators have written, does not violate Shakespeare, considering necessary condensations and certain obeisances to operatic convention (full choruses of Witches and Murderers, for example, and a drinking song for Lady M). Occasionally, the music will glow with sudden excitement (the Act I Finale; Macbeth's Dagger Soliloquy) or thicken with appropriate and too-infrequent foreboding (the Act III Cave Scene), and there are one or two OK arias (Macbeth's Pieta, rispetto, onore being the best, though below Verdian par). Hearing this routine score - which is as primitive as Trovatore but without that opera's fiery spontaneity and continuous gush of melody - one desperately wishes Verdi had saved this fine Shakespearean subject until the last part of his life, when he could have made it, as he made Otello, a masterwork forged plutonically under extreme pressure out of the igneous, molten magma of a mature and battle-scarred talent. Besides lacking plain old-fashioned Italian tunes and guts, this operatic Macbeth lacks the demonic wildness and goose flesh its subject cries for. In later years, Verdi could and did unleash "night's black agents" - from the Otello score, one recalls many supremely sinister pages: Iago's Mephistophelean Credo, the infernal tenor-baritone Pledge duet, the howling dark majesty of the opening chorus, as well as brief chilling flashes like Iago's jealousy warning and the Moor's claiming of magical properties for the handkerchief. No, Macbeth is of historical interest only.

Article: Words & music by Cole Porter

Delightful, delovely, they take the measure of love

Playboy: June 1960, page 61
Writer: Bruce Griffin

Hardly a week goes by without some musician, in some part of the world, tramping into a recording studio or standing up in front of an audience and knocking out a Cole Porter song. His tunes have been cut by practically everybody in the business: singers (both jazz and pop), instrumentalists (both jazz and otherwise), glee clubs, barbershop quartets and opera singers (both light and grand).

Article: The bier barons

Out Hollywood way, the pitchmen of death huckster a technicolored, cinemascopic Valhalla

Playboy: June 1960, page 90
Writer: Al Morgan
Comment: Indian Love Call is from Rose-Marie by Rudolf Friml. Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life is from Naughty Marietta by Victor Herbert.

Physically, Forest Lawn is overpowering. More than eighty miles of pipes are used to water and drain its three hundred acres. There are more than 100,000 shrubs and an uncounted number of evergreens (no leaf shall fall at Forest Lawn to remind anyone of death, even in the plant world). Hidden behind the shrubbery are loudspeakers that play recorded birdcalls and music (Indian Love Call and Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life are the two top tunes on the Forest Lawn Hit Parade)...

[page 93] The current most popular attraction at Forest Lawn is a huge painting of the Crucifixion that finally found its way to Memorial Park after the kind of chase sequence in which Alfred Hitchcock specializes... The trail ended in New York in 1905. Acting on the assumption that a painting as wide as a twenty-story building is high can't remain hidden forever, Eaton continued the search. He stalked the picture for five years, hiring people to follow the trail through Customs declaration, bills of lading, warehouse receipts, freight manifests, and finally found it in the warehouse of the Chicago Civic Opera Company, wrapped around a telephone pole and hidden behind the discarded scenery of a forgotten opera production. After paying the tabs it had accumulated since 1904, he had it crated and shipped to Los Angeles... Even the largest stage in Los Angeles was not wide enough for it...

John Styka's painting was a smash.

*** JULY 1960 ***

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club

Playboy: July 1960, page 8
Comment: 2-page ad features 64 albums, pictured in b&w. Ad pitch is similar to previous ones. Song of India is from Sadko by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.
Reruns: 9. Jeanette MacDonald, operetta film star; 37. Eddie Heywood plays Summertime; 48. Musically Mad with Anvils, of Course; 54. Fiedler conducts March of the Toys; 100. Porgy and Bess with Lena Horne; 202. Mario Lanza sings Vesti la giubba;

On cover (rerun): Yes Indeed! Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra
Off cover (new): 148. With Sinatra, Stafford... Marie, Song of India...

On cover: Gilbert & Sullivan Songbook. The Ralph Hunter Choir
Off cover: 223. Delightful choral versions of 18 favorites. Includes 8 song books with lyrics. "Extraordinary" - High Fidelity

Fiction: Wilbur Fonts for President

A congressman at large in gamy Gay Paree

Playboy: July 1960, page 62
Writer: Jeremy Dole
Comment: I suppose this refers to the opera - dunno why he would use Italian for "clowns" in a Paris setting.

Well, it was a fine evening, with much merry chatter and strolling Pagliacci accordionists, and jugglers of torches fresh from Ed Sullivan, and lighthearted girls who sowed the stage with their tiny garments...

Travel: Playboy's International Datebook

Playboy: July 1960, page 86
Writer: Patrick Chase

We suggest you take the European theatre circuit in September: In Dublin, you can audit the brogueful talents of the Abbey, Gate and Globe players... In Vienna, its the Staatsoper, while Ibsen productions run rampant throughout Scandinavia.

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Playboy: July 1960, page 87
Comment: 2-page ad features 48 albums, pictured in color. Ad pitch similar to previous ones.
Reruns: 27. Porgy and Bess, original soundtrack.

*** AUGUST 1960 ***

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club

Playboy: August 1960, page 2
Comment: 2-page ad features about 100 albums, 40 are pictured in b&w. Ad pitch similar to previous ones. All 4 albums which are described below have been shown in previous ads.
Reruns: 9. Jeanette MacDonald, operetta film star; 21. Perez Prado plays Flight of the Bumblebee; 35. Gogi Grant sings Summertime; 37. Eddie Heywood plays Summertime; 48. Musically Mad with Anvils, of Course; 100. Porgy and Bess with Lena Horne; 148. Tommy Dorsey plays Song of India; 202. Mario Lanza sings Vesti la giubba; 223. Ralph Hunter Choir sings Gilbert & Sullivan;

[no picture] 18. Morton Gould's Symphonic Band... 17 blazing, superbly sonic marches including 8 by Sousa... (El Capitan, etc.)...

[no picture] 25. Gaite Parisienne: Boston Pops. Fiedler conducting. The last word in sound, performance!...

[no picture] 54. Marches in Hi-Fi: Boston Pops. Fiedler conducting 15 strutting marches by diverse composers... March of the Toys...

[no picture] 94. Jan Peerce in Las Vegas. Great tenor's favorite pop specials...

Advertisement: RCA Victor Society of Great Music

Playboy: August 1970, page 7
Comment: Ad features 8 albums, shown in b&w with a picture of the composer or performer.

Incomparable multi-record sets . . .
are any missing from your record library?

The RCA Victor Society of Great Music offers you
ANY SET FOR $4.98.

A cardinal feature of the plan is GUIDANCE. The society has a Selection Panel whose sole function is to recommend "must-have" works. The panel includes... Deems Taylor... Aaron Copland... William Schuman... Carleton Sprague Smith...

Vienna Philharmonic Festival, conducted by Herbert von Karajan
Johann Strauss, Jr... Overtures to Die Fledermaus and Gypsy Baron...

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Playboy: August 1960, page 13
Comment: Ad features 36 albums, pictured in b&w. Ad pitch similar to previous ones. Polovtsian Dances are from Prince Igor by Aleksandr Borodin.
Reruns: 2. Porgy and Bess, original soundtrack.

On cover: 1812 Overture. Tchaikovsky. Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy
Off cover: 19. Also: Night on Bald Mountain, Polovtsian Dances, etc.

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: August 1960, page 20

For some time now, Angel Records has been dedicated to the proposition that fun may be had by stereophonically resuscitating dusty old operetta scores, and we are on the side of Angel. Their latest clusters of highlights: Lilac Time, based loosely on the music, and even more loosely on the life of Franz Schubert. Cooked up by Berte and Clutsam, this confection is more familiar in our country as Blossom Time, with additional fillips added by Romberg (the popular Song of Love, one of the fillips, is therefore missing in this pressing of the original score, but the disc is so melodious you won't mind.) Lehar's The Merry Widow is demonstrably the most beloved operetta ever written. Relentlessly tuneful, unceasingly effervescent, those who can resist it are not to be trusted. It's done to a turn here by the Sadler's Wells company. White Horse Inn, by Benatzky and Stolz, is new to us, but ran for 416 performances in Berlin, 652 in London, and 223 in a Broadway production co-starring Kitty Carlisle and William Gaxton, as well as being viewed in New York less than three years ago in a German color film version. It's a thumping Tyrolean frolic. In a somewhat different category is Noel Coward's Bitter Sweet, a deliberate throwback lovingly concocted of refined sugar and pure corn oil. Coward says, "It has given me more complete satisfaction than anything else I have ever written," and listening to the lilt of Zigeuner, Tokay and I'll See You Again, one does not wonder at his pleasure. The late William Bolitho wrote, some years ago, of the Bitter Sweet effect in words that might well describe the mood evoked by this whole series or recorded revivals: "You find it faintly," he said, "when you look over old letters the rats have nibbled at, one evening you don't go out; there is a little of it, impure and odorous, in the very sound of barrel organs, in quiet squares in the evenings. . . . It is all right for beasts to have no memories; but we poor humans have to be compensated."

Pictorial: Sophia the sultry

a sensuous look at Italy's most voluptuous export

Playboy: August 1960, page 72
Comment: Aida is by Giuseppe Verdi.

As fifteen-year-old Sophia Scicolone, she was living a drab existence in a crumbly Naples suburb... A year later, padded properly by pasta, she first began to inspire second glances... Burning for fame, mother and daughter turned up in Rome as extras in Quo Vadis. Producer Carlo Ponti... nailed Sophia for her first starring role, in Africa Under the Sea... She starred in Aida... then in twenty Italian films in three years.

Fiction: The Best of All Possible Worlds

a parable of love, satiety, and related delights

Playboy: August 1960, page 102
Writer: Ray Bradbury
Comment: Peach-melba is named after Nellie Melba. Carmen is by Georges Bizet. Bru"nnhilde is a character in Die Walk"ure, etc., by Richard Wagner.

"My wife is amazing," [said Smith.] One of the finest actresses off-Broadway when I met her. Selfishly, I asked her to quit the stage... The first six months of our marriage, the earth did not move, it shook. But, inevitably, fiend that I am, I began to watch various other women ticking by... Meanwhile, she had begun to cast her eyes on passing theatrical billboards...

"One night," said Smith, "I eyed a peach-melba that drifted by. Simultaneously, an old theatre program blew in the wind and clung to my wife's ankle... My wife seized me by the arm. Was she not an actress? Well, then, well! She sent me packing for twenty-four hours, wouldn't let me in the apartment... When I returned home the next afternoon... my wife had vanished! A dark Latin put out her hand to me. 'I am a friend of your wife's,' she said, and threw herself upon me... until I held her off and suddenly suspicious cried, 'This is no woman I'm with - this is my wife!' And we both fell laughing to the floor... 'My actress!' I said. 'Your actress!' she laughed. 'Tell me what I should be, and I'll be it. Carmen? All right, I'm Carmen. Bru"nnhilde? Why not? I'll study, create, and when you grow bored, re-create... I'll learn to sit, stand, walk, ten thousand ways. I'm chin deep in speech lessons. I'm signed at the the Berlitz...' 'Good Lord,' I cried, 'what for?' 'This!' she replied, and tossed me head over heels into bed."

Jazz: Miles

the dauntless Davis and his horn of plenty

Playboy: August 1960, page 109
Writer: Stanley Goldstein

Miles Davis LP Discography
Porgy and Bess, Columbia CL-1257 (CS-8085)

*** SEPTEMBER 1960 ***

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Playboy: September 1960, page 2
Comment: 2-page ad features 48 albums, pictured in color. Ad pitch similar to previous ones.
Reruns: 19. Ormandy conducts 1812 Overture, Polovtsian Dances. 20. Porgy and Bess, original soundtrack.

Playboy After Hours

Playboy: September 1960, page 27

Our heart goes out to those strong souls secure enough to admit their own mistakes, especially when they do so in the grand manner as did Capitol Records in a press release we herewith reproduce: "Our classics man was indisposed last week and the pop-music types took a crack at writing up the classical album release. The results - as you probably know - were disastrous. Some examples: ... Richard Strauss' tone poem Don Juan is in no way related to an opera, as the news release would have us believe. Our classics man is back on the job; the pop-types are back at their jobs. And we all ask your indulgence." You have it.

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: September 1960, page 40

Through the Opera Glass: three pressings of not-quite-operas rate more than routine spinnings. Purcell's masque, King Arthur (London), to a text by Dryden, was premiered in 1691 but is a lively oldster aglow with crystalline melody, stirring choral numbers, brisk and biting "Trumpet Tunes." Dig particularly the superb Freezing Chorus. Bluebeard's Castle (Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft) is a one-act duolog by the late Bela Bartok. The dissonant music grows progressively blood-curdling as seven secret doors are opened by Bluebeard's new bride, Judith. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, the great German baritone, brings dark authority to the role of the pre-De Sade sadist, and contralto Hertha To"pper trots alongside him bravely. This single disc is an import with no English libretto, unfortunately. Der Mond (Angel) is one of comtemporary Carl Orff's pyrotechnical stage pieces which he carefully avoids calling operas. Based on a Grimm fable about some rustics who swipe the moon, it's lyric and loud, rhythmic and roistering - but with too much spoken dialog for our taste. Though not as unqualified hit as the same composer's Carmina Burana, it's a fun work. Bilingual text included.

*** OCTOBER 1960 ***

Advertisement: Book-Of-The-Month Club

Playboy: October 1960, page 3
Comment: Ad features 60 books, pictured in b&w.

For $1 Each

156. Encyclopedia of the Opera by David Ewen. (Retail price $7.50)

Playboy After Hours: acts and entertainment

Playboy: October 1960, page 18

We've been intrigued of late by the sizzling comeback of Vic Damone... The Damone act reached a standup climax with a Porgy and Bess medley - Bess, You is My Woman Now; It Ain't Necessarily So; Oh, Where is My Bess? - that earned him a full five minutes of applause...

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: October 1960, page 22

Bobby Darin... manages to sing sixteen songs on Darin at the Copa... Included are vigorous versions of Darin staples - Mack the Knife... For a guy who said he wants to be the biggest thing around by the time he's twenty-five... Darin's made a big step in the right direction.

[page 28] [Ella Fitzgerald] is obviously on her way toward becoming number one thrush of West Germany. [On] Mack the Knife - Ella in Berlin... Ella cracks in a couple of spots, forgets the lyric to Mack the Knife (and improvises a beaut of her own), but no matter. She does no wrong.

Playboy After Hours: films

Playboy: October 1960, page 32

Back in Germany of 1931, The Threepenny Opera of playwright Bert Brecht and the late composer Kurt Weill was made into a now-legendary film, legendary because good and also because the original negative was burned in the bonfires of the Third Reich, leaving only a handful of prints - each incomplete in its own way - scattered about Europe... The completed jigsaw puzzle is now available... Lotte Lenya (Weill's wife) is featured. Mack the Knife done as Weill intended will sound odd but interesting to ears accustomed to the Darin or Satchmo treatments...

Playboy After Hours: books

Playboy: October 1960, page 33-34

"For whom do you compose?" Robert Craft asks Igor Stravinsky in Memories and Commentaries, and the Twentieth Century's greatest composer replies, "For myself and the hypothetical other." The little book is a worthy companion piece to Conversations with Igor Stravinsky (Playboy After Hours, August 1959)... He relates a Hollywood experience: "I was offered $100,000 to pad a film with music, and when I refused, was told I could receive the same money if I were willing to allow someone else to compose the music in my name"... Three Stravinsky operas are discussed in detail, and the original scenario of one, The Rake's Progress, is reproduced in full...

Article: What's in a name?

plenty of trouble, when two happen to be the same

Playboy: October 1960, page 60
Writer: Leonard Lyons

Similarity of names has produced interesting confusion and novel experiences for other notables [besides the famous American and British Winston Churchills] as well...

[page 64] Dino Yannopoulos was stage-manager of the Metropolitan Opera when Edward Johnson became general manager. Mr. Johnson twisted his tongue in trying to pronounce the stage-manager's name and suggested that he change it. "By the way," he asked, "what does Yannopoulos mean?" The stage-manager explained that it means "Son of John. John's Son. If you wish, I could change my name to Johnson."

"No," replied Mr. Johnson, "that won't be necessary, Mr. Yanol . . . Yollan . . . Yannopoulos"...

Although Robert Merrill, the opera star, and Robert Merrill, the songwriter, spell their names exactly the same way, neither has been inconvenienced at all - unlike Jules Stein, the fabulously successful head of the Music Corporation of America, and Julie Styne, the composer...

Entertainment: The Second City

Chicago's unique cabaret theatre presents satire that is second to none

Playboy: October 1960, page 113
Comment: I guess this is a satire on Die Dreigroschenoper. Each sentence below has an accompanying picture. I guess "ausgespielt" translates as "played out".

Satirizing both German play and movie, Der Dreigroschenengel, or Threepenny Angel, begins as sarcastic narrator (Duncan) explains that femme fatale Lola Lulu (Miss Harris) is married to fumbling Professor Ausgespielt (Troobnick).

She toys with Herr Professor, treats him like dirt.

Enter gigolo, Mack the Zipper (Sand).

Mack charms Lola by slapping her around, blowing smoke in her face.

When they go off together, the husband - determined to show Lola what a scoundrel Mack is - disguises himself as a woman, bribes Mack away from his wife.

Thirsting for revenge against Mack, Lola in turn disguises herself as a man and vies with Mack for her husband's affection.

Mack is finally driven off and husband and wife are reunited with their positions reversed (?) as she (he) starts treating him (her) like dirt (schmutz).

*** NOVEMBER 1960 ***

Advertisement: Columbia Records

Playboy: November 1960, page 1
Comment: Ad features albums by 6 performers. The performers are pictured; the albums aren't.

The newest SOUNDS

Puccini and the Blues. Grand Opera's Eileen Farrell is a heartbreaking "Madame Butterfly" - or "Tosca" but the vocal surprise of the year is her newest role, the heroine of the blues. She lights a tender torch in "I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues."

"I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues"/Eileen Farrell.
"Puccini Arias"/Eileen Farrell.
"An Eileen Farrell Song Recital."

Everybody's girl Irma. "Irma la Douce," a wayward but of course goodhearted wench, is chronicled in the score of a new Broadway musical, a kind of French "Three Penny Opera"...

From "Hansel" to "Wozzeck". Thomas Schippers is a spirited maestro with a gift for opera that has carried him triumphantly to La Scala and the Met. His premiere Columbia recording is a rousing "Lp" of orchestral interludes from operas that range - astonishingly - from "Hansel and Gretel" to "Traviata," "Vanessa" and "Wozzeck."

"Orchestral Music from the Opera"/The Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Thomas Schippers, conductor.

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Playboy: November 1960, page 9
Comment: Ad same as May60p5.
Reruns: 18. Ella Fitzgerald at the Opera House. 26. Miles Davis - Porgy and Bess.

Advertisement: RCA Victor

Playboy: November 1960, page 13
Comment: Ad features 6 albums, pictured in color.

New Headliners in Sound . . .

The world's greatest artists are on . . . RCA VICTOR

On cover: 60 Years of Music America Loves Best, Volume II, 30 Selections. Caruso/Galli-Cursi, Perini/deLuca, John Phillip Sousa... Rise Stevens, Leonard Warren... Arturo Toscanini... Mario Lanza... Lucrezia Bori... Robert Merrill... Leopold Stokowski...
Off cover: Once again RCA delves into its vaults for milestones in twentieth century music. This 2-record treasure chest includes contributions by Caruso, Galli-Cursi, Leonard Warren, Toscanini, Mario Lanza, Fiedler... and other notables.

Advertisement: Diners' Record Club

Playboy: November 1960, page 19
Comment: Ad features 49 albums, pictured in b&w.

Monaural $2.00 - ALL LABEL - Stereo $2.50
invites you to TAKE ALL YOU WANT!

All label: RCA Victor, Columbia... Bel Canto... & many others

On cover: Pierre-Michel Le Conte. Frankfurt Symphony. Weber, Rossini Overtures
Off cover: 108. "Simply dazzling . . . highly recommended." - Am. Rec. Guide.

On cover: Antal Dorati, Minneapolis Symphony. Albeniz: Iberia. DeFalla: La Vida Breve
Off cover: 105. Flash & fire of Spain under the Master's baton.

