Stage Door Records are pleased to announce the previously unreleased studio demo recordings of David Heneker’s musical ‘Half A Sixpence’ will be released on September 29th, 2017.
‘Half A Sixpence’ is considered one of the most iconic and enduring British musicals of the 20th Century. The musical adaptation of H.G. Wells’ novel ‘Kipps’ featured music and lyrics by David Heneker with book by Beverley Cross and opened at London’s Cambridge Theatre in March 1963 starring Tommy Steele as Arthur Kipps. On March 13th 1962 (exactly one year before the show opened in the West End) the studio demo recordings for ‘Kipps’ (the then working title for the show) were recorded at London’s Olympic Studios.
Performers featured on the demo recordings include Tommy Steele, Rita Williams, Roy Sone (Tommy Steele’s understudy in the Original London production), Joanna Rigby and writers David Heneker and Beverley Cross. Backed by the Kenny Powell Trio, the studio demos effectively capture the magic of David Heneker’s classic score and feature many of the stand-out numbers from the musical including ‘If The Rain’s Got To Fall’, ‘Money To Burn’ and ‘Half A Sixpence’. The recordings also highlight several songs which would later be cut from the show and provide a fascinating insight into the development of the musical.
Stewart Nicholls, Theatre Director and Archivist for the David Heneker Estate comments: “These rare demonstration recordings for “Half A Sixpence” were discovered in perfect condition in the garage of Composer David Heneker’s family house in deepest Wales – and hadn’t been played for 55 years! They were recorded in March 1962 (exactly a year to the date prior to the show opening in the West End) and unveil the delicious charm of the original Heneker score as well as displaying an unusual insight into the development of a 1960s British Musical. Hearing the writers and the original star, Tommy Steele, work through the score at such an early – yet polished – stage is as enlightening as it is charming“.
The previously unreleased ‘Half A Sixpence’ Studio Demo Recordings have been digitally remastered from the studio master tapes. All tracks make their debut on CD.
ORIGINAL 1962 DEMO RECORDINGS
1. LADIES WEAR* – Roy Sone
2. MR. SHALFORD’S DRAPERY EMPORIUM* – Rita Williams, Joanna Rigby
3. ALL IN THE CAUSE OF ECONOMY – Tommy Steele, Beverley Cross, David Heneker, Rita Williams Singers
4. HALF A SIXPENCE – Roy Sone, David Heneker
5. WE DON’T LIKE NOT TO BE ENGAGED* – Rita Williams, Joanna Rigby
6. IF YOU DRESS LIKE MR. PEARCE* – Rita Williams, Joanna Rigby
7. PURE COINCIDENCE* – Beverley Cross
8. MONEY TO BURN – Tommy Steele, Rita Williams Singers
9. THE OAK AND THE ASH – Joanna Rigby, Beverley Cross, Rita Williams Singers
10. SHE’S TOO FAR ABOVE ME – Tommy Steele
11. I’M NOT TALKING TO YOU – Rita Williams, Beverley Cross
12. IF THE RAIN’S GOT TO FALL – Tommy Steele, Rita Williams Singers
13. THE OLD MILITARY CANAL – Rita Williams Singers
14. THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY – Tommy Steele, Beverley Cross
15. LONG AGO – Rita Williams
16. HOW FASHIONABLE AND AMUSING* – Rita Williams Singers
17. I’LL BUILD A PALACE / I ONLY WANT A LITTLE HOUSE – Tommy Steele, Rita Williams, Roy Sone, Rita Williams Singers
1966 DEMO RECORDINGS
18. HOW FASHIONABLE AND AMUSING* – David Heneker
19. I DON’T BELIEVE A WORD OF IT – David Heneker
20. FLASH, BANG, WALLOP! – Paul Rich
21. LONG AGO – Leoni Page
22. HALF A SIXPENCE – Paul Rich, Leoni Page
23. SHE’S TOO FAR ABOVE ME – Paul Rich
24. IF THE RAIN’S GOT TO FALL – Paul Rich
25. BEVERLEY CROSS NARRATES ‘HALF A SIXPENCE’
*Indicates song cut from the production