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Betty Buckley


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Broadway/show tunes

Status:

Most recent release, Ghostlight (2014)

See also:

Betty Buckley's site

Comparisons:

Betty has a strong Broadway-style voice similar to Barbra Streisand, Linda Eder, or Sarah Brightman, but unique in subtlety, nuance, and strong dramatic skills. (jjhanson@att.net)

Covers/own material:

Primarily Broadway showtunes and standards, but an occasional cover of a pop tune by the likes of Mary Chapin Carpenter or Joni Mitchell. Some original tunes appeared on her hard-to-find first release.

General comments:

Betty Buckley is most well-known for her role as Abby on TV's Eight is Enough, but she is also a Broadway diva, whose unique voice and dramatic skills make her one of Broadway's leading ladies. She has appeared in movies (e.g., Carrie, Frantic), several made-for-TV movies, and Broadway and London plays including Cats, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Carrie, and Sunset Boulevard. Her latest play is Triumph of Love, playing opposite F. Murray Abraham.

Comments about live performance:

One of the best concerts of the year: Betty Buckley at Gammadge Auditorium, Tempe, AZ. My favorite Broadway singer. Quite a show from the woman with quite a voice. (jjhanson@att.net)

Recommended first album:

Children Will Listen

Recordings:


Betty Buckley

Release info:

1984—Rizzoli Records

Availability:

Out of print, difficult to find.

Ecto priority:

Low

Comments:

Betty's first album recorded live from a series of concerts in New York at St. Bartholomew's Church. Includes original compositions and her first recording of Stephen Schwartz' "Meadowlark," which has become another Buckley standard (info courtesy of the Betty Buckley website).

Children Will Listen

Release info:

1993—Sterling Records—S1001-2

Availability:

Fairly easy to find.

Ecto priority:

High for those who like show tunes.

Group members:

Betty Buckley—vocals

Guest artists:

Kenny Werner—piano and synthesizer
Billy Drewes—soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone and flute
Tony Marino—bass
Jamey Haddad—drums and percussion
Erik Friedlander—cello
Mary Rowell—violin and viola

Produced by:

Kenny Werner and Betty Buckley

Comments:

Betty's first album with producer/arranger Kenny Werner is a beautiful album and Betty's best studio album to date. The arrangements are primarily simple piano arrangements, accented with gorgeous saxophone and strings. Highlights include "When There's No One", a song from the short-lived Broadway musical Carrie, based on the Stephen King novel, in which Betty played Carrie's mother, and "I Still Believe", from the play Miss Saigon. (jjhanson@att.net)

With One Look

Release info:

1994—Sterling Records—S1007-2

Availability:

Fairly easy to find.

Ecto priority:

Low

Group members:

Betty Buckley—vocals

Guest artists:

Kenny Werner—piano and synthesizer
Billy Drewes—soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, clarinet and flute
Tony Marino—bass
Jamey Haddad—drums and percussion
Eugene Friesen—cello
Rick Martinez—synthesizer programming

Produced by:

Kenny Werner and Betty Buckley

Comments:

Betty's second studio album with producer/arranger Kenny Werner has some beautiful pieces, but is not as polished as Children Will Listen. As Betty explains in the liner notes, schedules were adjusted and the album was recorded in three days to accommodate Betty's run in the London version of Lloyd Weber's Sunset Boulevard. The result is less creative arrangements and a little less polished album than Children Will Listen. However, this album includes more pop songs, including Joni Mitchell's "River" and "A Case of You" and Mary Chapin Carpenter's "Come On, Come On." It's a good album, and she does have a terrific voice, but I wasn't as taken by it I thought I might be. The covers of the Joni Mitchell songs just don't do much for me—they weren't meant to be show tunes and shouldn't be sung as such. (jjhanson@att.net)

Betty Buckley: The London Concert

Release info:

1995—Sterling Records

Availability:

Fairly easy to find.

Ecto priority:

Low

Group members:

Betty Buckley—vocals

Guest artists:

The BBC Concert Orchestra and the BBC Big Band

Produced by:

Mort Drosnes, executive producer

Comments:

For live albums, I'd recommend the better An Evening at Carnegie Hall (jjhanson@att.net)

Betty Buckley: An Evening at Carnegie Hall

Release info:

1996—Sterling Records—S1012-2

Availability:

Easy to find.

Ecto priority:

Medium

Group members:

Betty Buckley—vocals

Guest artists:

Kenny Werner—piano
Billy Drewes—saxophones and flute
Rick Martinez—synthesizer
Tony Marino—bass
Jamey Haddad—drums and percussion
The American Theater Orchestra

Produced by:

Thomas Z. Shepard

Comments:

A recording of Betty's first solo Broadway show, a Benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, that confirmed her place as America's leading Broadway Diva. The variety of music, and her vocal and dramatic command are truly awesome. Playing Rose from Gypsy to Pirate Jenny from Weill's Threepenny Opera, to heartfelt ballads like "Everything Must Change", the range of emotion and voice demand attention. Seventy-five minutes of great music, well worth paying full price for (especially since portions of the proceeds go to a good cause). (jjhanson@att.net)


Thanks to Jeffrey Hanson for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2015-04-22 20:28:22.
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