Advertisement: London Records

Playboy: November 1960, page 27
Comment: Ad features 21 albums, none pictured.

If you listen to the critics . . .
you'll listen to

Operetta Memories
Mantovani and His Orchestra. Die Fledermaus Overture; Waltzes from "Gypsy Love," "The Merry Widow" and "The Gypsy Princess"; My Hero from "The Chocolate Soldier"; Your Eyes Shine In My Own from "The Gypsy Baron"; Selection from "The Count of Luxembourg"; Oh Maiden, My Maiden from "Frederika"; Serenade from "Frasquita"; Play Gypsies; others.

Renata Tebaldi - Italian Opera Arias.
Puccini: Madama Butterfly - Un Bel Di; Ancara Un Passo Or Via; Con Onor Muore. Turandot - Signore Ascolta; Tu Che Di Gel Sel Cinta. Manon Lescaut - In Quelle Trina Morbide; Sola, Perduta, Abbandonata. Verdi: La Traviata - Tenesta La Promessa; Addio, Del Passato. La Forza Del Destino - Pace, Pace Mio Dio. Giordano: Andrea Chenier - La Mamma Morte. Boito: Mefistofele - L'Altra Notte In Fondo Al Mare; Spunta L'Aurora Pallida.

Suppe Overtures.
Light Cavalry; Poet and Peasant; Morning, Noon And Night In Vienna; Pique Dame. Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra - Georg Solti.

Gilbert & Sullivan: H.M.S. Pinafore - Complete
D'Oyly Carte Opera Co. and New Symphony Orchestra cond. by Isidore Godfrey (2 records)

Puccini: La Boheme - Complete
Renata Tebaldi; Carlo Bergonzi; Ettore Bastianini; Cesare Siepi; Fernando Corena and other soloists with Chorus and Orchestra of L'Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Rome, cond. by Tulio Serafin. (2 records)

Advertisement: Time Records, Inc.

Playboy: November 1960, page 33
Comment: Ad features 6 albums, pictured in b&w.

The Bold SOUND of TIME Series 2000

For Those Who Dare!

On cover: Marches, brass and percussion
Off cover: The truly great marches of all time, scored by Kermit Leslie for 29 brass and percussion, in stirring, overwhelming stereophonic sound: The Thunderer, El Capitan, Washington Post March...

Advertisement: Audio Fidelity, Inc.

Playboy: November 1960, page 38
Comment: Ad features 3 albums, pictured in b&w.

New! AF Audio Fidelity
Doctored for Super Stereo Series

On cover: Per-cus'-sive Jazz. Doctored for Super-Stereo. The Man With The Golden Arm, Mack The Knife, Peter Gun, Dragnet
Off cover: Percussive Jazz . . . thrilling ricochet sound in the swinging modern idiom...

*** DECEMBER 1960 ***

Letters: Dear Playboy

Limpwristed Playboy?

Playboy: December 1960, page 10
Comment: Not really an opera reference, but perhaps partly provoked by the earlier article about Don Juan.

Your incessant, shrill emphasis on sex, especially... your pitiful defense of Don Juan and your endorsement of Don Juanism - even a novice headshrinker could tell you that these are the classical clinical symptoms of latent homosexuality...

Advertisement: London Records

Playboy: December 1960, page 27
Comment: Ad features 15 albums, none pictured. The Merry Widow and Graf von Luxembourg are by Franz Lehar. My Hero is from The Chocolate Soldier by Oscar Straus. Is this Can-Can from Orphee aux Enfers by Jacques Offenbach? Song of India is from Sadko, by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life, I'm Falling in Love With Someone, and Italian Street Song are from Naughty Marietta by Victor Herbert. March of the Toys is from Babes in Toyland by Victor Herbert. Kiss Me Again is from Mlle. Modiste by Victor Herbert.

Operetta Memories
The Merry Widow Waltz; My Hero; Play Gypsies, Dance Gypsies; The Count of Luxembourg Waltz; Die Fledermaus Overture, others.

Concert Encores
Claire de Lune; Spanish Dance; La Boutique Fantastique - Can Can... Song of India...

The Music of Victor Herbert
Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life; March of the Toys; I'm Falling in Love With Someone; Kiss Me Again; Indian Summer; Italian Street Song, 7 others.

Advertisement: Audio Fidelity, Inc.

Playboy: December 1960, page 40
Comment: Ad almost identical to previous one, Nov60p38.
Reruns: Per-cus'-sive Jazz, with Mack The Knife.

Humor: Playboy's Party Jokes

Playboy: December 1960, page 78

   Anxious to be on time for his date, Carl nevertheless dropped into a drugstore to make a hasty purchase. The druggist geve him a knowing smile, so Carl gave him a run-down on the expectations he had for that evening.
   "I met this girl at a party last week," he explained. "A real hot number. Her folks are going to the opera tonight and it will be just the two of us with the whole apartment to ourselves."
   Carl was greeted with a warm hug at the door by Nancy, his date. They settled on the couch and turned on the tv. Her folks would be leaving in a few minutes, she explained. Her father wasn't home from work yet and as soon as he arrived, the parents would be departing for dinner and the opera.
   Nancy's father arrived soon after and she introduced both parents to Carl.
   "Say, why don't Nancy and I join you this evening?" Carl suggested.
   "Oh, you children don't want to be spending your evening with us old folks," said Nancy's mother.
   "Sure we do," said Carl, before the flabbergasted Nancy could say a word.
   "I didn't know you liked opera," said the bewildered Nancy to her date as he helped her on with her coat.
   "No," said Carl, "and I didn't know your father was a druggist either."

Article: Letter to a would-be playwright

The nation's foremost drama critic delineates the crucial difference between writing and wrighting, craft and art, fulfillment and success

Playboy: December 1960, page 106
Writer: Eric Bentley

When the tumult and the shouting die, you realize, I hope, that of all the gods, the public is only a goddess and a bitch at that. La donna e mobile. If the public ever really had an opinion and stuck to it, one might at least be able to pay attention...

[page 115] "How," you rhetorically ask, "can one possibly imitate the classics today?" Who asked you to? Why so defensive? Stravinsky doesn't imitate earlier music. He makes legitimate use of it. And you might give a little thought to Bertolt Brecht's use of The Beggar's Opera - except that it is not so much the direct exploitation of classics that you need to know about at present as their subtle, indirect, pervasive, fructifying force.

*** JANUARY 1961 ***

Letters: Dear Playboy

Discord in 3/4 time

Playboy: January 1961, page 12
Writer: G. Randall Jelinek

Tristram C. Colket III, M.D., who writes Dear Playboy from Vienna, the "bad Disneyland," misses his picture window, bridge game, gin bottle, ready-made broads, subway rush, gum on his shoes, ma's own cooking, and the illusion of the gay, glamorous life at home, does he? Not for this Philistine, the Breughels, the Staatsoper, the intimate coffeehouses, the Mozart Masses, the white wine, the subtle (and nicely decadent) elegance. As one who lived, worked and studied in Vienna, I must protest.

Playboy After Hours: books

Playboy: January 1961, page 14

Vanity Fair (Viking) is not the leaden Thackeray novel, but an outsize album of gleanings from the slick pre-New Yorker magazine that flourished between 1914 and 1936... The photo captions often provoke sweet sighs of reminiscence or of rue - boyish Robert M. Hutchins being mentioned as "presidential timber" or "Enrico Caruso - a young man who has lately been attracting a good deal of attention as a singer"...

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club

Playboy: January 1961, page 16
Comment: 2-page ad features 52 albums, pictured in b&w. Ad pitch similar to previous ones. Mario Lanza died on October 7 1959, which may explain the new cover for the Student Prince album.
Reruns: 9. Jeanette MacDonald, operetta film star; 37. Eddie Heywood plays Summertime; 48. Musically Mad with Anvils, of Course; 100. Porgy and Bess with Lena Horne; 148. Tommy Dorsey plays Song of India; 202. Mario Lanza sings Vesti la giubba.

On cover (new cover picture; same album, I think): The Student Prince. Mario Lanza
Off cover: 243. Tenor sings hits from Romberg operetta: Drink, Drink, Drink; Serenade; Deep in My Heart; more.

Food: Caviar

the noblest roe of them all

Playboy: January 1961, page 42
Writer: Ludwig Bemelmans
Comment: Fyodor Shalyapin (Chaliapin) was a Russian bass.

As a young man, I had a cozy picture about caviar production. In my mind's eye, I saw a broad mouth of a river, which I comfortably called The Malossol; in it a lot of big Ruskies, with beards like in Boris Godounov, were singing boat songs and wading and carefully lifting immense sturgeons out of the water while relieving them gently of their eggs with a soft, sluicy swish and then putting them back again, like milked cows let out to pasture... I ate my caviar in relaxed, uncomplicated gourmand fashion.

I got straightened out after reading a journal devoted to the facts of life - a sturgeon's life, that is. After the sturgeon are caught, they are clubbed...

[page 103] "Caviar is my specialty," said Monsieur Brodsky... "My family was in the caviar business before the revolution; we supplied caviar to the Czar, to all the first families in Russia and to the great restaurants. Every Russian knew Michel Brodsky and Son, Fournisseurs to the Imperial Family... Rasputin ate our caviar for breakfast, lunch and dinner - and so did Chaliapin. I will tell you all about caviar," said Michel Brodsky.

Novelette: Sardonicus

Listen, said the master of the castle, and you will learn how monstrous a man can become

Playboy: January 1961, page 50
Writer: Ray Russell

I made mention of certain mutual friends, and generally gave her news of London life, speaking particularly of the theatre (for I knew Maude had loved it)... When Maude had been in London, there had been rumours of making an opera house out of Covent Garden theatre, and I told her that those plans had been carried through. I spoke of the London premiere of Mr. Verdi's latest oeuvre at Her Majesty's. At my mention of these theatres and performances, her eyes lit up, but she was not moved to comment until I spoke of the opera.

"The opera!" she sighed. "Oh, Sir Robert, if you could but know how I miss it. The excitement of a premiere, the ladies and gentlemen in their finery, the thrilling sounds of the overture, and then the curtain rising --" She broke off, as if ashamed of her momentary transport. "But I receive all the latest scores, and derive great satisfaction from playing and singing them to myself. I must order the new Verdi from Rome. It is called Ernani, you say?"

I nodded, adding, "With your permission, I will attempt to play some of the more distinctive airs."

"Oh, pray do, Sir Robert!" she said.

"You will find them, perhaps, excessively modern and dissonant." I sat down at the spinet and played - just passably, I fear, and with some improvisation when I could not remember the exact notes - a potpourri of melodies from the opera.

She applauded my playing. I urged her to play also, for she was an accomplished keyboard artist and possessed an agreeable voice, as well. She complied by playing the minuet from Don Giovanni and then singing the Voi lo sapete from Le Nozze di Figaro. As I stood over her, watching her delicate hands move over the keys, hearing the pure, clear tones of her voice, all my old feelings washed over me in a rush, and my eyes smarted at the unalloyed sweetness and goodness of this lady. When she asked me to join her in the duet La ci darem la mano, I agreed to do it, although my voice is less than ordinary. On the second singing of the word "mano" - "hand" - I was seized by a vagrant impulse and took her left hand in my own. Her playing was hampered, and the music limped for a few measures; and then, my face burning, I released her hand and we finished out the duet. Wisely, she neither rebuked me for my action nor gave me encouragement; rather she acted as if the rash gesture had never been committed.

Attire: European fashion dateline

Britain and Italy: a contrast in trends that are influencing American styling

Playboy: January 1961, page 52
Writer: Robert L. Green
Comment: Picture shows a man in an Italian suit and a Japanese dancer facing each other in a plaza.

[caption] Italian: Our Roman friend visits Gian-Carlo Menotti's Festival of the Two Worlds at Spoleta and is fascinated by the grace of Japanese dancer Akiko Kanda. She, in turn, digs his narrow-striped sports jacket of Scottish wool...

Humor: Retroactive New Year's resolutions

Playboy offers some famous folk some firm resolves they might have made last January

Playboy: January 1961, page 56

Maria Callas: I will brush up on my Aristotle.

Playmate of the Month: Well-developed property

Miss January's own topography is a real estate broker's dream

Playboy: January 1961, page 58

When it comes to men, Connie leans toward someone who will share her interest in opera, who can sit by a stereo rig half the night discussing the relative merits of Puccini and Wagner whilst sipping Strega. "The thing I like most about a man is enthusiasm," says Connie...

Modern living: The strides of stereo

Refinements, innovations and things to come in the world of twin-eared sound

Playboy: January 1961, page 76

Take a look at a column-like piece of equipment from EMI and you'll discover that the principle of integration has been extended to amplifiers and speakers as well... In an integrated unit the amplifier is specifically designed to compensate for the peculiar foibles of its accompanying speakers. EMI's Model DSL-1 is an amplifier-speaker system that comes in a vertical enclosure a bit over four feet high... The unit was originally designed for monitoring work in the London studios of EMI (a firm that puts out recordings on Angel, Capitol and His Master's Voice labels) and was made to please the exacting ears of such splenetic auditors as Maria Callas and Sir Thomas Beecham. It's custom built and by no means inexpensive ($594 per unit), but the sonic results are exemplary.

Man at His Leisure: Squaw Valley

Skiing in a stunning setting: Neiman sketches Squaw Valley

Playboy: January 1961, page 84
Comment: Black and white drawing shows 4 female skiers in a row, each holding one ski in an upright position, and lifting her right knee.

Offenbach invades Squaw Valley in the persons of a foursome of ski-footed can-can dancers. The brisk mountain atmosphere, the festive friendliness of the ski hideaway and the rapport that exists among lovers of the exhilerating sport contribute to such spontaneous goings-on. Dressed in bright outdoor outfits, the girls demand attention - and get it.

Advertisement: Audio Fidelity, Inc.

Playboy: January 1961, page 95
Comment: Ad similar to previous ones.
Reruns: Per-cus'-sive Jazz, with Mack The Knife.

*** FEBRUARY 1961 ***

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Playboy: February 1961, page 2
Comment: 2-page ad features 53 albums, pictured in color.

Regular High-Fidelity or Stereo Records . . .
best-selling records from Columbia AND many other great labels!

On cover: Eileen Farrell Sings Puccini Arias. Madame Butterfly, La Boheme, Tosca and many more. Columbia
Off cover: 6. You will "find her impressive in sound" - Washington Post

On cover: Wagner: "Die Meistersinger" Overture; "The Flying Dutchman" Overture; Prelude and Good Friday Spell from "Parsifal". Bruno Walter, Columbia Symphony Orch. Columbia
Off cover: 15. Altogether memorable experience" - Amer. Record Guide

On cover: Verdi Overtures. Antal Dorati, London Symphony Orch. Mercury
Off cover: 25. "A most stirring listening experience" - High Fidelity

On cover: Offenbach: Gaite Parisienne. Bizet: Carmen Highlights. Andre Kostelanetz. Columbia
Off cover: 32. Two classical favorites. "Glittering performance" - Billboard

[page 3] Each month members have a wide choice of records from a wide field of music . . . featuring favorite recording stars like these... Andre Kostelanetz... Mormon Tabernacle Choir... Eugene Ormandy... Bruno Walter...

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: February 1961, page 23
Comment: Porgy is presumably I Loves You, Porgy from Porgy and Bess by Gershwin.

Nina at Newport (Colpix)... is an attractive sounding of Miss Simone's musical depths... Nina takes to varying tempi with an astonishing ease... The change of pace is particularly delightful as Nina and friends go from the poignant Porgy (the Jimmy McHugh-Dorothy Fields version) to the trip-hammer Little Liza Jane.

[page 26] Shelley Manne & His Men at the Black Hawk (Contemporary) is an ambitious four-volume taping of a date the group played at San Francisco's famed modern jazz showcase... Summertime, Frank Rosolino's jazz waltz Blue Daniel... are taken up tenderly and not put down until each musician has had time to elaborate fully on the subject before him...

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club

Playboy: February 1961, page 24
Comment: 2-page ad features 44 albums, pictured in b&w. Ad pitch similar to previous ones.
Reruns: 9. Jeanette MacDonald, operetta film star; 37. Eddie Heywood plays Summertime; 100. Porgy and Bess with Lena Horne; 148. Tommy Dorsey plays Song of India; 202. Mario Lanza sings Vesti la giubba; 243. Mario Lanza sings The Student Prince.

Advertisement: Capitol Records

Playboy: February 1961, page 27
Comment: Ad features 8 albums, pictured in b&w. The voices belong to the Four Freshman; "the voice" is Frank Sinatra.

The voices
and "the voice"
and lots more great new music from Capitol Records

On cover: Sweet and Dry. Frank Cordell
Off cover: Frank Cordell. Intoxicating arrangements for every taste. Get Happy... Summertime; 8 more.

Jazz: The 1961 Playboy all-stars

a look at the current jazz scene and winners of the fifth annual Playboy poll

Playboy: February 1961, page 84
Writer: Leonard Feather

Speaking of The Subterraneans reminds us that one of jazzdom's most ambitious artists in 1960 was another musician seen and heard in that picture, Andre Previn. During the year this young genius won his second consecutive Oscar, for Porgy and Bess - the year before it was for Gigi...

Pictorial essay: The girls of New York

With Bergdorf ads, block-long cads, success-lit Gotham draws the bright and beautiful butterflies

Playboy: February 1961, page 118

A few hundred yards west, beyond the dividing line of Fifth Avenue, stretch the sooty vastnesses of an entirely different world of New York Girls: those involved directly or indirectly, humbly or influentially, in pursuit of Thespis. Broadway ingenue, TV extra, operatic maid-in-waiting, pavement-pounding hopeful - all crisscross and intermingle in an ever-circling pavan of hope and heartbreak... The supply of willing and largely able talent - even in the capital of year-round theatre... - simply exceeds the demand.

[page 120] Duly fed, the girls now turn to Thespis, who appears in New York in more guises - theatre, movies, opera, concerts (classic, jazz and folk), stage shows, nightclub acts, live tv - than anywhere else in the world...

Other girls, hearing the sound of different drummers, pay homage to Wagner at the Met, Cary Grant at Radio City, Leonard Bernstein at Carnegie Hall...

*** MARCH 1961 ***

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Playboy: March 1961, page 9
Comment: Ad features 42 albums, none pictured.

Columbia Record Club
now presents an exciting new selection of recordings by the

91. Ella Fitzgerald - Mack the Knife. On tour in Berlin...

142. Stan Getz and J. J. Johnson at the Opera House. Funny Valentine...

Advertisement: Mercury Records

Playboy: March 1961, page 12
Comment: Ad features 7 albums, pictured in b&w.

A Revolution In Sound
Perfect Presence Sound Series
from Mercury Records

On cover: Frederick Fennell Conducts Victor Herbert

Be an ear-witness to a revolution in new sound... from the surging strings of Fennell to the flashing tempos of Cugat...

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club

Playboy: March 1961, page 16-19
Comment: Ad features 52 albums, pictured in b&w. Ad same as Jan61p16.
Reruns: 9. Jeanette MacDonald, operetta film star; 37. Eddie Heywood plays Summertime; 48. Musically Mad with Anvils, of Course; 100. Porgy and Bess with Lena Horne; 148. Tommy Dorsey plays Song of India; 202. Mario Lanza sings Vesti la giubba; 243. Mario Lanza sings The Student Prince.

Playboy After Hours: books

Playboy: March 1961, page 22

America's Taste is a fat and fascinating scrapbook, crowded with a hundred years' worth of reviews, pictures and cartoons reproduced from the The New York Times. Here you'll find, in sometimes picturesque, if difficult-to-decipher, type, contemporary criticism of Uncle Tom's Cabin... of Amos 'n' Andy and Porgy and Bess; of Caruso and Picasso... Chaplin, Gershwin and lots more...

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: March 1961, page 29

A current two-disc package provides much food for thought, only half of which is digestible... The Ray McKinley-guided Miller Orchestra [echoes] a dozen numbers made famous by the old [Glenn] Miller aggregation. The same tunes, played by the original Miller band make up the second LP... The McKinley band plays... listless, mechanical run-throughs... [The selections] - in original and facsimile - are as disparate as Caruso and Lanza. A nostalgic bouquet to Miller; an assembly-line brickbat to McKinley.

Advertisement: Audio Fidelity, Inc.

