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WIRED FOR SOUND - Alice productions on CD, tape and vinyl
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Jane Asher CD ALICE IN WONDERLAND with JANE ASHER
Margaretta Scott as the narratorThis UK production first appeared in 1958 as a "spoken word" record set. Initially released on Decca's 'Argo' label as a two-LP set in stereo, catalogue number ZTA 501-2, it was also available on the London label, number X5545 in mono. A double CD limited re-release in stereo by 'Classic Books' appeared in 1995 (right).

Jane Asher was a close friend of the Beatles and the song "I Am The Walrus" refers directly to the Walrus in "Through The Looking Glass. The actress appeared in another 'Alice' film in 1985 as Alice Liddell's mother in "DREAMCHILD".


This is the artwork from the first vinyl LP released in 1958.
Vivienne Chatterton as Dormouse & Baby
Tony Church as King of Hearts
Frank Duncan as Frog Footman, Mouse, March Hare
Leslie French as White Rabbit and Fish Footman
Deryck Guyler as Cheshire Cat and Bill the Lizard
Carleton Hobbs as Lory and Mad Hatter
Margaret Rawlings as Queen of Hearts
Norman Shelley as Gryphon and Caterpillar
Ian Wallace as Mock Turtle
Majorie Westbury as Duchess and Helen.
Margaretta Scott was narrator (pictured top left)

Above right is the LP sleeve artwork from a mid-sixties re-release.
As a follow up to "Wonderland", Argo released "Through The Looking Glass". Jane Asher reprised "Alice" and Douglas Cleverdon directed the production once again.
In addition to being a leading BBC producer during the 1950's, Douglas Cleverdon was a prolific composer and conductor.
"Through The Looking Glass" was released as an ARGO box set ZTA 503/4 containing two discs. It was also available in extract form, on 45rpm extended play discs (pictured below).
The re-release in 1965 was on the London label, catalogue 1211.
All releases were in stereo.

Alice In Wonderland - with GINGER ROGERS as ALICE


Ginger Rogers in a 1934 tryout for "Alice".




This a 1949 sound recording, adapted by George Wells with songs by Lewis Carroll and Frank Luther and music by Victor Young. Produced in NYC on Decca, 3 x 78 rpm discs, cat numbers 966, 967 and 968. The labels are printed "Children Stories with two Violins, Piano and Clarinet accompaniment."

The tunes might be the same as the Ginger Rogers production (above right), being written by the same team.

Frank Luther was a professionally trained pianist who played in several country music bands in his home state of Kansas before moving to New York in 1928. He gradually began to move away from country music, preferring to write and perform childrens music.

This AIW version was produced specifically for release as a sound recording. Initially on a set of three 78rpm records on the Decca Ginger Rogers book coverlabel, catalogue number 5040, in 1944, it was re-released in 1950 in 7" 45 rpm format and as a 10" LP.
The cover art was by Walt Disney, and almost seems to be a preliminary sketch for a scene in the 1951 animated movie. In fact Walt Disney was considering an 'Alice' movie in 1944, with famous hoofer, Ginger Rogers, as the unlikely choice for playing the lead.
   Disney had just achieved considerable success with "Song Of The South", a film which featured part live action and part animation, with a great emphasis on the character and personality of the animated animals. He envisaged Alice In Wonderland in the same way, with a "live" Alice interacting with animated characters.


"Ginger Rogers as Alice, and a candid photograph of herself with director George Wells and conductor Victor Young, which was taken during the recording session of the famous fantasy tale, ALICE IN WONDERLAND."

It wasn't to be. Disney changed his mind and he shelved the idea until he finally made the fully animated 1951 version we all know today. However, the concept sketches and song ideas remained, and this recording was the 'waste not want not' result.

Singers:
Ginger Rogers
Lou Merrill
Bee Benaderet
Arthur Q. Bryan
Joe Kearns
Ferdy Munier
Martha Wentworth
Music:
Frank Luther

Ginger Rogers album cover by Walt Disney
Randy Greif - Alice In Wonderland Parts 1 to 5 (Staalplaat) 1990-92
    Randy Greif is a musician whose work you either love or hate. He uses electronic sounds combined with real sounds which have been looped, distorted, reversed and whatever else takes his fancy. This adaptation of Alice's Adventures is six hours of the most dark and disturbing soundscapes you will ever hear.
    Lewis Carroll's text is spoken by actors, but much altered and chopped up to provide a rhythmic backing to the music. These compositions are teeming with minute details and complexity.
    The Alice CD's were originally released one at a time over a three year period, now the Soleilmoon label has re-released them in a 5-CD box set, complete with new artwork and a set of trading cards featuring Greif's surreal treatments of the Tenniel illustrations.
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