Playboy: March 1961, page 37
Rerun: Per-cus'-sive Jazz, with Mack The Knife (in microscopic print!)

Humor: ihavethespiritofthestairs

Improve your conversation this brand-new easy way

Playboy: March 1961, page 83
Writer: Ray Russell
Comment: Aida is by Giuseppe Verdi.

The French have a phrase for it: Il a l'esprit de l'escalier. This, literally translated, means "He has the spirit of the stairs," but a more idiomatic rendering would be "He never has a ready answer"...

That's me all over.

"Better late than never" is an axiom that completely crumbles when applied to the parry and thrust of conversation. And so, faced with the humbling realization that I am a conversational fizzle, I have taken steps: if I cannot fit my words to the situation, I will fit the situation to my words, by Phthah!*

For instance, let's imagine I find myself in the company of a young lady who, justifiably proud of her prowess in the kitchen, plies me with a platter of candy of her own manufacture... Let's imagine... that while I enthusiastically munch piece after piece of the savory stuff, the lady herself does not... She demurs, saying, "I really don't care for candy myself" or the like. At this point, I whip out the gem I have been saving just for this occasion: smiling wryly, I say, "You don't have the courage of your confections." And, dazzled by the brilliance of my brain, she succumbs instanter to my fatal charm...

* A deity of ancient Egypt. His name is sung frequently in the opera Aida, thus accounting for the fine spray of saliva on the lapels and bodices in Row A.

*** APRIL 1961 ***

Advertisement: RCA Victor Metropolitan Opera Record Club

Playboy: April 1961, page 13
Comment: Full-page ad features 4 albums, pictured in b&w.

"Home subscription to grand opera" now possible through
RCA VICTOR Metropolitan Opera Record Club
An Introductory Offer

The exciting ultimate objective is to make available a comprehensive library of grand opera similar to the world's great books to be found in the best homes...

In addition to recordings of Metropolitan productions, operas recorded abroad by RCA Victor will be made available to members, with Metropolitan artists in the cast...

After the trial period, for every two records you buy you will receive A FREE RECORD... Albums are sold to members at the nationally advertised price... - currently $4.98 for a single-record album... A libretto included with each opera.

Any one of these complete operas
Given to You

On cover: Mozart. The Marriage of Figaro. Erich Leinsdorf, conductor
Off cover: 807. The Marriage of Figaro - Tozzi, Peters, Della Casa, London, Elias, Corena...

On cover: Verdi. La Traviata. Carteri, Valletti, Warren. Rome Opera House Orchestra and Chorus, Pierre Monteux, conductor
Off cover: 800. La Traviata...

On cover: Bizet. Carmen. Rise Stevens, Jan Peerce, Licia Albanese, Robert Merrill. Fritz Reiner, RCA Victor Orchestra and the Robert Shaw Chorale
Off cover: 804. Carmen...

On cover: Verdi. Aida. Milanov, Bjoerling, Warren
Off cover: 805. Aida - ... Barbieri. Jonel Perlea, conductor

Choose your favorite singers in their most famous roles. Albanese, Amara, Baccaloni, Barbieri, Bjoerling, Corena, Curtis-Verna, Della Casa, Del Monaco, de los Angeles, di Stefano, Rosalind Elias, Gedda, Harshaw, Kirsten, Krall, London, Merrill, Milanov, Munsel, Peerce, Roberta Peters, Rysanek, Singher, Steber, Rise Stevens, Tebaldi, Thebom, Tozzi, Uppman, Valletti, Leonard Warren

Advertisement: RCA Victor Society of Great Music

Playboy: April 1961, page 19
Comment: Ad features 8 albums, shown in b&w with a picture of the composer or performer. Ad same as Aug60p7.
Reruns: Herbert von Karajan conducts overtures to Die Fledermaus and Gypsy Baron.

Article: Talent hunts

Hollywood's most venerable gimmick: dipping into the faceless crowd and coming up with a "star"

Playboy: April 1961, page 110
Writer: Al Morgan

Finally, the winners of each of the regional contests were shipped off to Hollywood to be screen-tested. The screen test consisted of having each of them run around barefooted through a studio jungle... Paramount announced the winner. The laurel wreath was planted on the brow of Kathleen Burke, a sometime dental assistant, sometime soap-opera heroine, sometime model and now full-time Panther Woman.

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club

Playboy: April 1961, page 30-33
Comment: Ad features 52 albums, pictured in b&w. Ad same as Jan61p16.
Reruns: 9. Jeanette MacDonald, operetta film star; 37. Eddie Heywood plays Summertime; 48. Musically Mad with Anvils, of Course; 100. Porgy and Bess with Lena Horne; 148. Tommy Dorsey plays Song of India; 202. Mario Lanza sings Vesti la giubba; 243. Mario Lanza sings The Student Prince.

*** MAY 1961 ***

Advertisement: London Records

Playboy: May 1961, page 12
Comment: Ad features 12 albums, none pictured. The zeros in "10,000,000" are represented by LP discs. Rose-Marie is from Rose-Marie by Rudolf Friml. Only a Rose is from If I Were King by Rudolf Friml. Die Lustige Witwe is by Franz Lehar.

10,000,000 American LP buyers can't be wrong . . .
music at its enjoyable best

Love Everlasting; Rose Marie; Dear Love, My Love; Only a Rose; others

The Merry Widow Waltz; My Hero From "The Chocolate Soldier" (Straus); others

Playboy After Hours: films

Playboy: May 1961, page 22
Comment: Madama Butterfly is by Giacomo Puccini.

Cry for Happy is a phrase the movie's Japanese heroine uses when she sheds tears of joy... It's about a Navy photographer in occupied Japan and his three sailor sidekicks, who go to live with four geishas... Donald O'Connor is the only bright spot in this soggy version of Madame Butterfly Gets Her Man.

Playboy After Hours: books

Playboy: May 1961, page 32

Bertolt Brecht's art has been neglected in the United States... We have taken him only n small doses, and, generally, much sugared over. Eric Bentley's edition of Seven Plays by Bertolt Brecht should do much to give the late German playwright his due... Seven Plays offers America a deeper look than it has yet had into the genius of The Threepenny Opera.

Playboy After Hours: theatre

Playboy: May 1961, page 33
Comment: The Beggar's Opera was arranged and partly composed by John Christopher Pepusch.

Below are listed some of the hardy survivors from past seasons...

The Threepenny Opera: The longest-running musical in New York's theatrical history is now coasting along in its sixth year. The cast changes with every phase of the moon, but the Bertolt Brecht adaptation of The Beggar's Opera and Kurt Weill's score are perennially enchanting.

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: May 1961, page 38
Comment: Even if I believed for a moment that Capitol, or any record company, had the magical ability to "enhance original sounds", how the heck would Playboy know???

In terms of purity of sound and subtle musicianship, few tenors matched the late Jussi Bjoerling. His death last fall, at the age of forty-nine, deprived the world of one of its great voices. Fortunately, his recordings survive. Among them is The Beloved Bjoerling (Capitol), the first in a series of LPs spanning the Swedish tenor's career. On this disc there are a dozen arias, recorded by Bjoerling and the Stockholm Concert Association Orchestra (conducted by Nils Grevillius) between 1936 and 1948, never before released in this country. Among them are The Flower song from Carmen, Vesti la giubba from Leoncavallo's I [sic] Pagliacci and a threesome of lyrical Puccini melodies: Donna non vidi mai from Manon Lescaut; Nessun dorma from Turandot and Che gelida manina from La Boheme. Capitol has done a splendid job of enhancing the original sounds; they're monophonic, but majestic. Throughout, Bjoerling's voice soars superbly, gracefully justifying the term "grand opera."

Pictorial essay: The girls of Sweden

a toast to the skoal-mates of that voluptuous Valhalla

Playboy: May 1961, page 84

The mention of Sweden may suggest smorgasbord to the epicure, steam baths to the health faddist, Johansson to the sports fan, Bjoerling to the opera buff, Hammarskjold to the humanitarian, neutrality to the political scientist, even aurora borealis to the astronomer. But to most of us, it suggests the image of a tawny-skinned, cerulean-eyed, golden-haired, clean-limbed creature...

[page 112] Some [Swedish] couples... prefer the fifty-five-minute plane trip from the capital out over the Baltic to the tiny island of Gotland, where they spend the night in Visby - a walled medieval city of wild orchids, ancient Hanseatic palaces and crumbling ivied churches - after perching in arcane ruins to witness the reenactment of a torch-lit miracle play by the Stockholm Royal Opera.

Article: The legend of Lime Street

You name it, Lloyd's of London has insured it - but this fabled firm isn't an insurance company at all

Playboy: May 1961, page 132
Writer: Collie Small
Comment: Closest I could come to finding an opera reference in here. I tried.

The key word is "insurable." If a Lloyd's underwriter likes your proposition, it is insurable. If he doesn't like it, you are out of luck. Sometimes, too, the premium quoted by the underwriter is felt by the customer to be out of proportion to the risk involved. The late Mario Lanza, for instance, had an idea that his voice was worth $1,000,000 and he may have been right. However, he changed his mind about insuring it for that amount when Lloyd's quoted him an annual premium of 2,000 pounds, or $5,600.

*** JUNE 1961 ***

Advertisement: Show Business Illustrated

Playboy: June 1961, page 16

Now, from the publishers of Playboy, a great, new, different magazine - Show Business Illustrated. Every two weeks. All the excitement, fun and color of the most fascinating industry in the world

Domestic films * Foreign films * Broadway * Off-Broadway * Road Companies Jazz * Pop * Folk * Opera * Ballet * Concert * TV Specials...

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: June 1961, page 26

Through the Opera Glass: One chuckle-headed technical goof-up mars the new Don Giovanni (Victor) from the first side to the last: the singers are too far from the mikes and the orchestra overwhelms them. Those singers include Siepi, Nilsson, Price, Valletti, Ratti and Corena, but, under the circumstances, who cares? Plonk down no loot for this one. Plonk it down, instead, for a sparkling, suave La Traviata (Victor) in which young Met lovely Anna Moffo sails in and takes over the famous role of the high-priced callgirl (or, as the gallant French used to call them, demi-mondaines). One of Verdi's few "drawing room" operas, it is therefore one of his most elegant and sophisticated, without being either slick or effete. As always, this shrewd, economical genius gains maximum effect by minimum means: nothing could be simpler, for example, than the two blatant upward runs of orchestra-in-unison that begin the first act, yet nothing else could so immediately and undeniably set the gay, feverish, allegro brillantissimo e molto vivace party mood desired. Conductor Fernando Previtali, recognizing this Verdian virtue, makes good use of it throughout. It's a dazzling production, of special interest because several of the conventional cuts have been opened up, restoring some of Verdi's original and necessary dramatic glue (although such rarely heard numbers as Alfredo's O mio remorso! and Germont's No, non udrai rimproveri are still missing). Robert Merrill brings authority, tenderness and smooth, dark tone to the role of the elder Germont; Richard Tucker, a tenor of great gifts, does his very best by Alfredo. (Our minority opinion, however, has always been that his burnished tones are less suited to this lightish role than the more dramatic, brooding tenor music of La Forza, La Gioconda, etc.) It is Miss Moffo, however, who steals the show - her Addio del passato, for one, tears your heart out and ends on a delicately spun, gossamer ppp. Another new Met sensation of feminine gender is heroic Leontyne Price (Victor), who may be heard on a platter of Verdi and Puccini airs, including a couple of murderous soprano-slayers from Turandot. Dig Miss Price as she soars through these arias, and dig her, too, in an earlier recording with Tucker and the late Leonard Warren, Il Trovatore (Victor). Small gripe: has anybody besides us ever felt that most Victor discs just aren't loud enough and require roughly a third more volume than other labels? How come, Vic?

Travel: Playboy's International Datebook

Playboy: June 1961, page 136
Writer: Patrick Chase

If you dote on Kultur, Austria in August is your cup of Kaffee. A highlight of the Salzburg Festival this year will be the premier August 16 of a new opera, Das Bergwerk zu Falun, by Rudolf Wagner-Regeny. This, of course, is only one of thirty-two operas on a schedule that also includes eleven major orchestral concerts and a whole raft of serenades, chamber-music performances, solo concerts, lieder recitals and plays.

*** JULY 1961 ***

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Playboy: July 1961, page 2
Comment: 2-page ad features 64 albums, pictured in color. Tristan und Isolde is by Richard Wagner. El Amor Brujo is a ballet with a vocal part, by Manuel de Falla. I've read that its original version was a zarzuela, which is sort of a Spanish operetta.

Columbia Record Club now offers a brand-new selection of
64 Best-Selling Albums by
America's Greatest Recording Stars

On cover (rerun): Eileen Farrell Sings Puccini Arias...
Off cover (new): 44. "Probably the finest dramatic soprano in the U.S." - Time

On cover: Stokowski conducts the Philadelphia Orchestra. Tristan und Isolde. Love music, El Amor Brujo. Columbia
Off cover: 48. "Intensely felt, dynamically interpreted" - HiFi Rev.

On cover (rerun): Porgy and Bess. Original soundtrack...
Off cover (new): 53. "Superb . . . all the beauty and nobility captured" - HiFi Rev.

Advertisement: Show Business Illustrated

Playboy: July 1961, page 18
Comment: Ad pitch similar to previous one. Ad shows 6 magazine covers in color, one of which shows a Japanese woman who may well be Madama Butterfly.

Fiction: For whom the booth tolls

He was the very model of a modern parkway pirate - and hell on admirals of the Arizona Navy

Playboy: July 1961, page 41
Writer: Barry Spacks
Comment: Above subtitle is a take-off on I am the very model of a modern Major-General from The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan.

The Playboy Panel: Sex and censorship in literature and the arts

third in a series of provocative conversations about subjects of interest on the contemporary scene

Playboy: July 1961, page 95

[Norman] Mailer: The trouble is very few people in the country really find love... Love is an enormously complex matter, and we have absolutely no preparation for it in this country, we have no tradition for it, we don't have our Heloise and Abelard, our Romeo and Juliet, our Tristan and Isolde. We've got Eddie Fisher and Liz Taylor - and Liz Taylor is always in dire medical peril - and that's our great love story. Or we have Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe, or Joe DiMaggio Revisited. As a matter of fact, the only love story we have is Jack and Jackie.

*** AUGUST 1961 ***

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Playboy: August 1961, page 1
Comment: Ad features 32 albums, pictured in b&w. Ad pitch similar to previous ones.
Reruns: 44. Farrell sings Puccini.

Playboy After Hours: theater

Playboy: August 1961, page 25
Comment: Playboy adopts new spelling of "theater" starting with this issue.

The Happiest Girl in the World is a mildly naughty musical that milks the ages for material, from the Nineteenth Century Gallic melodies of Offenbach to Lysistrata, Aristophanes' bawdy broadside against war. The songs, culled from The Tales of Hoffmann, La Perichole and a batch of other operettas, retain amazing vitality and charm, and E. Y. Harburg has furnished them with bright new lyrics...

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club

Playboy: August 1961, page 26
Comment: 2-page ad features 57 albums, pictured in b&w. Ad pitch similar to previous ones.
Reruns: 9. Jeanette MacDonald, operetta film star; 37. Eddie Heywood plays Summertime; 100. Porgy and Bess with Lena Horne; 243. Mario Lanza sings The Student Prince.

On cover: Spike Jones. Original Hits.
Off cover: 244. Der Fu"hrer's Face, William Tell Overture...

Article: Classic cars of the '30s

the luxurious land yachts of motoring's elegant age

Playboy: August 1961, page 58
Writer: Ken Purdy

Pride of place among American-built autobiles of this genre goes to the Duesenberg, and among Duesenbergs, to the model SJ; and among SJs, to the double-cowl phaetons, in popular opinion but not in mine: I incline to Murphy Beverlys, Rollston convertible Torpedo Victorias or Opera Broughams, or Hibbard & Darrin convertible town cars, automobiles fit for fast passage over rain-swept autumn roads, with the dusk coming down like violet smoke, and a long way to go before midnight, and what of it?

Article: The educated barbarians

a well-aimed broadside at the Yankee yahoo - a cultural clod with beer taste and a champagne pocketbook

Playboy: August 1961, page 50
Writer: J. Paul Getty

I've found that the majority of American men really believe there is something effeminate - if not downright subversively un-American - about showing any interest in literature, drama, art, classical music, opera, ballet or any other type of cultural endeavor...

Unfortunately, this culture-phobia is not an aberration peculiar to the uneducated clods in our society... I've heard more than one man with a Phi Beta Kappa key glittering on his watch-chain proclaim loudly that he "wouldn't be caught dead" inside an opera house, concert hall or art gallery...

[page 116] In modern times, cultural progress has certainly kept pace with industrial and commercial expansion in such nations as England, France, Italy, Germany and Sweden - to name only a few... It is evident that, although their lives have grown more complex and the pace of living has been greatly accelerated, they are still packing the art galleries, museums, concert halls, theaters and opera houses...

Americans traveling abroad are often startled to hear rubbish collectors or street sweepers singing operatic arias or humming the themes of symphonies or concertos as they go about their work...

The figure of the two-fisted, fast-drawing and culture-hating frontiersman may be picturesque, but it is a misleading one...

[page 117] It is, perhaps, significant to note the examples provided by two rough, tough cities that played important roles in America's Westward expansion - San Francisco and Denver...

Denver had its Occidental Hall and the Tabor Grand Opera House - the latter built by H. A. W. Tabor, as crude a character as can be found in American history. The Tabor Grand Opera House was a showplace of the West. Operas, concerts and lectures were given there - and Denverites packed the auditorium, listened attentively and, if contemporary accounts are to be believed, appreciatively...

I, myself, had a heaping helping of life on America's last frontier when, in 1904, my father, mother and I went to what was then the Oklahoma Territory. The great Oklahoma Oil Rush had just begun... Most grown men habitually carried six-guns strapped to their waists...

[page 118] The oil-field workers and wild-catters [of 1909 and 1914, respectively] were certainly hard, tough and virile, but I can remember many of the toughest among them dressing up in their Sunday best and going to Oklahoma City or Tulsa to hear a touring opera company or a concert artist perform...

Symphony orchestras and opera companies often end their seasons with staggering deficits... Countless record albums featuring the caterwaulings of some bosomy chanteuse or tone-deaf crooner are sold for every album of serious music that is purchased...

Americans, and especially American men, must realize that an understanding and appreciation of literature, drama, art, music - in short, of culture - will give them a broader, better foundation in life, and will enable them to enjoy life more, and more fully...

Article: The jazz singers, part II

a lyrical survey of blues belters and balladeers, from Bessi Smith to Ella Fitzgerald, from Leadbelly to Ray Charles

Playboy: August 1961, page 74
Writer: Bruce Griffin
Comment: I had been waiting for an opera reference like this in a jazz article.

Some of the vocalists who warbled with the big bands of the late Thirties and Forties were more jazz-oriented than others; some had listened long and hard to the greats - Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Blind Lemon, Satchmo; and some of them were as far removed from jazz as Skinnay Ennis was from opera.

*** SEPTEMBER 1961 ***

Contents: Playbill

Playboy: September 1961, page 3
Comment: La Perichole is by Jacques Offenbach.

Beginning August 23, the expanding world of entertainment will be brightly reflected, and insightfully reflected upon, within the color-splashed pages of this unique biweekly magazine of the performing arts [Show Business Illustrated]... With purpose and perception, it will scan the changing showscape from Minsky to Hurok, Old Vic to New Wave, La Perichole to La Monroe, Kabuki to Carnival! - and all intermediate points.

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Playboy: September 1961, page 16
Comment: 2-page ad features 55 albums, none pictured.

Let us entertain you...

28. Ray Conniff - Say It With Music. Just One of Those Things, Summertime, Besame Mucho, 9 more

Letters: Dear Playboy

Louder please

Playboy: September 1961, page 20
Writer: Ray Daniels. Taos, New Mexico
Comment: See item above at Jun61p26.

Re the opera recording reviews in your June issue: please tell your chuckle-headed critic to take the wax out of his tin ears or get himself a decent hi-fi rig, or both. I'm not finding fault with his musical judgments (or applauding them, either). What bugs me... is his assertion that Victor discs lack volume. Fact of the matter is that many other makers artificially and electronically boost volume (and distort frequency balance) to compensate for home reproducing equipment. The authenticity and fidelity achieved by normal recording volume is a blessed relief - if one has the gear and the ear to hear it...

Advertisement: Mercury Records

Playboy: September 1961, page 38
Comment: The Toreador Song is from Carmen by Georges Bizet. The Ritual Fire Dance is from the ballet (with vocal part) El Amor Brujo by Manuel de Falla.


MERCURY's Perfect Presence Sound series is created for people who insist on the finest in music...


offers the captivating rhythms of Cugat... Richard Hayman's crackling performance of the spirited Toreador Song, Ritual Fire Dance, Sabre Dance, and other favorites; all in the extra dimension of PPS.

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: September 1961, page 56

Trombonist Bennie Green, one of our preferred horn men since his days with Earl Hines bop-era band... sounds as smooth and forceful as ever on his latest waxing, Hornful of Soul (Bethlehem). He glides effortlessly through three evergreens - Summetime, Foolish Heart and Indiana...

Satire: Nude twists for tired tv

a pictorial pitch for television on an unclothed circuit

Playboy: September 1961, page 103
Writer: Jerry Yulsman
Comment: First picture shows a Leonard Bernstein impersonator standing on a floor decorated with a treble clef, and lecturing at a chalkboard covered with musical examples. In the background is a string quartet with a naked female first violinist.

If the ofttime dry domain of cultural programing - long relegated to the ghetto of Sunday afternoon - were made more bare and less barren, cerebral fare would win prime-time privileges by Monday morning. On "Omnibust," for instance, a downbeat discourse on dodecaphonics would acquire an upbeat flavor with the presence of a nimble female performer, sans dinner jacket, as the fourth member of a string quartet. TV's operatic efforts would reap raves and ratings if an unclad coloratura appeared as an eye-filling Aida, a well-spice Salome, or a breastplateless Bru"nnhilde...

[page 106. Picture shows a gunfight between a stereotypical male gunslinger and a cowgirl with her leather vest open.] These maladjusted mavericks [the heroes in tv Westerns] haven't yet learned to fully transfer their affections to two-legged fillies. With less horse opera and more horseplay, though, the tv Western may not have to head for the last roundup just yet.

*** OCTOBER 1961 ***

Advertisement: Book-Of-The-Month Club

Playboy: October 1961, page 4
Comment: Ad similar to Oct60p3.
Reruns: Encyclopedia of the Opera by David Ewen.

Letters: Dear Playboy

All that jazz

Playboy: October 1961, page 22
Writer: Robert Merrill. New York, New York

I enjoyed Bruce Griffin's article on The Jazz Singers and learned a lot about the origins of jazz, especially the fact that blues and jazz came out of sadness of the underprivileged and that it found its finest expression in the voices of those burdened down by personal tragedy. As an opera singer who also sings standard pop tunes, I enjoy jazz - but as a listener rather than as a singer. I accept it as part of the panorama of American music and look forward to the day when opera will have a greater mass appeal in America. English lyrics for European operas will do much, I believe, to attract more Americans to opera, as will operas with a jazz or blues theme, like Porgy and Bess and Carmen Jones. Mr. Griffin should delve into why jazz stays so close to records and nightclubs, instead of reaching for the dimensions of opera. Opera can give jazz a new visual excitement it's never had and bring it a new audience.

Playboy After Hours: acts and entertainment

Playboy: October 1961, page 51-52

Theodore Bikel is not a folk singer nor even, as he modestly states, "a folksong singer"... His rapport with an audience has never been more evident than when we audited his recent one-man show at Chicago's Civic Opera House. Alone on the massive stage... Bikel turned the hall into a cozy parlor...

We consider ourselves fortunate to have been in attendance at Judy Garland's now classic performance at New York's cavernous Carnegie Hall... It was an unqualified triumph for Judy... After this one-nighter, the promoter noted, "Not even Maria Callas can do what Judy does." What Judy does, of course, is less pertinent than how she does it... The wide, moving vibrato, the intense power and the wizard sense of phrasing - all these, plus her innate sense in selecting tunes, captivated the more-than-three-thousand fans present...

Article: Take me to your leader

a far-out discourse on intergalactic intercourse

Playboy: October 1961, page 102
Writer: Gerald Walker

If the ufologists are known, as they wish to be, for their sobriety, glamor is the province of the contactees... Take the Tristan and Isolde of the saucer movement - a former New Jersey sign painter named Howard Menger and his wife, an attractive blonde known to the space crowd as Marla Baxter. Howard and Marla have apotheosized their out-of-this-world romance in books: his, From Outer Space; hers, My Saturnian Lover.

As Howard tells it, when he was ten he was out in the woods one day... He came upon a beautiful blonde Venusian woman... "We are contacting our own," she said.

Scene: the same spot. Time: fourteen years later.

Big Howard: Are you actually the girl . . .?

Venusian woman: Yes, I am. The same girl, Howard.

Big Howard: But you're no older...

The following year Howard met Marla and recognized her as the sister of the five-hundred-year-old Venusian beauty. Then it all came back. He himself had been a citizen of Saturn before assuming earthly form; on a refueling stop at Venus he had fallen in love with Marla and now they were, like Daphnis and Chloe or Abercrombie and Fitch, together again.

"My Saturnian lover," writes Marla, "did wonderful things for me..."

Article: Stravinsky

the world's greatest contemporary composer as revealed by his masterworks

Playboy: October 1961, page 153-154
Writer: Roland Gelatt

Stravinsky's first evening-length opera, The Rake's Progress, which made its debut in 1951, was also his last exercise in neoclassicism. Nothing could be more eclectic in its forms and its inspirations. Though the opera is modeled primarily on Mozartian lines (specifically on the dramma giocoso exemplified by Don Giovanni and Cosi Fan Tutte), the composer liberally showered snippets of Gluck and Handel, Weber and Schubert, Bellini and Verdi throughout the melodies and accompaniments. The transmutation of all these disparate gleanings into Stravinskyese is as finely accomplished as ever, but the totality is a melange of clever workmanship rather than a sustained work of art.

The text, by W. H. Auden with an assist from Chester Kallman, rates high as poetry, average as philosophy, and low as opera libretto. The plot - about a new-rich wastrel who succumbs to a variety of temptations in Eighteenth Century London and dies in Bedlam - is peopled with the composites of some hoary operatic characters. It's central figure, Tom Rakewell, has bits of Faust and Don Giovanni and Lieut. B. F. Pinkerton in his make-up; Anne, his first and last love, recalls Beethoven's Leonore and all the other faithful-to-the-bitter-end heroines of romantic opera; and his servant, Nick Shadow, is half Mephistopheles and half Leporello. They're a shadowy crew, and you couldn't care less what happens to any of them. Of course, none of these libretto defects would matter if the music were sufficiently enchanting. In The Magic Flute the genius of Mozart serves to blot out the inanities of Schikaneder. Unfortunately, in The Rake's Progress you keep telling yourself "How well done!" when you should be exclaiming "How beautiful!"

It is understandable that the composer recognized this work as "the end of a trend" and began to break fresh ground...

When you add to this arbitrarily limited list [of masterworks discussed by the writer] the other major compositions of Stravinsky - Les Noces and Oedipus Rex... the ballets Apollo Musagetes and Orpheus... to name a few - you have an imposing body of music... Unlike Sibelius, who literally wrote himself out thirty years before his death, or Richard Strauss, who kept repeating himself (albeit with glowing mastery) for his last thirty years, Stravinsky has continued to find new things to say and new ways to say them...

Both his conversation and his writing reveal a man of impressive intellectual attainments... Bach and Beethoven may have understood intuitively the determining intellectual and artistic forces of their day, but no other leading composer - with the possible exception of Richard Wagner - has gone about acquiring knowledge with anything like Stravinsky's voracity...

The "dynamic calm" which he has sought to achieve in his music will probably be accounted his most precious quality. It produces in us, his listeners, that feeling of euphoria and exaltation which is the pre-eminent endowment of all great music. What one misses in his work is a sense of compassion. Stravinsky holds himself aloof and in reserve. You will not find in his music the cosmic forgiveness that transfigures the last act of Mozart's Figaro or the enkindled benediction of the Arietta from Beethoven's Opus 111 Sonata. But it is foolish to fault Stravinsky for what he is not. That he is a genius without qualification and that we are immensely privileged to have him with us are verities beyond dispute.

*** NOVEMBER 1961 ***

Letters: Dear Playboy


Playboy: November 1961, page 10
Writer: John R. Hudson. Los Angeles, California
Comment: See item above at Aug61p50.

Getty is all wet. This is why: (1) There are more symphony orchestras in this country than in any other in the world... (4) Why are so many European orchestras, museums, ballet companies and opera houses supported by government or municipal funds? They can't cut it otherwise, that's why. Getty would better serve the cause of culture he so feverishly espouses if he would attempt to wise up the Europeans to what we're doing instead of knocking the country that has nearly as many cultural facilities as their whole damned Continent.

Playboy After Hours

Playboy: November 1961, page 13

For Want of a Comma the Sense Was Lost Department: From a Variety item regarding new Met soprano Dorothy Coulter: "Miss Coulter is wife of Joseph Hall, a Kansas City businessman and mother of two children."

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club/Readers Digest Music, Inc.

Playboy: November 1961, page 18
Comment: 2-page ad features 55 albums, pictured in b&w.
Reruns: 37. Eddie Heywood plays Summertime; 100. Porgy and Bess with Lena Horne.

Readers Digest and RCA Victor
invite you to choose from this exciting new list of 60 nationwide hits!
You can have ANY 5 RCA VICTOR RECORDS for only $1.87

On cover (rerun, with added song titles): The Student Prince. Mario Lanza. Deep in My Heart, Dear; Serenade
Off cover: 243. Plus: other Romberg delights sung by the late, great tenor.

On cover: Leontyne Price
Off cover: 311. The Met's new sensation sings arias from Il Trovatore, etc.

Advertisement: Columbia Records

Playboy: November 1961, page 23
Comment: Ad features 4 albums, pictured in b&w.

The company to keep . . .

On cover: Eileen Farrell. "Here I go again"
Off cover: A diva who digs the blues. Last year, Grand Opera's Eileen Farrell focused her phenomenal voice on the blues - and made record history with "I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues." Here's the sizzling encore.

Advertisement: Capitol Records

Playboy: November 1961, page 39
Comment: Ad features one album, pictured in b&w. Von Suppe piece is surely an operetta overture, either Dichter und Bauer or Die Leichte Kavallerie. Ponchielli piece is surely from the Dance of the Hours ballet segment in La Gioconda.

Glen Gray swings Brahms,

Paderewski, Mozart, Dvorak and Von Suppe on one side. Then turn the record over and you'll be flipping to Anton Rubinstein, Franck, Beethoven and Ponchielli. All treated in a brassy big band manner. Billy May supplies the arrangements. The Casa Lomans supply the sounds. You supply the ears.

On cover: Glen Gray. Shall we swing?

Discussion: The Playboy panel: tv's problems and prospects

fourth in a series of provocative conversations about subjects of interest on the contemporary scene

Playboy: November 1961, page 50

John Crosby [New York Herald Tribune columnist, tv critic]: I occasionally get the horrors when I think of Jack Warner running off with pay-television and just filling it with a lot of Westerns, but I'm very heartily in favor of it, if only to get the advertisers out of there and put showmen in. Now I don't think this is going to bring on the millennium - anybody that thinks it's going to be, you know, opera and ballet, is crazy. But at least there will be showmen interested in putting on a good show and not selling products...

Fiction: The Normal Man

He sought and found romance in a heroic mold, then found a universal truth, a galling flaw

Playboy: November 1961, page 79
Writer: William Masters

When Raymand Terris was thirteen years old he began to grow - shooting upward like a rangy weed...

[page 143] There are few men who set out deliberately to fall in love, and those who do must leave a certain amount of the procedure to chance. Raymond Terris could leave nothing to chance. He was not ony seven feet and four inches tall, he was perforce solitary and thoughtful and he was obsessed by his idea. He took to traveling, especially in the primitive regions of the United States, searching for legendary types. He haunted musical comedies and night-club revues, hoping to find some languorous showgirl who came to his shoulder. He stared at Wagnerian sopranos and went to swimming meets and to women's athletic events. The embarrassment that these expeditions cost him can hardly be calculated. Still, he did not give up.

Playboy on the town: Tokyo

a cosmopolite's guide to the world's biggest metropolis

Playboy: November 1961, page 174

If it's still early - well before five - you'll just have time to make the "late" show at the Kabuki-za. This monumental downtown edifice, gilded and fretworked to resemble a medieval palace, houses the largest legitimate theater in the world: a suitable setting for what is perhaps the most electrifying of the performing arts: kabuki. Combining elements of opera, dance, drama, concert and sometimes vaudeville in a framework of rigidly stylized conventions, this 300-year-old dramatic form never fails to startle and delight even those who understand neither a syllable of its eerily wailed dialog nor a convolution of its intricate four-hour plots of court intrigue and ancient legend...

You may want to catch one of the pleasantly frothy performances of the Takarazuka Opera Troupe - familiar to those who saw it during a recent U.S. tour - an all-girl company of singers, dancers and thespians specializing in sudsy Rudolph Frimlish operettas with shapely Prussians in boots and epaulets; and in Western-style musical revues of Dick Powell-Ruby Keeler vintage - complete with top hats, champagne bubbles, revolving stages and patriotic drill teams.

Travel: Playboy's International Datebook
Writer: Patrick Chase

Playboy: November 1961, page 182

Vienna... is never more festive than during its pre-Lenten Fasching celebrations, when the city's accustomed gaiety is abetted by such glittering galas as the Vienna Opera Ball, at which both debutantes and ballerinas from the Vienna State Opera join the social twirl. If you write well ahead of time, the Direktion der Wiener Staatsoper may be able to wangle an invitation for you to this affair, thereby providing you with charming contacts for future town-painting a deux.

*** DECEMBER 1961 ***

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club/Readers Digest Music, Inc.

Playboy: December 1961, page 31
Comment: Ad features 34 albums, 9 pictured in b&w. Ad pitch similar to previous one.
Reruns: 37. Eddie Heywood plays Summertime.

[no picture] 311. Leontyne Price. New Met sensation sings Verdi and Puccini.

[no picture] 952. Turandot. Complete Puccini opera, starring Tebaldi, Nillson, Tozzi, Bjoerling; cond. Leinsdorf. "The Turandot one has waited for" - N.Y. Times

Fiction: Space Opera

the galactic exploits of Zoonbarolarrio Feng

Playboy: December 1961, page 89
Writer: Ray Russell
Comment: Only opera reference is in the title, which also appears on continuation pages and in the table of contents. The editors describe the story as a "short-range satirical missile aimed at the sci-fi mags" (page 3).

Pictorial: Playboy holiday house party

Playboy invites a dozen of its past pin-up favorites to a weekend anniversary celebration

Playboy: December 1961, page 209

[The Playboy Mansion] has been the scene in the past of memorable parties thrown for staffers... and a lengthy list of show business personalities. Frank Sinatra... Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop and Sammy Davis, Jr... have been on hand... TV hoss-opera heroes Hugh O'Brien, Chuck Connors and Steve McQueen tied up at the Hefner corral...

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Playboy: December 1961, page 211
Comment: 2-page ad features 66 albums, pictured in color. Ad pitch similar to previous ones.
Reruns: 44. Farrell sings Puccini; 48. Stokowski conducts Tristan und Isolde; 53. Porgy and Bess, original soundtrack.

*** JANUARY 1962 ***

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club/Readers Digest Music, Inc.

Playboy: January 1962, page 18
Comment: 2-page ad features 51 albums, pictured in b&w.

Reader's Digest invites you to join the new RCA VICTOR Record Club with
7 major benefits for you unequalled by any other record club

On cover: The Vienna of Johann Strauss. Vienna Philharmonic, Herbert von Karajan
Off cover: 327. Lilting waltzes from Gypsy Baron, Die Fledermaus, others.

On cover: Puccini. Turandot. Nilsson, Tebaldi, Bjoerling, Tozzi. Erich Leinsdorf conductor.
Off cover: 952. Complete opera with libretto. Celebrated cast! Bravos from the critics: "The Turandot one has waited for, and it supersedes all previous albums" - N.Y. Times. "It ranks as a milestone" - Hi/Fi Stereo Review.

Advertisement: Columbia Stereo Tape Club

Playboy: January 1962, page 21
Comment: Ad features 30 albums, 20 pictured in b&w.
Reruns: 18. Porgy and Bess, original soundtrack; 26. Stokowski conducts Tristan und Isolde.

Announcing the exciting new COLUMBIA 4-Track Stereo TAPE CLUB

As a new member you may select
ANY 3 of these superb $6.95 to $9.95 4-track stereo tapes
For Only $5.98.

Playboy After Hours: books

Playboy: January 1962, page 22

The Dedini Gallery is an antic admixture of one of Playboy's best cartoonist's best cartoons with several sections devoted to original material. "Lost Opportunities in Portraiture" is Dedini's cartoon conjecture of how the Old and New Masters might have treated some current celebs; it includes Tennessee Williams by Hieronymous Bosch, Dizzy Gillespie by Pieter Brueghel, Sophia Loren by Henri Matisse, and Maria Callas by Toulouse-Lautrec...

Advertisement: Capitol Record Club

Playboy: January 1962, page 23
Comment: Ad features 35 albums, 28 pictured in b&w. The cancan (Galop Infernal) is from Orphee aux Enfers by Jacques Offenbach.

Music to set the mood for playboys and their playmates
on 12" Capitol Long Play Hi-Fi Albums
Choose any 5 albums
. . . Pay only 97 cents

On cover: Can-Can. Sinatra, MacLaine, Chevalier, Jourdan
Off cover: 186. Can-Can. Original movie soundtrack of Cole Porter's hit...

Modern Living: The fine art of acquiring fine art

on the principles, pleasures and prices of artful connoisseurship

Playboy: January 1962, page 62
Writer: Sidney Tillim
Comment: La Boheme is by Giacomo Puccini.

[caption] The Studio. Traditional hunting ground of the art connoisseur is the artist's studio... though most well-established artists are contractually obligated to sell only through dealers. Above, in the romantically cluttered, La Bohemeish atmosphere of an artist's atelier, a hopeful couple browse... amid a gathering of artistic riches...

Pictorial: Playboy's playmate review

a portfolio of the past delightful dozen

Playboy: January 1962, page 94

Miss January: Connie Cooper. Left: last January's pride and joy, the alluring, alliterative Connie Cooper... was on her way to becoming a real estate broker... The 20-year-old Miss Cooper, a grand-opera devotee, struck us as a girl who knew the score.

Fiction: The Personal Secretary

Ensconced in the artist's atelier, she fanned the fires of his inspiration

Playboy: January 1962, page 106
Writer: William Saroyan
Comment: Imagine a ' over the e in Opera.

[Artist Red Mahari] walked down Rue du Bac to the Seine, across Pont Royal to the Opera, and then up to his flat. When he went in she [the not yet "personal secretary"] was standing at the easel where he worked...

"How'd you get in?"

"The door was open. This is a great one... But it needs something."

[page 125] They [Mahari, his daughter, and the "personal secretary"] drank a couple of martinis each, and then they went out, to walk, down Mogador, to the Opera, then to Vendome, and then to Concorde, the afternoon cold and gray...

*** FEBRUARY 1962 ***

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club/Readers Digest Music, Inc.

Playboy: February 1962, page 20
Comment: 2-page ad features 53 albums, pictured in b&w. color. Ad pitch similar to previous ones.
Reruns: 243. Mario Lanza sings The Student Prince; 952. Turandot with Nilsson.

Modern living: Fitting out for twin-eared sound

from the best that's new in stereo gear, the editors select four rigs gauged to your preferences and pelf

Playboy: February 1962, page 50
Comment: The opera references below were the only 2 references to musical works in the article. The Magic Fire Music is from Die Walku"re by Richard Wagner.

The most important recent development in the world of high fidelity is, of course, the long-awaited debut of stereo, or multiplex, FM...

Fine stereo furniture is being turned out in profusion these days, and with most of it you can't go wrong. The chief things to demand are adequate ventilation (even the Magic Fire Music sounds better when your equipment isn't overheating), easy accessibility...

[page 117] Our money-is-no-problem man obviously lives in spacious quarters... so we've had no hesitation in choosing two monster speaker systems for him, the Electro-Voice Patrician 700s ($795 each) with their unique 30-inch woofers. The thunderclap in Das Rheingold really shakes the floorboards when it rolls through these Patricians, and the effect may just possibly arouse a neighbor's ire in the small hours of the morning; to be prudent then, we've thrown in a pair of Superex Model ST-M headphones...

Quiz: The perils of passion

Playboy: February 1962, page 57
Writer: Rolf Malcolm

Few lovers of our acquaintance have actually risked a legislated death penalty for a moment of bliss. Such a dire punishment... is not unknown in literature, however. Listed on this page are descriptions... of five novels, plays, etc., in which a stern law imposes capital punishment for unwed shenanigans. All - well, all but one - are extremely well-known works, and even the single obscure work that we've included just to be stinkers is by a famous master. Your job, of course, is to supply the missing titles.

1. An English operetta once banned in the U.S.

4. An English comedy that has been attributed to at least five different authors.

5. A German opera by a composer who, while persuading the wife of his dearest friend to become his (the composer's) second wife, was at the same time asking another friend to be on the lookout for a wealthy woman he (the composer) might marry.

[page 117] Peril of Passions (answers)

1. The Mikado, by Gilbert and Sullivan, which (along with Madama Butterfly went unproduced in this country during World War II, because of its Japanese locale. Soon after the curtain rises on Act One, the lovesick hero is informed of the Mikado's stern decree:

"That all who flirted, leered or winked,
Unless connubially linked,
Should forthwith be beheaded."

4. Measure for Measure, by William Shakespeare... In this play, the first civil act of Angelo, newly appointed Deputy of Vienna, is to revive an old statute by which the hero, Claudio, is

". . . Condemn'd upon the act of fornication
To lose his head."

5. Das Liebesverbot, an early opera by Richard Wagner. The libretto was based on Measure for Measure.

Pictorial essay: The girls of Rome

a laurel-wreathed salute to the beautiful signorinas of the Eternal City

Playboy: February 1962, page 128

Most of Rome's formal entertainments - theater, opera, concerts - begin after 9:30, or feature late performances. Few Roman girls, however - apart from the college-bred and the foreign settlement - can be expected to relish the intellectual wit and satire of the Roman stage, to know a basso from a coloratura, or even stay awake through a moonlight performance of Gregorian chants...

*** MARCH 1962 ***

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Playboy: March 1962, page 11
Comment: Ad features 50 albums, pictured in b&w. Just Because, if it's the one by Lloyd Price, is modeled closely on Caro nome from Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi.

Announcing COLUMBIA RECORD CLUB'S Winter Bonus Festival
ANY 6... for only $1.89

On cover: Mack the Knife. Ella in Berlin. Verve
Off cover: 30. Misty...

On cover: Patti Page Sings Country and Western Golden Hits. Mercury
Off cover: 23. Just Because... 9 more

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club/Readers Digest Music, Inc.

Playboy: March 1962, page 16
Comment: 2-page ad features 74 albums, pictured in b&w. Ad pitch similar to previous ones.
Reruns: 37. Eddie Heywood plays Summertime; 100. Lena Horne's Porgy and Bess; 243. Mario Lanza sings The Student Prince; 327. Von Karajan conducts Die Fledermaus waltz.

On cover: Marches in Hi-Fi. Fiedler, Boston Pops
Off cover: 54. Rousing marches by Gershwin, Sousa, Verdi, Herbert, etc.

On cover: Sousa Forever! Morton Gould and his Symphonic Band. Stars and Stripes Forever; Semper Fidelis; El Capitan
Off cover: 297. 14 Sousa strutters in walloping sound!

Novelette: Sagittarius

The horrors of the Grand Guignol spread over Paris like a giant bloodstain

Playboy: March 1962, page 46
Writer: Ray Russell
Comment: The Galop Infernal ("cancan") is from Orphee aux Enfers by Offenbach. This story incorporates a retelling of the Bluebeard story, with no reference to Bela Bartok.

We were both of an age (said Lord Terry), very young, 23 or 24, and Paris in those days was a grand place to be young in. The Eiffel Tower was a youngster then, too... Gauguin had been dead only six years, Lautrec only eight, and although that Parisian Orpheus, Jacques Offenbach, had died almost thirty years before, his music and his gay spirit still ruled the city, and jolly parisiennes still danced the cancan with bare derrieres to the rhythm of his Galop Infernal.

Fiction: Solo for Violin

"There is nothing to fear," said the maestro, "play for me as you play for me every day"

Playboy: March 1962, page 83
Writer: Henry Slesar

Baumgarden and the maestro had been friends long before they faced each other, chair to podium, on a concert stage. Jan Clausing had been a vibrant 30 when they had met in the rehearsal halls of the Vienna Opera House in 1917: Clausing a bassoonist and Baumgarden, then as now, a violinist... Now Clausing was a maestro; a conductor with 30 years of the baton behind him, and before him, faceless in the regiment of violins, was Carl Baumgarden.

Memoir: Clara

A young reporter learns that the white belly of a bawd is a shrine to deceit and delusion

Playboy: March 1962, page 88
Writer: Ben Hecht

But Clara did most of her reforming in my arms. Between embraces, I asked her questions and learned from her soft tearful answers the statistics of her life as a prostitute. I found her confessions unbelievable. Looking at Clara's body, ... I threw its past away...

Away from Clara, I remembered only one sentence out of our question-and-answer periods: "No m-man will ever t-touch me again, except you." What better words had Tristan or Abelard ever heard?

In our third week a penny's worth of sanity trickled into my head...

*** APRIL 1962 ***

Advertisement: Book-Of-The-Month Club

Playboy: April 1962, page 4
Comment: Ad similar to Oct60p3.
Reruns: Encyclopedia of the Opera by David Ewen.

Advertisement: RCA Victor

Playboy: April 1962, page 12
Comment: 2-page ad features 5 albums, pictured in b&w. Summertime is from Porgy and Bess by Gershwin.

Buy Now During RCA Victor's Once-A-Year Discount Days!

At all participating dealers until the 15th of April.

On cover: It's About Time. For the first time on his own - the drummer other drummers listen to (and the jazz poll voters vote for) - Joe Morello
Off cover: Joe Morello... swinging and driving his own group for the first time out, Joe Morello... takes "time" as his theme . . . and waxes immortal hits like "Time on my Hands," "Summertime"...

Advertisement: Columbia Records

Playboy: April 1962, page p27
Comment: Ad features 6 albums, pictured in b&w.

Look What's Coming Out On COLUMBIA RECORDS

On cover: This Fling Called Love. Eileen Farrell, Percy Faith and his orchestra
Off cover: Farrell and Faith. Grand Opera's Eileen Farrell does glorious things to a ballad, especially when complemented by Percy Faith's silken arrangements.

Playboy on the town: Paris

a cosmopolite's guide to the incomparable City of Lights

Playboy: April 1962, page 53

[caption] Below: a stylish pair about to enter the Opera, architectural masterwork of the Second Empire.

[page 56] Farther along [from the Right Bank center], toward the Opera, is the famous Ritz on Place Vendome. Although the days of Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald are long past, the hotel still offers superlative servic, and... an extraordinary view.

[page 118] Provided the spring weather is favorable, Paris offers a lionized share of out-of-door eating arenas... Near the Opera you'll find the Cafe Le Paris, Grand Vefour and Pharamond.

[page 119] After you and your jeune fille have finished dining, you'll be ready for the evening's pleasurable entertainments, be it boite-hopping in Montmartre, dancing, catching the current opera, or attending one of the girl-studded music-hall shows.

[page 121] The Folies-Bergere on Rue Richer is an institution dating from the Eighties that today continues to entice SRO crowds to its close-to-four-hour shows. Its successful formula has changed very little over the decades: lavish costumes; extravagant dance numbers... Gallic chorines of delightful parts who strut onto the runway wearing little besides their outlandish hats; jugglers; acrobats; and a couple of sudsy operetta vignettes.

[page 122] We do advise, however, that you trek at least once along the Place Vendome... and the Avenue de l'Opera - prime a pied areas for those who enjoy window-browsing past the world's most superlative shops.

Fiction: The Stancia's House

It took a moose head and a fire to bring true love to flower

Playboy: April 1962, page 57
Writer: Paul Darcy Boles
Comment: The Toreador's Song is from Carmen by Georges Bizet.

[Professor Stancia] put his hands on his hips and looked approvingly back at the house. "Your mother's all dressed up; the twins are in the library playing a decent, quiet game of ping-pong - Alamana -" Alamana is our maid; she often practices opera singing in the twilight. "- is reading an instructive book. The house is in apple-pie shape and I can't find anything"...

[page 96] And Morgan, with some degree of inspiration at this point, "Hey, whattaya do with the garbage at your house?"

And Mars, triumphantly, "We kick it around till it gets lost!"

At this, they both rolled on the floor. Alamana had glared at them as they started, but now she was laughing. She has a rich laugh that shakes the roof beams. She sagged back to the piano bench, her uniform cap falling off, and then she swung around and struck the first bars of the Toreador's Song, which she dotes on. My mother started singing along with her, companionably, and my father the professor looked at me and shrugged gently. The moose head rolled out from behind the piano because the piano was shaking, and it looked up at Cleo with its yellow eyes.

[page 111] The first fire truck came. It zoomed around the corner on three wheels (it has six) and stopped... Mrs. Torfree burst out of the front door. Behind her, slower, came Mr. Torfree; his eyebrows were a little singed and his shirt was blackened... [Mrs. Torfree said,] "It's happened again. He said he'd just go down and play with his chemicals for a moment or two -"...

"You got some biggety burns," Alamana said, peering at him... "but we knows what to do"...

Mr. Torfree drew himself up, and for the first time I liked him...

"Professor," he said to my father, "isn't a man's home his castle?... It's a hobby of mine, this experimenting - keeps my spirit fresh --"

[page 112] "Ah," said my father. "Of course, of course. A hobby --"

I said, also gently, under the hubbub around us, "Like your scooter, Professor. Like your fez. Like the moose head..."

"Like Alamana's opera," he said to us... "- or anything at all which stems from human nature in the pursuit of joy."

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Playboy: April 1962, page 143
Comment: 2-page ad features 64 albums, pictured in color. Ad pitch similar to previous ones. My Man's Gone Now is from Porgy and Bess by Gershwin.

On cover (rerun): Miles Davis Plays Porgy and Bess
Off cover (new): 235. Summertime, My Man's Gone Now, Prayer, 9 more

On cover: Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White. Jerry Murad's Harmonicats
Off cover: 5. Mack the Knife... Ramona, 12 in all.

*** MAY 1962 ***

Advertisement: Columbia Records

Playboy: May 1962, page 1
Comment: Ad features 6 albums, pictured in b&w.

Look What's Coming Out On COLUMBIA RECORDS

On cover: Andre Previn and J.J. Johnson play Kurt Weill's Mack the Knife & Bilbao-Song and other music from The Threepenny Opera
Off cover: Previn, J.J. - and Mack. A pair of jazz giants - pianist Andre Previn and trombonist J. J. Johnson - carve a fresh slice with "Mack the Knife" and seven other haunting Kurt Weill themes.

Playboy After Hours

Playboy: May 1962, page 19

We applaud the Menckenesque imagery, if not the tact, of a music critic for the Greenville, South Carolina, Piedmont in his review of a recent concert by portly Metropolitan Opera soprano Frances Yeend: "Finally Miss Yeend sank another Verdi aria, this time from La Forza del Destino.

Memoir: Queen Dido

in which a young reporter learns that heartbreak can cancel a coronation

Playboy: May 1962, page 55
Writer: Ben Hecht

The most beautiful female I knew in my youth was a Negro girl named Dido De Long; the most beautiful and the most loving...

[page 78] I quote from [my diary]: "When Dido entered the spotlight, the smoky, shabby-walled cafe seemed to become suddenly full of riches. All who beheld her sat in silent surprise as if a treasure had been cast up at their feet."

Dido was tall, and her silver slippers raised her another three inches. Her long legs in silver opera hose, her torso in clinging silver net, her naked back and shoulders were a single symmetrical statement of sex...

I quote again: "When Dido sang, the pink lining of her mouth was an almost frightening glimpse of a secret body with red streaming arteries and milk-white bones."

Satire: The Bonapartes are PHFFFT!

romping through history with America's ever-popular columnists

Playboy: May 1962, page 59
Writer: Larry Siegel
Comment: Actually, Barnum's circus, and Jumbo the elephant, came 20 years later.

Dorothy Kilgallen . . . Did you dig that chintzy dress that Marie Antoinette wore at her execution the other day? ... Soprano Jenny Lind, who makes her U.S. concert debut at Castle Garden next week, narrowly escaped serious injury when an elephant ran loose in P. T. Barnum's apartment yesterday...

*** JUNE 1962 ***

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Playboy: June 1962, page 13
Comment: Ad features 47 albums, pictured in b&w. color.

COLUMBIA RECORD CLUB now invites you to have a swinging

On cover: High Society. Lester Lanin and his Orchestra
Off cover: 357. Mack the Knife, Summertime, Take Me Along, 33 in all

Playboy After Hours: movies

Playboy: June 1962, page 27

In My Geisha Shirley MacLaine plays a Lucille Ball-type comedienne whose director husband goes to Japan to film Madame Butterfly and, thinking Shirley is strictly for laughs, has a yen to use a local girl in the lead. Soon Shirley decides to nip over for a visit, and through a series of twists that no one's really expected to believe, she takes a screen test in geisha get-up and lands the part...

*** JULY 1962 ***

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Playboy: July 1962, page 12
Comment: 2-page ad features umpteen albums, pictured in b&w.
Reruns: 43. Patti Page sings Just Because.

The Playboy Advisor

Playboy: July 1962, page 29

What's the proper technique for eating Italian spaghetti? - D. G., Kansas City, Missouri

An unresolved tug of war persists between two schools of spaghetti devotees: those who eat by fork alone (Enrico Caruso was one), and those who use a fork in conjunction with a large spoon (several strands are picked up by the fork and twirled against the bowl of the spoon until a proper mouthful has been wrapped). Though purists may cry foul, we tend to favor the latter system simply because it's easier, and because one runs less risk of holding a fork stranded with an overdose of pasta.

Memoir: The bandit

in which a young reporter learns that the honey tastes of crime can sate and cloy and kill

Playboy: July 1962, page 49
Writer: Ben Hecht
Comment: The Chocolate Soldier is by Oscar Straus. The Red Mill is by Victor Herbert. Is Madame Sari also an operetta?

An ideal spot for consorting with criminals was Big Jim Colosimo's Cafe, after three A.M. Mossy Enright, Gene Geary, Tommy O'Connor, Blackie Weed - a bevy of well-barbered knaves beckons, masticating their porterhouse steaks and listening moodily to Big Jim's orchestra play The Chocolate Soldier, Madame Sari, The Red Mill. But I'll pass them over for Big Jim himself, the most deserving for recall.

Department: travel
Title: Playboy's International Datebook

Playboy: July 1962, page 112
Writer: Patrick Chase
Comment: Ho-jo-to-ho!

During September... the world's playgrounds again offer beneficent elbow-bending room... An exemplary example is Munich's riotous Oktoberfest - which, with Bavarian foresight, gets under way during September - where you may imbibe your time in the pleasant company of several thousand high-spirited Bru"nnhildes. Proximate German intemperate zones are found at Koenigswinter, where the Vintner's Festival bubbles over the Rhine-washed base of the craggy Drachenfels mountain...

*** AUGUST 1962 ***

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club/Readers Digest Music, Inc.

Playboy: August 1962, page 16
Comment: 2-page ad features 71 albums, pictured in color. Pictures look best yet.
Reruns: 37. Eddie Heywood plays Summertime; 297. Morton Gould conducts El Capitan march.

Reader's Digest marks its 40th Anniversary
by extending this special offer to you through Reader's Digest Music, Inc.
ANY 5 Of These Great RCA Victor Records for only $1

On cover: Offenbach: Gaite Parisienne. Khachaturian: Gayne Ballet Suite. Boston Pops/Fiedler
Off cover: 322. Absolutely the last word in SOUND - the sauciest Gaite of all!

On cover (rerun): The Student Prince. Mario Lanza...
Off cover: 243. The ever-delightful Romberg score, beautifully performed.

Advertisement: Capitol Record Club

Playboy: August 1962, page 25
Comment: Ad features 39 albums, 17 pictured in b&w. Zampa is by Louis Joseph Ferdinand Herold. Cenerentola is by Gioacchino Rossini. Pique Dame is by Franz von Suppe. Il Barbiere di Siviglia is by Gioacchino Rossini. Mignon is by Ambroise Thomas. Orphee aux Enfers is by Jacques Offenbach.

Choose from Garland, Sinatra, Gleason, Cole, other Capitol stars!

On cover: The Scots at the Opera. Overtures: Zampa; Cenerentola; Pique Dame; The Barber of Seville; Mignon; Orpheus in the Underworld
Off cover: 792. Scots Guards at the Opera. Great overtures: Zampa...

Playboy: After Hours: recordings

Playboy: August 1962, page 30
Comment: It Ain't Necessarily So is from Porgy and Bess by Gershwin.

Exotic rhythms pervade... Herbie Mann at the Village Gate... Herbie blows flute at vituoso peak throughout Comin' Home Baby and a pair of newly approached Gershwin goodies, Summertime and It Ain't Necessarily So.

Fiction: The Interest of Strangers

liner notes to a requiem for a moldy fig

Playboy: August 1962, page 84
Writer: Ray Russell
Comment: La Forza Del Destino is by Giuseppe Verdi.

"Hey, Jocko," commanded Blue from the back seat, "let's stick around the neighborhood, yeah? Pull over to that parking lot and we'll case the scene on the corner and grab a bite."

The scene under discussion was a subterranean espresso shop called The La Forza Del Destino Coffee Catacomb. Into it, I soon learned, fresh air and the light of day seldom ventured...

Food: . . . Bellisima!

savory summer feasting fashioned with a fine Italian hand

Playboy: August 1962, page 101
Writer: Thomas Mario

Even the truffles in an Italian salad have a rich, earthbound flavor... Unlike the black truffles of France, which are extremely mild in taste but superb for accenting other foods, the Italian white truffles are a self-contained delight to the tongue. Rossini, the composer, once wrote that he'd discovered something much more exciting than a new opera score - a salad dressing containing mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper and finely chopped truffles.

*** SEPTEMBER 1962 ***

Advertisement: Columbia Stereo Tape Club

Playboy: September 1962, page 29
Comment: Ad features 32 albums, pictured in b&w.
Reruns: 8. Kostelanetz conducts Gaite Parisienne and Carmen highlights.

A outstanding selection of Stereo Tapes - at Club Plan Savings!

On cover: Orff: Carmina Burana. The Philadelphia Orchestra, soloists and chorus, Ormandy conducting
Off cover: 16. "Superb . . . best recording." - Wash. Post

On cover (rerun): Eileen Farrell. Puccini Arias...
Off cover (new): 18. "A super soprano" - The New Yorker

On cover: Opera Overtures. La Traviata; The Barber of Seville; 6 more. Thomas Schippers conducts the Columbia Symphony.
Off cover: 35. "Rich, bellowing sound." - Hi Fi Review

The Playboy Advisor

Playboy: September 1962, page 53
Writer: J. U., Burbank, California

I'm having trouble keeping my rather large collection of LPs in order. The unsatisfactory method I've been using involves separating the records into jazz and classical. The jazz is then divided into... categories... None of this works: there are too many borderline cases or too many cases where a there's a mulitple choice of categories... As for classical records, I've tried major categories (opera, symphonic, etc.) and minor categories (concertos, suites, sonatas, etc.). Then, under these categories, the arrangement is alphabetical by composers. But how do you classify a Toscanini disc with the works of five composers on it, none of whom is as significant (to me) as the fact that it's a Toscanini performance?

The only workable system for rapid and accurate disc location involves the keeping of a card-index file cross-referenced for title, composer, conductor, artist and individual compositions. Keeping such an elaborate file up to date is usually more trouble than it's worth. We much prefer the more casual approach of leafing through records assembled in generalized groupings (classical, jazz, vocal, etc.) and playing whatever happens to strike our fancy at the moment...

Article: The next sound you hear

. . . may well be a synthetic creation of that electronic Frankenstein, the tape manipulator

Playboy: September 1962, page 114
Writer: Morton M. Hunt

The most obvious advantage [tape slicing and splicing] offers is the chance to cut out anything embarrassing or dull, and this accounted for the first kind of editing done. In 1949, a Saturday-afternoon performance of the Metropolitan Opera was taped in its entirety and scheduled to be broadcast that evening. Lily Pons sang Lucia di Lammermoor, and near the end of the Mad Scene, she ran up to a high C, slipped, and landed ignominiously on her B flat. At the studio, a kindly tape editor removed the offending note (which, musically, was expendable), and that evening the radio audience heard the revised edition without knowing the difference. All but one gentleman, that is, who had attended the matinee, and, having an odd sense of humor, had assembled a group of musical friends that evening to hear the fractured aria and to make merry about it. When the moment came and went, all perfection, his rage and chagrin knew no bounds; within minutes he was on the phone theatening to sue the network, though it was not clear what for. The threat came to nothing, and editing went ahead from that simple beginning to become a fine art of anatomizing and rebuilding both music and speech...

[page 194] Sometimes only tape can make a total idea of a work come to life. Toscanini would never permit RCA Victor to release records of his 1951 broadcast of the Verdi Requiem because it was something less than the perfect version he had in his mind, but in 1954 an RCA Victor editor brought him tape recordings of all the rehearsals and of the broadcast itself, and Toscanini, after reviewing the mass of material phrase by phrase, put together a performance made up of more than a score of spliced pieces. The world now possesses it; if it is not an authentic recording of a great performance that actually took place, it is at least Toscanini's private conception of a great performance...

A few years ago Kirsten Flagstad, making a recording of Tristan und Isolde for HMV in London, decided not to try for the two high Cs in the first part of the second act. She got Elisabeth Schwarzkopf to come to the recording session and belt out the two notes just when Madame Flagstad and the orchestra got to them. Innocent record buyers couldn't tell the difference, but the story leaked out and there were cries of outrage throughout musical circles. The stunt has not been repeated since. [In 1964 Paul McCartney will take over the last high note in "From A Window" for Billy J. Kramer. DS]

Yet the technical fixing of any soloist's performance - even if there is no brand-switching involved - might be cause for similar outrage. Some years ago a leading Metropolitan coloratura - not Miss Pons, this time - was recording that same perilous Mad Scene from Lucia, and simply couldn't sing a good high E flat at the end. Finally the director, suffering the pains of orchestral overtime, asked her to wind up her cadenza - which, fortunately, occurs during an orchestral pause - on a D, and this she did well enough. Musically it made no sense, but in the editing room, the director snipped out the D, played it through a tape machine at slightly increase speed, and goosed it up into an E flat which he later described as "perfect in pitch, but a little like a peanut whistle." The synthetic E flat was then blended and mixed with the orchestra's pickup chord, and the result was spliced to the first part of the aria. The record stands as a monument to artistic collaboration, of a sort.

Nostalgia: The bloody pulps

In the days of our youth they were not deemed good reading and to us at the time they weren't good, they were great

Playboy: September 1962, page 190
Writer: Charles Beaumont

We could still thrill to high adventure - in a day when high adventure was becoming suspect - with the wonderful space operas offered by most of the publications... For the real, dyed-in-the-wool pulp hounds [there was] Planet Stories, which featured Westerns, pirate sagas and Viking tales, all set on planets other than Earth... The prose [was] invariably atrocious and exciting.

*** OCTOBER 1962 ***

Advertisement: Capitol Record Club

Playboy: October 1962, page 31
Comment: Ad features 38 albums, 19 pictured in b&w.

Choose from Cole, Shearing, Sinatra, Lee, Kingston Trio, other Capitol stars!

On cover: The Mikado
Off cover: 779. The Mikado. Gilbert & Sullivan. Hear the biting wit and enchanting music of the Savoyards in a brilliant new album. Sir Malcolm Sargent leads the Glyndebourne Festival Chorus and the Pro Arte Orch.

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: October 1962, page 47

We're not quite sure whether the creative activities of Andre Previn and J. J. Johnson (Columbia), as they delineate the music of Kurt Weill, amount to jazz or not, but we have no doubts about the LP's merit... On tap are Mack the Knife, Bilbao-Song and other offerings from Weill's three pieces for the theater, Threepenny Opera, Happy End and Mahagonny.

Pictorial essay: The girls of London

a tip-of-the-bowler to the delightful damsels of Blighty

Playboy: October 1962, page 120

Still others pursue dreams of first-magnitude stardom - and occasionally fulfill them, after years of exacting tutelage - as premieres danseuses with the Royal Ballet or operatic prima donnas at Covent Garden...

[page 143] Couples craving the sound of music can hearken to Handel and Purcell as performed by one of London's five symphony orchestras; pay homage to Verdi and Wagner from a red-velvet box at the Royal Opera House...

*** NOVEMBER 1962 ***

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club/Readers Digest Music, Inc.

Playboy: November 1962, page 8
Comment: 2-page ad features 67 albums, pictured in b&w. Ad pitch similar to previous ones.
Reruns: 243. Mario Lanza sings The Student Prince; 322. Fiedler conducts Gaite Parisienne.

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Playboy: November 1962, page 18
Comment: 2-page ad features 67 albums, pictured in b&w.

68 superb Christmas Records and all-time favorites

On cover: Eileen Farrell. Verdi Arias. Aida; Il Trovatore; La Forza del Destino - 3 others
Off cover: 204. "Probably the finest dramatic soprano in the U.S." - Time

Department: travel
Title: Playboy's International Datebook

Playboy: November 1962, page 41
Writer: Patrick Chase
Comment: Opera, not only by Mozart, is a basic component of the Salzburg Music Festival.

While treading the boards [skiing] in Austria, don't pass up visits to Mozart's home in Salzburg, where Wolfgang's melodies linger on at a music festival in late January...

Humor: Come to Me, My Melancholy Dane

a musical comedy without music, based on a play by Wm. Shakespeare

Playboy: November 1962, page 139
Writer: Ray Russell
Comment: The play is Hamlet. The writer does not tell us which tune, if any, he had in mind for any of the 8 songs, but "Bloody Bawdy Villain" is obviously a take-off on I am the very model of a modern Major-General from The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan.

"Bloody Bawdy Villain" (Patter Song: King Claudius)

I am the very model of a bloody, bawdy villain
I'm a master of the subtle arts of treachery and killin'
I saw absolutely nothing wrong in poisoning my brother
And I'm very much attached to little Hamlet's lovely mother.
Debauchery's delightful and chicanery's adorable,
While honest and loyalty and truth I find deplorable.
The fact that there are crimes I have not committed yet is horrible!

(Stuck for a rhyme, he considers several possibilities:
"Floorable? . . . Gorable? . . . Ah!")

But what care I, so long as wenches wink and wine is pourable?
I come highly recommended as a talented deflowerer,
If glowering is wanted, I'm a very gifted glowerer,
When new sins are invented, you will find me more than willin',
For I am the very model of a bloody, bawdy villain!

Playboy on the town: New York

a cosmopolite's guide to the city of superlatives

Playboy: November 1962, page 172

Musically, a full-scale array of pleasing arenas awaits the discriminating ear. In season, opera buffs may take their pleasure in the refulgent interior of the Metropolitan Opera House (between 39th and 40th Streets, Broadway and Seventh Avenue); symphonic dilettantes will swarm to the spanking new 2600-seat Philharmonic Hall within the Lincoln Center complex to enjoy the concerted efforts of Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic; and eclectic music devotees will zero in on the New York City Center (131 West 55th Street), which presents a snappy succession of ballet, opera, light opera and drama, at a top toll of $4.35 per seat. In the summertime, others will tune in to alfresco nighttime concerts at Lewisohn Stadium on the Upper West Side where artists such as Armstrong, Belafonte and Joan Sutherland occasionally pack the concrete seats...

*** DECEMBER 1962 ***

Advertisement: Capitol Record Club

Playboy: December 1962, page 9
Comment: 2-page ad features 69 albums, pictured in b&w.
Reruns: 779. Sir Malcolm Sargent conducts The Mikado.

Humor: Great stories from showbiz

four twists on some of Broadway's most cherished cliches

Playboy: December 1962, page 107
Writer: Art Buchwald

The first one took place at the greatest American opera house of them all. Maria Chianti had been flown over from La Scala to sing her most famous role, Madame Butterfly. The house was sold out for months, the audience was made up of men in white ties and women in diamond tiaras. There was no standing room.

Suddenly, 30 minutes before curtain time, Madame Chianti developed a severe case of laryngitis. She could hardly speak. The doctor arrived and said it was hopeless. She couldn't sing for a week.

Someone called for the understudy, an American girl who had never sung in grand opera before.

The manager told her, "Mary Lou, we have the choice of canceling the performance or letting you sing the role that Madame Chianti made famous. Do you think you're up to it?"

"Oh, please, sir, I've studied it for five years," Mary Lou cried. "I know I can do it. Just give me a chance."

The manager called in the conductor and the director. Then he said, "All right, Mary Lou, get in your costume, we're going to give you your big break."

Mary Lou flew out of the office and the manager went out in front of the curtain to calm the restless audience who felt something was wrong.

"Ladies and gentlemen, Madame Chianti has had an accident and will be unable to sing Madame Butterfly. The role will be sung by Mary Lou Fitzgibbons. Those of you who do not wish to stay can have your tickets refunded at the box office."

Suddenly everyone got up at once and made a dash for the box office to get their money back. Not one person stayed in his seat and Mary Lou Fitzgibbons never got to sing Madame Butterfly.

To this day no one knows whether she could sing it or not.

*** JANUARY 1963 ***

Advertisement: Angel Division, Capitol Record Club

Playboy: January 1963, page 7
Comment: Ad features 43 albums, 14 pictured in b&w.
Reruns: 779. Sir Malcolm Sargent conducts The Mikado.

Any FIVE Albums
only $1

when you become a trial member of the Angel Division of the Capitol Record Club...

On cover: Strauss. Leinsdorf
Off cover: 474. The Sound of Richard Strauss. Erich Leinsdorf conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra: Salome's Dance, more.

On cover: Callas. Puccini Heroines
Off cover: 747. Callas Portrays Puccini Heroines. Favorite arias from operas Manon Lescaut; Butterfly; Boheme; others.

[no picture] 776. Kurt Weill in Berlin. Songs from the master tunesmith's hit shows, including Threepenny Opera.

[no picture] 799. Franco Corelli Sings Neapolitan Songs. 10 thrilling Italian love songs: Torna a Surriento, more.

[no picture] 805. The Merry Widow - Highlights. Famed Sadler's Wells Opera Company with favorite scenes from Franz Lehar's immortal operetta.

[no picture] 807. Rossini Overtures. Herbert von Karajan conducts the Philharmonia. Sparkling readings of 6 popular overtures. William Tell, others.

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Playboy: January 1963, page 9
Comment: 2-page ad features 99 albums, pictured in b&w and color.

99 Best-Selling Reasons
why you should join the COLUMBIA RECORD CLUB now!

On cover (rerun): Porgy and Bess. Original soundtrack...
Off cover (new): 100. "Superb . . . all the beauty & nobility captured." - HiFi Rev.

On cover: Richard Tucker, Eileen Farrell. Great Duets From Verdi Operas
Off cover: 241. "Two of the greatest singers." - N.Y. Herald Trib.

On cover: Szell Conducts Wagner. Tristan und Isolde; Die Meistersinger; Tannhauser. The Cleveland Orch.
Off cover: 273. The most passionate love music ever composed

Advertisement: RCA Victor Record Club

Playboy: January 1963, page 26
Comment: 2-page ad features 77 albums, pictured in b&w.
Reruns: 243. Mario Lanza sings The Student Prince.

To Introduce You to the RCA Victor Record Club
Of Your Choice for only 10 cents

On cover (rerun): The Touch of Eddie Heywood. Summertime...
Off cover (new): 37. Also... others by pianist's relaxed trio.

On cover (rerun): The Vienna of Johann Strauss... Herbert von Karajan
Off cover (new): 327. Lilting Strauss waltzes and overtures in true Viennese style.

Gifts: Last-minute Christmas cache

(how to play your appointed role in the late late yuletide show)

Playboy: January 1963, page 99
Comment: This page shows 11 gift ideas, including 5 record albums pictured in color.

$30.98 (5-lp stereo) Wagner's Die Waku"re, with Nilsson, London, Leinsdorf and London Symphony, on Victor.

Playboy After Hours: acts and entertainment

Playboy: January 1963, page 32

Barbara Streisand, caught recently at New York's Blue Angel, is one of those petite, young (20) creatures whose voice, style and general demeanor belie their appearance. She displayed a Valkyrie-sized set of vocal cords and a tightly controlled delivery that ranged from meekly childlike to wantonly worldly...

A man's world: Championship boxing and the Liston-Patterson fight - background

the anatomy and mystique of championship boxing

Playboy: January 1963, page 138
Writer: Budd Schulberg

[Sonny Liston] is as thin-skinned as Patterson and much more forceful in expressing his resentments. He does not like newspaper men to refer to his past. Since he has been arrested 19 times since 1950, served as a headbreaker for John Vitale, a St. Louis netherworlder with both Teamster and suspected Mafia connections, and has twice been picked up with Barney Baker, the 300-pound Teamster enforcer now doing time for selling out his union brothers for a couple of Gs, it is sometimes difficult for reporters to keep some of these unhappy facts from creeping into their Liston pieces. So bye-bye good mood. "Caruso will not sing tonight," one of the newsweekly men protested. "Who the hell does he think he is?' asked a man from a working daily who needed the interview. "He thinks he's Sonny Liston, the next champion of the world, and I'm afraid he's right," said another.

*** FEBRUARY 1963 ***

Advertisement: Columbia Records

Playboy: February 1963, page 1
Comment: Ad features 8 albums; only the artists are pictured.

Eileen Farrell and Andre Previn keep company with America's great songwriters in their new album, 'Together With Love.'

This is today's world of entertainment. Enter, friend...

Letters: Dear Playboy

Shakespeare mint

Playboy: February 1963, page 11
Writer: Martyn Green. New York, New York
Comment: See item above at Nov62p139.

My congratulations on Ray Russell's Come To Me, My Melancholy Dane in your November issue. I was particularly amused by the patter song for Claudius, Bloody, Bawdy Villain, wherein Mr. Russell has so delightfully seized upon the meter of W.S. Gilbert's famous Modern Major General song and put it to such good use in his most delightful satire. You may find some of the purists heaping coals of fire upon your head for this, but as far as I'm concerned I merely heap bouquets. Let us have some more, say King Lear or Macbeth with a touch of Gilbert's Nightmare Song from his operetta Iolanthe?

[The editors respond:] Our and the author's thanks to one of the world's leading authorities on, and interpreters of, Gilbert and Sullivan.

Playboy After Hours

Playboy: February 1963, page 19

Until we read it in a recent column from the Daily Pacific Builder, a San Francisco trade paper, it simply hadn't occurred to us that at least three people might believe that bidet is the name of the man who wrote Carmen. But this disquieting statistic was only one of many gleaned by columnist Jim Elliott on a man-in-the-street poll... An alarming 28 percent of those questioned, he reports, insisted that bidet was a French movie actress...

Advertisement: Capitol Record Club

Playboy: Febrary 1963, page 22
Comment: 2-page ad features 75 albums, pictured in b&w. Porgy is presumably I Loves You, Porgy from Porgy and Bess by Gershwin.

"Be our guest" . . .
Any FIVE Albums - Only 97 cents

On cover: Porgy & Bess
Off cover: 450. Porgy and Bess. Hear Summer Time, Bess You Is My Woman, It Ain't Necessarily So, other Gershwin greats.

On cover: Anna Maria Alberghetti. Warm And Willing
Off cover: 295. Hear: Non Dimenticar, Porgy, Anema E Core... Sorrento, 5 more.

Advertisement: RCA Victor Records

Playboy: February 1963, page 31
Comment: 2-page ad features 8 albums, pictured in b&w.

Great Entertainment . . . New From Our Men In . . .

New Orleans... Hollywood... Boston...

On cover: Our Man In Boston. Arthur Fiedler, Boston Pops. Tonight
Off cover: Arthur Fiedler sends late word! ... Brilliant orchestrations beginning with "Mack the Knife" through musical medleys!

Modern Living: Sounds of '63

the newest of the new in hi-fi kits, components and consoles to double your stereo listening pleasure

Playboy: February 1963, page 91
Comment: Picture shows brick wall covered with tattered entertainment posters, mostly for theater productions. Peeking through is one which might say "The great Italian tenor". Using lower case to indicate letters that are only partly visible, what we see is:


Advertisement: RCA Victor Record Club

Playboy: February 1963, page 147
Comment: 2-page ad features 59 albums, pictured in color. Ad pitch similar to previous ones.
Reruns: 243. Mario Lanza sings The Student Prince; 327. Von Karajan conducts Strauss waltzes and overtures.

*** MARCH 1963 ***

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Playboy: March 1963, page 8
Comment: 2-page ad features 78 albums, pictured in b&w and color.

from every field of music!

On cover: Eileen Farrell. Wagner: Immolation Scene. Leonard Bernstein, N.Y. Philharmonic
Off cover: 272. "The undisputed queen of U.S. dramatic sopranos." - Life

On cover (rerun): Ormandy conducts Carmina Burana.
Off cover (new): 455. "This is one record I'd not pass up!" - Hi Fi Review

Advertisement: Columbia Stereo Tape Club

Playboy: March 1963, page 29
Comment: Ad features 28 albums, pictured in b&w. Ad pitch similar to previous ones.
Reruns: 35. Ormandy conducts Carmina Burana.

Personality: The little world of Stan Freberg

satire's ace entrepeneur and how he got that way

Playboy: March 1963, page 126
Writer: Richard Warren Lewis

In other creative [advertising campaign] outbursts, Freberg has adorned an Army officer's epaulets with stars made of Cheerios (the actor was called General Mills)... and scripted milk company melodramas a la Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams and Verdi. The opera aping starred a facsimile Milton Cross translating a vital aria as: "Oh, boy, we have found the skimmed milk of human kindness."

Stanley Victor Freberg, 36-year-old son of a Swedish Baptist minister, was a sandy-haired banjoist-harmonica player-rope twirler with Red Fox and his Musical Hounds when he recorded John and Marsha in 1951. A spoof of soap operas, the only dialog consisted of a woman (Freberg)... wailing "John" and a man (also Freberg) gushing "Marsha" while treacly organ music and dripping violins crescendoed in the background. The record sold 250,000 copies in two weeks, even though it was banned on three radio networks because of "suggestive lyrics"... Freberg was on his way.

*** APRIL 1963 ***

Advertisement: RCA Victor

Playboy: April 1963, page 19
Comment: 2-page ad mentions 10 albums, none pictured.

The sound on this RCA Victor record challenges comparison with the sound on any other record available on any other label anywhere. Hear it! Compare it! DYNAGROOVE - the magnificent NEW SOUND developed by RCA Victor

DYNAGROOVE is not a single effort to improve sound. It's a completely new kind of recording... it's the most significant advance in the recording art since the introduction of the L.P.!

"Madama Butterfly". Price, Tucker. First opera in DYNAGROOVE SYSTEM.

Advertisement: Capitol Record Club

Playboy: April 1963, page 23
Comment: Ad features 39 albums, 26 pictured in b&w. Ad pitch similar to previous ones.
Reruns: 779. Sir Malcolm Sargent conducts The Mikado.

Advertisement: Book-Of-The-Month Club

Playboy: April 1963, page 26
Comment: Ad similar to previous ones.
Reruns: Encyclopedia of the Opera by David Ewen.

Playboy After Hours

Playboy: April 1963, page 35

Add to our list of Unlikely Couples: Huntz and Carnegie Hall... Veronica and Great Salt Lake... Robert E. and Sara Lee... e.e. and Bob Cummings... Richard and Robert Wagner...

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: April 1963, page 47

The sound produced by the Buddy DeFranco-Tommy Gumina Quarteton Kaleidoscope (Mercury) is unique. The blend of clarinet and accordion is unlike anything you've ever heard before - a fascinating tonality that adds fresh luster to the familiar strains of... Stella by Starlight, Summertime...

The Playboy Advisor

Playboy: April 1963, page 50

I have an invitation to a very formal affair, at which I want to be impeccably turned out. I believe that I have all the necessary gear, save for one item: shoes. A friend tells me that opera pumps are essential when a man wears a tuxedo. Trouble is, I object to the bows one finds on opera pumps - they strike me as swish rather than swank. Would I be committing a serious faux pas if I wore plain black shoes? - L.C., St. Louis, Missouri

No. While opera pumps are de rigeur with tails, they are optional with a tuxedo. Either a plain formal dress shoe or a plain black shoe is an acceptable compromise.

Pictorial: The New York Playboy Club

The grandest in our growing chain of key clubs opens to a dazzled and dazzling throng

Playboy: April 1963, page 82

There had been other socko premieres in New York night life, but not since the International Casino opened on Times Square in 1927 had such a notable coterie of celebrities turned out for the premiere of a new club - the $4,000,000 New York Playboy Club...

Rudy Vallee, dressed to his middle Cs... was one of the first to arrive. Zsa Zsa Gabor was there... Artists Dong Kingman and Russell Patterson, along with composer Gian-Carlo Menotti were there. So were Al Capp... Don Adams... Ed Sullivan...

Humor: Wunderkind Galahad

a slightly punchy screenplay - with definite strings attached - in which they thought they had him licked until the final round

Playboy: April 1963, page 128
Writer: Larry Siegel
Comment: The screenplay is a take-off on old boxing movies. Tommy is a virtuoso on the cello.

Dissolve to Carnegie Hall... Kaleidascopic shots: Tommy playing; close-ups of his cello; various orchestra members... the numbers 1, 2, 3 - signifying various symphonic movements - floating by in the air.

Dissolve to... Tommy's dressing room. It is intermission time. The door opens and a rough-looking fellow... smoking a black cigar, walks in.

Myers [Tommy's manager]: Bruno Finster! What are you doing here?

Finster: The orchestra at the Met just walked out. Another salary dispute with management. The orders are that all other union musicians playing in town walk out, too, in sympathy. Right now.

Tommy: Hold on. I'm not walking out on the biggest night of my . . .

Finster (seizing him by the collar): Look, Buster, when the union says walk out, you walk . . . Understand?

Tommy (falling into a chair): I . . . I never threw a concert in my life...

Jazz: Take Four

The Dave Brubeck Quartet has disproved the musical myth that pioneering and popularity can't make the same gig

Playboy: April 1963, page 144
Writer: Nat Hentoff
Comment: Page 142 has a good Arnold Schoenberg story.

When he is in a calmer state and not reacting to critics, Brubeck looks forward to the years ahead when he will have more time to write and will, therefore, see less of the critics. He currently has five offers to do film scores, including one for Summer Music, a screenplay by Richard Condon. There is also a jazz opera in progress - a transmutation of Gertrude Stein's Melanctha, on which Brubeck is working with his wife and Liz Blake, another writer.

*** MAY 1963 ***

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: May 1963, page 43

Victoria de los Angeles, in any context, is a singer of estimable sensitivity, on her native ground, she is peerless. Cantos de Espana... is filled with the flowing grace of Miss De los Angeles' crystalline tones...

Playboy Advisor

Playboy: May 1963, page 50
Comment: Also not an opera reference, but I can't help thinking of Orlofsky's Ich lade gern mir Ga"ste ein in Die Fledermaus.

Can you please cite for me the authority by which the Advisor in your title is spelled with an "o"? - T. W., New York, New York.

Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary and Webster's Third New International Dictionary give a choice of "adviser" or "advisor"; we happen to prefer the latter. Chacun a son gout.

Editorial: The Playboy philosophy

the sixth part of a statement in which Playboy's editor-publisher spells out - for friends and critics alike - our guiding principles and editorial credo

Playboy: May 1963, page 66
Writer: Hugh M. Hefner

Any person who feels the censor's vengeful wrath may find some comfort in the knowledge that he is in illustrious company... The list of the censored is a veritable Who's Who of philosophy, art and literature: Homer, Confucius, Dante, Galileo, Shakespeare, Bacon, Voltaire... Goethe... Victor Hugo... Hans Christian Andersen... Darwin... Tolstoy, Mark Twain, Gilbert and Sullivan... and Walt Disney, to name but a few.

Article: Americans go home

a penetrating dissection of the ambivalent dream of expatriot self-discovery

Playboy: May 1963, page 155
Writer: Leslie A. Fiedler

It is Japan, of course, which has already become the favorite meta-European haven of the highbrow. But Japan is, alas, precisely the most American country in the Far East. Since 1860 it has been available to our ships and our imaginations; and we are linked to it by Lafcadio Hearn, Madame Butterfly and hundreds of haiku produced at the turn of the century by genteel New England ladies...

Article: A short history of dancing

a terpsichorean trip through the light fantastic, from yesterday's quadrille to today's Bossa Nova

Playboy: May 1963, page 160
Writer: William Iversen

In London, a dancer named Maud Allen wiggled her way to world fame by appearing in vaudeville as Salome - complete with harem costume and John the Baptist's head on a platter. Imported to America, the Scriptural squirm was such a success that girl dancers by the hundreds rented prop heads of St. John, and set themselves up as Salome acts. Over the next five years, Salomes of all shapes and sizes strove to outcooch each other. Theaters were raided, Salomes were jiggled off to jail, and burlesque buffs claimed a so-called "first" when a dancer named Odell went all the way by tearing off a striptease on the stage of the American Theater in New York, in 1907. With the premiere of Richard Strauss' Salome, opera fans donned soup-and-fish to ogle Mary Garden's gauzy gyrations in "The Dance of the Seven Veils" - a coloratura cooch which was so mercilessly satirized be Eva Tanguay, that vaudeville Salomes began to draw more laughs than applause. Within two years, the Salome bit went bust. Dance bands played Sadie Salome, Go Home, and shelves of theatrical prop shops were lined with unemployed heads of John the Baptist.

*** JUNE 1963 ***

Playboy interview: Billy Wilder

a candid conversation with the master of filmic seriocomedy

Playboy: June 1963, page 62

PLAYBOY: You seem to enjoy taking heavy subjects - the Cold War, transvestism, prison camps - and turning them into funny pictures. What is your attraction to such themes, and how do you manage to make them funny?

WILDER: It's not the subject as such, it's the treatment... I think the funniest picture the Marx Brothers ever made was A Night at the Opera, because opera is such a deadly serious background...

*** JULY 1963 ***

Advertisement: Capitol Record Club

Playboy: July 1963, page 13
Comment: Ad features 44 albums, 18 pictured in b&w. Ad pitch similar to previous ones.

On cover: Karajan Conducts Overtures
Off cover: 818. Karajan Conducts Overtures. Weber; Mendelssohn: The Hebrides; Wagner: Lohengrin, Flying Dutchman. Berlin Philharmonic.

[no picture] 552. The Brothers Castro. Latin & Hip. Mexico's electrifying songsters! Perdido, Summertime...

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: July 1963, page 15

A work of brooding eloquence is Bela Bartok's two-character opera, Bluebeard's Castle (Mercury), here sung in the original Hungarian by bass Mihaly Szekely and soprano Olga Szonyi, with Antal Dorati conducting the London Symphony Orchestra. Dark sonorities fill Bartok's impressionistic treatment of the grisly legend - an all-pervasive air of malevolence and melancholy is made more so by the strange ring of the Magyar tongue and the deep resonance of Bluebeard Szekely's haunting bass.

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Playboy: July 1963, page 16
Comment: 2-page ad features 91 albums, pictured in b&w. Die Lustige Witwe is by Franz Lehar.
Reruns: Harmonicats play Mack the Knife.

As A Member Of The Columbia Record Club

On cover: Puccini: Madame Butterfly. Andre Kostelanetz
Off cover: 60. "Strong appeal . . . lush instrumental treatment." Billboard

On cover: Miles Davis plays Porgy and Bess
Off cover: 62. "Sweet, hot, and haunting." - McCalls

On cover: The Merry Widow. Lisa Della Casa, John Reardon. New recording in English
Off cover: 83. "Charming . . . enchanting music." - N.Y. Journal American

Playmate of the Month: Summertime idyl

July playmate Carrie Enwright is an unspoiled, happy homebody

Playboy: July 1963, page 75

As for entertainers, I love Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lewis, Jonathan Winters, Victor Borge, Joan Sutherland - oh, so many more... When I go out with a boy, it really doesn't make any difference what we do - for me it's a successful date if I get the feeling he appreciates me. If we like each other, I would just as soon run through the park in Levis as have a fancy dinner at Frascati's with the opera to follow...

Memoir: Letitia

in which a young reporter learns that a girl's bright smile can mask a silent scream

Playboy: July 1963, page 87
Writer: Ben Hecht

I took notes for the story I would write, "Name, Letitia Ekart. Twenty-three. Daughter of Rev. Oscar Ekart, Kenwood Avenue Church. . . . Letitia, called Letty - two suicide tries. Cut wrists with razor. Three months later turned on gas, stuck head in oven. Mother dead. Lives with Pa. Letty is artist, also fine dancer - member Rosina Galli's ballet corps for Chicago Grand Opera Co. Doc says patient improving rapidly. No suicide try for seven months in asylum..."

[page 125] Her laughter became part of my day. We met in hotel lobbies, police stations... We hung around the Auditorium's backstage during opera rehearsals. And in all these places Letty's laughter continued. "Wouldn't they be surprised to learn I'm a lunatic out of an asylum?"...

[page 127] Marjy Curry's New Year's Eve party was a sparse affair... So long ago, so faraway - that party... But I see it still, a little ghost scene with lighted candles... A piano playing and Monsieur Dalmores of the Grand Opera Company singing French street songs...

I look into this distant night for a memory of Letty, only a few days in her grave. Who spoke of her? [None of us]... Except one. Yes, there was one true poet among us, one memorizer of griefs - Bogey.

He sat apart from us... His eyes and ears disdained our festive scene... I heard him address the empty air:

"To Letitia, to Letitia - all things about me are steeped in your remembrance, and shivering they try to speak of you."

Some 45 years later I say a tardy "Amen."

Pictorial: The Bunnies

an appreciative salute to Playboy's cottontailed beauties

Playboy: July 1963, page 119

New York Bunny Teddy Howard... is now studying an off-Broadway part, as is Bunny Betty Stanton, a veteran of both The Threepenny Opera and Li'l Abner.

Novel: Harry, the Rat with Women

One morning he awoke and found that no semblance of the original Harry remained; where once he had been loved, now he was hated - and this, he discovered was to be his eventual triumph

Playboy: July 1963, page 134
Writer: Jules Feiffer
Comment: Tristan und Isolde is by Richard Wagner. Orpheus and Eurydice are the subject of a number of operas.

"The record of history is the sum total of man's frustrated efforts to return to a state of oneness. We are maladjusted protozoa, Harry... Man has forgotten his origins but historic memory sends him in a frenzied search for them. He cannot admit it because he does not know what it is that he is searching for - so he invents substitutes: he searches for the Messiah; he searches for the Holy Grail; he searches for Isolde, Eurydice, Juliet, the big money, the lost chord, the cure for cancer, world peace..."

*** AUGUST 1963 ***

Advertisement: RCA Victor Popular Album Club/Readers Digest Music, Inc.

Playboy: August 1963, page 16
Comment: 2-page ad features 75 albums, pictured in b&w.
Reruns: 327. Von Karajan conducts Strauss waltzes and overtures.

For Summer Fun,
For Year-Round Listening Pleasure

On cover: Verdi. Aida. Price, Vickers, Gorr, Merrill, Tozzi. Rome Opera Orch./Chorus, Solti conducting
Off cover: 957. Now, oneof the most beautiful of all operas in an unforgettable performance by Metropolitan Opera stars. "The greatest of all recorded Aidas . . . " - N.Y. Herald Tribune

On cover: Mario Lanza. The Desert Song
Off cover: 258. Romberg's irrestible score magnificently sung by the late tenor.

Advertisement: Capitol Record Club

Playboy: August 1963, page 29
Comment: Ad features 29 albums, pictured in b&w. Ad pitch similar to previous ones.
Reruns: 818. Karajan conducts overture to Lohengrin...

On cover: Anna Moffo. Mozart Arias
Off cover: 57-16. Mozart Arias. Anna Moffo. A thrilling new voice sings 11 arias from Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro, Mass in C Minor, others.

*** SEPTEMBER 1963 ***

Advertisement: Capitol Record Club

Playboy: September 1963, page 16
Comment: 2-page ad features 74 albums, pictured in b&w. Ad pitch similar to previous ones. When You're Away is from The Only Girl by Victor Herbert. Kiss Me Again is from Mlle. Modiste by Victor Herbert.
Reruns: 59-50. Karajan conducts overture to Lohengrin...

On cover: Victor Herbert On Stage. Roger Wagner Chorale
Off cover: 17-07. Victor Herbert On Stage. Roger Wagner Chorale turns back time with Indian Summer, Kiss Me Again, When You're Away, 8 more.

On cover (new): Latin & Hip. The Brothers Castro
Off cover (rerun): 17-06. The Brothers Castro... Mexico's electrifying songsters! Perdido, Summertime...

Advertisement: Columbia Stereo Tape Club

Playboy: September 1963, page 29
Comment: Ad features 28 albums, pictured in b&w. Ad pitch similar to previous ones.
Reruns: 35. Ormandy conducts Carmina Burana.

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: September 1963, page 32

Age cannot wither some jazzmen's creativity (to paraphrase the Bard) if Hawkins! Alive! at the Village Gate/Coleman Hawkins (Verve) is any indication... The stellar attraction, Mack the Knife, is bolstered by a trio of only slightly less lustrous items... Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho...

[page 33] De Profundis (Vanguard) [is] by the 17th Century French composer Michel de Lalande. The work, based on Psalm 130... is performed by five solo voices... and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra...

Playboy After Hours: movies

Playboy: September 1963, page 37

The L-Shaped Room is the story of an unmarried pregnant girl... It's in the new English social-realism vein, but watered down and sugared up. Result: a somewhat soapy opera in unsoaped language.

Pictorial: Europe's new sex sirens

a pictorial salute to the nude wave's loveliest continental stars

Playboy: September 1963, page 148

June Ritchie, one of England's three most enticingly talented young actresses... has a warm, honey-haired appeal which is firing foreign film makers with get-Ritchie-quick schemes. Remembered for her suasive role in A Kind of Loving..., June will next appear as Polly Peachum in Joe Levine's The Threepenny Opera with co-stars Sammy Davis Jr., Curt Jurgens and Hildegarde Neff.

Personalities: On the scene [with Lorin Maazel]

Life begins at forty

Playboy: September 1963, page 160
Comment: The Bayreuth Festival is a Richard Wagner Festival.

The combustive career of expatriate conductor Lorin Maazel furnishes healthy proof that child prodigies don't always fade away into post-teen limbo. Today the second-most-popular maestro in Europe (after Vienna's seasoned Herbert von Karajan) and the first American and the youngest conductor ever to appear at the prestigious Bayreuth Festival, Maazel has, at 33, convincingly transcended the trying days when he was known to America as "Little Lorin," a brown-curled, white-suited toy Toscanini blessed with absolute pitch, voracious score-keeping memory, and startling poise on the platform...

*** OCTOBER 1963 ***

Advertisement: RCA Victor Records

Playboy: October 1963, page 9
Comment: 3-page ad features 20 albums, pictured in b&w.

Enjoy The World's Greatest Artists
In His Master's NEW Voice . . . DYNAGROOVE...

Boston Pops, Boston Symphony... Sam Cooke... Arthur Fiedler... Erich Leinsdorf... Leontyne Price...

Pop artists! Red Seal artists! ... Dealers everywhere are featuring these exciting albums.

On cover, which shows pictures of 10 artists, one of whom is Leontyne Price: The New Sound of the Stars. Dynagroove.
Off cover: The Dynagroove "Highlighter" albums feature selections from many great new Dynagroove albums...

On cover: Great Scenes from Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. Leontyne Price, William Warfield, McHenry Boatwright, Skitch Henderson
Off cover: 2. Price/Warfield. Both artists became famous in this work. They're even greater today on a newly recorded album!

On cover: Concert in the Park. Boston Pops/Fiedler
Off cover: Fiedler/Boston Pops. Features "Austrian Peasant Dances," "Victor Herbert Favorites"...

Advertisement: Capitol Record Club

Playboy: October 1963, page 16
Comment: 2-page ad features many albums, pictured in b&w.

Play, boys! The cards are stacked in your favor and you can't lose!
Deal yourself any 5 ALBUMS, only 97 cents

On cover: Bizet. Carmen; L'Arlesienne
Off cover: Bizet. L'Arlesienne Suites Nos. 1 & 2; Carmen Suite No. 1. Von Karajan, Phlharmonia. A performance filled with power.

Personalities: On the scene

Franco Corelli, opera's prima don

Playboy: October 1963, page 180

When, at the Metropolitan Opera House this fall, the terrible-tempered Franco Corelli struts and frets his hour upon the stage in Aida, Il Trovatore and I [sic] Pagliacci, he will have reached the apex of a career that has carried him from the marshes of the Adriatic coast into the hearts of millions of Italian bobby-soxers who now chase him down the streets whenever he appears in public. Today, among the purveyors of yesterday's fish in the gallerias in front of La Scala, the devotees speak of his voice with the reverence they once reserved for Caruso's. "Last night I saw him fling into the pit one half of a casaba," they say. "But who cares, when the man has the voice of a god?" Godlike or not, Corelli's voice is largely self-developed. He was born in the seacoast town of Ancona, there learned most of what he knows about singing by listening to the records of others, soon developed a solid dramatic tenor, darker in timbre than most and equipped with a baritone's power. Folowing his debut in Spoletto in 1952, he opened at La Scala in Spontini's La Vestale and at the Met 10 years later. Corelli, big and brawny (6 feet, 200 pounds) for a tenor, is built - and behaves - like a bull basso. Once he skewered his own bass, Boris Christoff, through the kidneys with a prop sword when Christoff tried to upstage him, and later he slugged a spectator he thought had insulted him. Off the boards, he consumes large amounts of polpo (the stuffed vitals of octopuses) prepared by his wife, rips about Rome in one of his four sports cars, and enjoys listening to the sound of his own voice. "E molto grande!" he has often modestly observed of the latter.

Personality: The little world of David Merrick

Broadway's brilliant, asp-tongued grand panjandrum - and how he got that way

Playboy: October 1963, page 232
Writer: Alvin Toffler
Comment: Ezio Pinza was the principal bass for the Metropolitan Opera for over 20 years.

Merrick had the idea that Marcel Pagnol's famous trilogy, Marius-Fanny-Cesar, would make a first-rate musical... But Merrick was a nobody then, and Pagnol was rich and famous... For three years, on and off, he kept after Pagnol... Now, at last, with the rights in his pocket, he began to assemble a company... He snagged Ezio Pinza and Walter Slezak to appear in it.

For Merrick, Fanny was a desperate make-or-break proposition... Fanny was a smash hit...

[page 233] There followed The Matchmaker, Look Back in Anger... He tried doing Maria Golovin, a musical by Menotti... In all there have been 29 Merrick productions, and, says Merrick, 21 have made back their money or piled up profits...

*** NOVEMBER 1963 ***

Advertisement: Angel Division, Capitol Record Club

Playboy: November 1963, page 25
Comment: Ad features 37 albums, 14 pictured in b&w.


A guide to outstanding and unusual recordings available from the Angel Division of the Capitol Record Club

The Art of the Virtuoso

On cover (rerun): Callas. Puccini Heroines
Off cover (new): 51-95. Callas Portrays Puccini Heroines. Favorite arias from Manon Lescaut, Madame Butterfly, Turandot, La Boheme, others.

[no picture] 53-83. Elizabeth Schwarzkopf. Songs You Love. 16 songs by the superb soprano. "Great in every way . . ." Phil. Daily News.

[no picture] 58-52. Franco Corelli Sings Neapolitan Songs. 10 thrilling Italian love songs. Torna a Surriento...

For the Mozart Collector

[rerun, no picture] 57-16. Mozart Arias. Anna Moffo... sings... Don Giovanni...

The Art of the Conductor

[rerun; was 779] 35-73. Sir Malcolm Sargent conducts The Mikado.

On cover: Missa Solemnis
Off cover: 35-95. Beethoven. Missa Solemnis. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, soprano; Herbert von Karajan, conducts...

Pictorial essay: The girls of Canada

a salute to the comeliest chicks of our neighbor to the north

Playboy: November 1963, page 122
Comment: Rose Marie (the 1936 film dropped the hyphen) is from Rose-Marie by Rudolf Friml.

In years past, when Hollywood sought a romantic symbol rather than a sex symbol, their intrepid scouts trekked north of the 49th parallel and brought back a Mary Pickford or a Norma Shearer or a Deanna Durbin. But this cinematic image of old-fashioned virtues - once reinforced by Nelson Eddy's leather-lunged paean to Rose Marie - has caused many American males to misinterpret modern realities...

[page 123, caption] Below, right: Attractive Montreal native Louise Arlette is an aspiring opera singer who dotes on Verdi.

*** DECEMBER 1963 ***

Playboy After Hours: movies

Playboy: December 1963, page 32

In the French Style... [is a] tale of a nice American girl who goes to Paris to paint and stays to paint the town as well... [It succeeds] fairly well - despite an adult-soap-operatic script and some uneven acting...

Playboy After Hours: books

Playboy: December 1963, page 42

Frank Harris' My Life and Loves [is] a work that's enjoyed more notoriety than readership, hitherto available only in various eviscerated versions... His sexual safari was only one of his careers... He met and/or knew - among hundreds of celebrities - Whitman... De Maupassant, Marx, Gladstone... Wagner... Conrad... and Oscar Wilde...

Advertisement: RCA Victor Records

Playboy: December 1963, page 56
Comment: 2-page ad features 17 albums, pictured in b&w.

This Christmas give the brightest stars of all . . .

On cover: Menotti. Amahl and the Night Visitors. Original cast of the NBC telecast
Off cover: This Menotti opera has become a Christmas classic! The original NBC telecast album is a delightful gift.

On cover (rerun): Porgy and Bess. Price, Warfield
Off cover (new): This work made both stars famous! Here, Price sings all three female roles. A wonderfully welcome gift.

On cover: The Dream Duet. Anna Moffo, Sergio Franchi
Off cover: A gift of romance! Their voices blend in... [12] love ballads.

Editorial: The Playboy philosophy

The thirteenth part of a statement in which Playboy's editor-publisher spells out - for friends and critics alike - our guiding principles and editorial credo

Playboy: December 1963, page 76
Writer: Hugh M. Hefner


For many Americans, to be cultured is to be considered effete. Classical music is played by "longhairs" and appreciated by "squares." The man or woman of learning or cultural accomplishment, the poet and opera singer - have long been stock comedy characters in movies...

Opinion: Everybody shinny on his own side

a smart rap on the first family's knuckles for the way it sticks its fingers in America's cultural pie

Playboy: December 1963, page 123
Writer: Robert Paul Smith
Comment: The only opera reference is in the cartoon illustration. The cartoon shows President Kennedy on the Capitol steps directing a mob of artists of all types on their way to the National Cultural Center (looking like what will be the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.) At the head of the mob is Bru"nnhilde, or some stereotypical Wagnerian heroine. This December 1963 issue was already on sale at the time of Kennedy's assassination.

[page 219] Mr. Kennedy made a speech in which he said roughly that our particular hunk of American history would be remembered years from now, not for its political or economic accomplishments, but for its culture...

Now look, Jack, you are President of the United States, and a damn good one... But it is no part of your... function to be the cultural leader of the United States... In fact... the less these United States have officially to do with the artist, the better things will be for the artist and the republic...

Neither of us knows what part, if any, of our culture... will be part of history. That comes under the Department of Posterity.

*** JANUARY 1964 ***

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Playboy: January 1964, page 8
Comment: 2-page ad features 84 albums, 60 pictured in color, 24 in b&w. Habanera is from Carmen by Georges Bizet. Polovtsian Dances are from Prince Igor by Aleksandr Borodin.

1964 Record Festival
Great Stars! Great Hits!

On cover: Dances for Orchestra. Danse Macabre; Habanera; Polovtsian Dances; 4 more. Ormandy, Philadelphia Orch.
Off cover: 1073. Lavish color . . . rhythmic verve." High Fidelity

Advertisement: Capitol Records

Playboy: January 1964, page 14
Comment: Ad features 3 albums, pictured in b&w.

There's only one sound like the Four Freshmen's.
And it's never the same.

On cover: The brand-new "Top 40" sounds of the Four Freshmen. Got That Feelin'
Off cover: There's wild rhythm, brass, and guitar backing by Shorty Rogers. There's a collection of great songs: "Walk Right In," "Basin Street Blues," "Summertime"... You've never heard anything like it before. From anyone...

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: January 1964, page 24

Opera buffs will hosanna Puccini's Tosca (Victor) featuring the magnificent voice of Leontyne Price, the Viennese State Opera Chorus, and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Herbert von Karajan... The four-LP album of Handel's Messiah [is] given a stirring performance by the Vienna Academy Chorus and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra under the baton of Hermann Scherchen; featured soloists are Pierrette Alarie, Nan Merriman, Leopold Simoneau and Richard Standen.

Fiction: The Homecoming

There he sat, this childlike carver of Christ - alone and betrayed - among the faceless wooden figures

Playboy: January 1964, page 155
Writer: Frederic Morton

By 5:30 I was washed and shaved and went down for tea at the Mocambo. All the tourists do, but that never bothered me... I enjoy the procession of nonobjective shirts, wraparound sunglasses, rinsed ponytails and custom-made sandals. I don't even mind the Mocambo Orchestra heaping their everlasting Sigmund Romberg into the blue-gold air... It is a method of relaxation.

Article: The death of boxing?

A knowledgeable ringsider offers an unsentimental eulogy to a moribund sport

Playboy: January 1964, page 176
Writer: Budd Schulberg

But for all the great fighters who have earned millions, or attracted millions of dollars to the box office, how many retired millionaires do we find? Gene Tunney. Maybe with luck Floyd Patterson. A precious, favored few... Beyond the crown and the glory and the headlines and the all-time box-office record for Madison Square Garden, boxing's Metropolitan Opera House, lay humiliation and poverty... For thousands of fighters, good fighters, winners - in the ring - wind up losers in life...

*** FEBRUARY 1964 ***

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Playboy: February 1964, page 12
Comment: 2-page ad features 96 albums, pictured in b&w. Ad pitch similar to previous ones.
Reruns: 1073. Ormandy conducts Habanera; Polovtsian Dances.

On cover: The Fabulous Voice of Richard Tucker. The Exodus Song, Tonight...
Off cover: 1099. Also: Shalom...

Advertisement: Columbia Stereo Tape Club

Playboy: February 1964, page 17
Comment: Ad features 28 albums, pictured in b&w. Ad pitch similar to previous ones.

On cover (rerun): Ormandy conducts Carmina Burana.
Off cover (new): 9038. "Superb . . . best of many performances." - Wash. Post

The Playboy Panel: Jazz - today and tomorrow

Playboy: February 1964, page 29


Gunther Schuller is a major force in contemporary music - both classical and jazz... For ten years, Schuller was first French horn with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, but now devotes full time to composing, conducting and writing about music...

Jazz: The 1964 Playboy all-stars

a look at the current jazz scene and the winners of the eighth annual Playboy poll

Playboy: February 1964, page 61
Writer: Nat Hentoff

Although there was a profusion of new faces in the 1963 jazz panorama, the pre-eminent figure during the past year was the resplendently resilient Duke Ellington...

While in Europe... Duke recorded several of his larger works with the Hamburg Symphony, the Paris Opera Orchestra, the Stockholm Symphony and the La Scala Symphony.

Modern living: The Playboy LP library

a selection of our one hundred favorite recordings in jazz, classical and pop/folk

Playboy: February 1964, page 68
Comment: There are 100 selections in each category. Strange that Playboy should review Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle twice over the last few years, but not include it here.
M = monaural; S = stereo.
s = soprano; t = tenor; b = baritone; bs = bass.


Victoria de los Angeles, soprano, Spanish Song of the Renaissance. Ars Musicae Ensemble, Jose M. Lamana, cond. Angel M-S

Britten, Noye's Fludde. Soloists; Children's Chorus and An East Suffolk Children's Orchestra, Norman del Mar cond. London M-S

Maria Callas, soprano, Maria Callas Sings French Opera Arias. National de la Radiodiffusion Francaise, Georges Pretre cond. Angel M-S

Cherubini, Medea. Maria Callas, soprano, et al. La Scala Chorus and Orchestra, Tullio Serafin, cond. Mercury M-S

Donizetti, Lucia di Lammermoor, Joan Sutherland (s), Renato Cioni (t), Robert Merrill (b), Cesare Siepi (bs), et al.; Chorus and Orchestra of Accademia di Santa Cecilia (Rome), John Pritchard, cond. London M-S, 3 LPs

Gershwin, Porgy and Bess. Lawrence Winters (b), Camilla Williams (s). Columbia M, 3 LPs

Handel, Alcina. Joan Sutherland (s), Graziella Sciutti (s), Teresa Berganza (ms), Luigi Alva (t), Ezio Flagello (b), et al.; London Symphony Chorus and Orchestra, Richard Bonynge, cond. London M-S, 3 LPs

Hindemith, Mathis der Maler (excerpts). Pilar Lorengar (s), Donald Grobe (t), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (b); Radio Symphony Orchestra (Berlin), Leopold Ludwig, cond. Deutsche Grammophon M-S

Mozart... Cosi fan tutte. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (s), Christa Ludwig (ms), Hanny Steffek (s), Alfredo Kraus (t), Giuseppe Taddei (b), Walter Berry (bs): Philharmonia Chorus and Orchestra, Karl Bo"hm, cond. Angel M-S, 4 LPs

Mussorgsky, Boris Godounov (arr. Rimsky-Korsakoff). Evelyn Lear (s), John Lanigan (t), Boris Christoff (b), et al.; Chorus of the National Opera of Sofia; Orchestre de la Societe des Concerts du Conservatoire de Paris, Andre Cluytens, cond. Angel M-S 4 LPs

Puccini, Madama Butterfly. Leontyne Price (s), Richard Tucker (t), RCA Italian Opera Orchestra and Chorus, Erich Leinsdorf, cond. Victor M-S 3 LPs

Purcell... Dido and Aeneas. Janet Baker (c), Patricia Clark (s), Raimund Herincx (bs), et al.; St. Anthony Singers; English Chamber Orchestra, Anthony Lewis, cond. Oiseau Lyre M-S

Rimsky-Korsakov, Scheherazade and Borodin, Prince Igor. Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Ernest Ansermet, cond. London M-S

Rossini, La Cambiale di matrimonio. Renata Scotto (s), Nicola Monti (t), Rolando Panerai (b), Renato Capecchi (b), et al.; Virtuosi di Roma, Renato Fasano, cond. Mercury M-S 2 LPs

Strauss, Johann, Die Fledermaus. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (s), Nicolai Gedda (t), Philadelphia Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan, cond. Angel M-S, 2 LPs

Strauss, Richard... Salome. Birgit Nilsson (s), Gerhard Stolze (t), Eberhard Wa"chter (b), et al.; Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Georg Solti, cond. London M-S

Stravinsky... Oedipus Rex. John Westbrook, narrator; Shirley Verrett (ms), George Shirley (t), et al.; Chorus and Orchestra of the Opera Society of Washington, Igor Stravinsky, cond. Columbia M-S

Joan Sutherland, Art of the Prima Donna. Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal House, Covent Garden, Francesco Molinari-Pradelli, cond. London M-S, 2 LPs

Verdi, Falstaff. Herva Nelli (s), Giuseppe Valdengo (b), et al.; NBC Symphony Orchestra, Arturo Toscanini, cond. Victor M, 3 LPs

Wagner, Das Rheingold. Kirsten Flagstaf (s), Set Svanholm (t), Gustav Neidlinger (bs); Vienna Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra, Georg Solti, cond. London M-S, 3 LPs

Weill, Three Penny Opera. Lotte Lenya (s), Sender Freies Berlin Orchestra, Wilhelm Bru"ckner-Ru"ggeberg, cond. Columbia M-S, 2 LPs

Jazz: The 1964 Playboy all-stars

a look at the current jazz scene and the winners of the eighth annual Playboy poll

Playboy: February 1964, page 177
Writer: Nat Hentoff

The sixth annual Polish Jazz Jamboree in Warsaw in late October scheduled a jazz opera - an innovation no American jazz festival has yet contemplated.

Humor: Lady Luck and the Lyricist

a collection of tongue-in-cheek clef-hangers on courting the musical muse

Playboy: February 1964, page 182
Writer: Jack Sharkey
Comment: This is a collection of "shaggy-dog stories", in which a well-known song lyric is punned at the end of a torturous anecdote. I've tried to give the significant bits - you can flesh them out. Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life is from Naughty Marietta by Victor Herbert. It Ain't Necessarily So is from Porgy and Bess by George and Ira Gershwin.

To write a song is easy. To write a hit song, however, is next to impossible - unless you are properly inspired to think of exactly the right lyrics. This can only be done through dumb luck.

. . .

Victor Herbert was a man who had a mania for personal cleanliness... He tried making his own [soap] at home... He hired Lizabeth Terry, leading female spinster scientist...

"The secret ... is to put the scent in the tub first, and then add the fat and lye"...

[Herbert] located [Lizabeth] huddled in a frightened heap... covered with candy.

"Ah, sweet Miss Terry of lye-fat last, I've found you!" he exclaimed, then gasped and ran for his piano.

. . .

"My wife is a wonderful woman, Ira," said the man, "but she hates needlework"...

"I can't concentrate," she said. "The leader of those Untouchables called to say he wanted to come over and question me... I ordered a coffeecake from the store"...

The back doorbell rang... The caller turned out to be the milkman... The husband... said to his wife, "It ain't Ness or Sara Lee. Sew!"

When they looked for Ira, he'd already left, whistling.

*** MARCH 1964 ***

Playboy After Hours: movies

Playboy: March 1964, page 23
Comment: Il Barbiere di Siviglia is by Rossini.

Love with the Proper Stranger [is] a better-than-average comedy-romance... The Italian family life... is done with a fine Roman hand... Edie Adams, playing a stripper friend of the hero's named Barbara of Seville, is bucking to be the new Joan Blondell...

Travel: Playboy's International Datebook

Playboy: March 1964, page 33
Writer: Patrick Chase

While in Paris, put your feet on the ground long enough to sample some of the opera, ballet, drama, folk singing and dancing at the Eleventh International Theater Festival late in May.

Food: Global linkage

No matter what its national guise, the savory sausage is a universal delight
Writer: Thomas Mario

Playboy: March 1964, page 98
Comment: Nellie Melba was an Australian soprano.

There are sausages of fresh meat and smoked meat, canned sausages and air-cured sausages. Some are as hard as Italian pepperoni (which yields reluctantly to an ax) and others as soft and docile as the German teawurst used for spreading on Melba toast.

Pictorial essay: The girls of Russia and the Iron Curtain countries

Playboy offers pictorial proof that feminine beauty knows no political boundaries

Playboy: March 1964, page 140

Prague is chock-full of cosy dark corners for pursuing a friendship... In such surroundings, it shouldn't be hard to understand why and how Prague could inspire creative artists as different as Mozart and Franz Kafka to produce some of their finest work...

One of the most appealing places to wind up an evening - but only if you have found a companion - is the Opera Grill, just off the river. Since it seats only 20, reservations are mandatory. Every evening the Grill's elegant, witty, multilingual maitre de greets a collection of fashionably turned out couples...

Novel: Biffen's Millions

conclusion of a new novel. Only one man now stood between him and his inheritance: the vigilant cop on the corner

Playboy: March 1964, page 150
Writer: P.G. Wodehouse

The brothers Cohen, as everybody knows, conduct their secondhand-clothing emporium in the neighborhood of Covent Garden, and it is their boast that they can at a moment's notice supply anyone with any type of garment his fancy may dictate...

*** APRIL 1964 ***

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: April 1964, page 24

Duke Ellington/Piano in the Foreground (Columbia) [is] an absorbing LP... Ellington takes on a trio of standards (... Summertime) and eight originals...

[page 25] [On] Catch Me/Joe Pass (Pacific Jazz)... Pass displays an almost infinite variety of original ideas on such as Summertime, Mood Indigo...

Travel: Playboy's International Datebook

Playboy: April 1964, page 43
Writer: Patrick Chase

Late May and early June provide the Scandinavian Festival, the best chance to see the Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen, to hear the music of Grieg at Bergen, and to attend Stockholm's Royal Opera and the Sibelius concerts at Helsinki. An amusing travel sidelight is a new Norwegian road built inside a mountain; the spiral tunnel corkscrews up within the rocky slopes of Bragernes Hill at Drammen, 26 miles southwest of Oslo, looping six complete turns before emerging atop the peak at a restaurant from which diners have a panoramic view of the countryside. Festival dates - starting in Copenhagen in May, ending in Helsinki in June - are staggered, allowing ample time for touring between one festival city and the next.

Title: Playboy interview: Jean Genet

a candid conversation with the brazen, brilliant author of "The Balcony" and "The Blacks," self-proclaimed homosexual, coward, thief and traitor

Playboy: April 1964, page 53

GENET: But I have the impression that your notion of me is based on work written twenty years ago. These days I'm not trying to give a disgusting or fascinating or acceptable image of myself. I'm simply hard at work.

PLAYBOY: Writing?

GENET: From time to time I work on my plays - not every day, but in spurts. Soon, for example, I may do an opera with the great musician Pierre Boulez, who directed Alban Berg's admirable Wozzeck at the Paris Opera this winter. The rest of the time I live in a state of semi-imbecility, like anyone else.

Pictorial: Sellers mimes the movies

Peter the great creates antic take-offs on famous lovers of the silver screen

Playboy: April 1964, page 116

[page 109] Sellers found time to discuss with one of our editors the contrast between the great love scenes of pictures past and and the frankly sexual approach taken in movies today. Which led us to wonder what those magic screen moments would be like if they were remade today, what with Hollywood's burgeoning emphasis on female nudity... Peter promptly agreed to restage these scenes especially for the Playboy camera.

[page 116] as Groucho Marx in A Night at the Opera

*** MAY 1964 ***

Playboy After Hours: recordings

Playboy: May 1964, page 45

Martha Schlamme/Will Holt: A Kurt Weill Cabaret (MGM) provides an intimate setting for the best of Weill. Folk singers Schlamme and Holt are well equipped to impart the biting, sardonic sounds of the composer... Included here are The Barbara Song, Mack the Knife, September Song, Surabaya Johnny, The Bilbao Song and, perhaps the most beautiful of all Weill creations, Lost in the Stars.

Travel: Playboy's International Datebook

Playboy: May 1964, page 51 Writer: Patrick Chase

New York State's Adirondack Mountains, less than a day's journey from the Apple, offer the most up-to-date and luxurious accommodations virtually set in boundless wilderness. Here, in close proximity, are grand opera at Lake George and riding in a cavalry charge at Frontier Town. Modern resorts offer golf, tennis, swimming, boating, summer theaters and open-air concerts; all these are cheek by jowl with the untrodden beauty of the Adirondack Forest Preserves (over 2,000,000 acres)...

Interview: Jack Lemmon

a candid conversation with Hollywood's kinetic seriocomic

Playboy: May 1964, page 57
Comment: This interview had Playboy's first mention of the Beatles, and I was hoping Jack would make a neat little comment on opera, so as to nicely connect up my two searches. The "radio soap opera" in the introductory material is disappointing, but better'n nothing:

Some have attributed [Lemmon's] modest self-assurance to his monied Bostonian upbringing and to his years at Andover and Harvard; others to his two-year hitch as a naval ensign at the end of World War II, and to the eight years of professional apprenticeship in New York drama schools, summer stock, radio soap opera, tv drama and Broadway comedy which preceded his movie debut in 1954...


Comment: So as not to end with such a feeble opera reference, let's link to an earlier, bolder one. Jack's historic Beatle comment in this interview goes as follows: "Whenever [Billy] Wilder wants me to do another picture - in a tub, in drag... in a Beatle wig - I'm his man." You'll recall that just a year earlier, in the June 1963 issue, Playboy ran an interview with this very Billy Wilder wherein he declares: "Opera is such a deadly serious background."

The end.


Contact Donald Sauter: send an email; view guestbook; sign guestbook.
Back to Donald Sauter's main page.
Rather shop than think? Please visit My Little Shop of Rare and Precious Commodities.
Back to the top of this page.

Parents, if you're considering tutoring or supplemental education for your child, you may be interested in my observations on Kumon.