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The 50th Anniversary Special Edition -- The Sound of Music With Songs By Rodgers & Hammerstein, Original Broadway Cast Recording Starring Broadway Legend Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel

(NEW YORK, NY), PRNewswire/ -- On November 16, 1959, The Sound of Music - the last musical collaboration of composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II - made history when it opened at Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theater. Masterworks Broadway celebrates that milestone with a special 50th anniversary edition of the musical's beloved original cast recording, starring Broadway legend Mary Martin. The 50th anniversary edition of the original cast recording of The Sound of Music will be released on November 3, 2009.

While a larger audience came to know The Sound of Music six years later, when the Oscar-winning film version starring Julie Andrews was released, the musical became a major hit of the 1959-60 season, sharing (with Fiorello!) that spring the Tony Award for Best Musical. It ran 1,443 performances on Broadway, toured the U.S. for several seasons and became an even longer-running hit in London when the first British production (1961) ran twice as long as its Broadway counterpart. It continues to be one of the most popular and enduring musicals of all time.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Broadway premiere of The Sound of Music, Masterworks Broadway has restored the original cast recording in a new edition that features three unusual bonus tracks, extensive liner notes about the show's history by Bert Fink of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, and rarely seen photos of the recording sessions, held November 22, 1959, in Columbia Records' celebrated 30th Street Studios.

In addition to the original cast recording, the three bonus tracks on the 50th anniversary edition are:

-- "From Switzerland: The Pratt Family," a spoof of The Sound of Music created for and performed by Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett in 1962 on their TV special Julie and Carol Live at Carnegie Hall;

-- A live recording of "Edelweiss," sung in German, from the historic first production (2005) of The Sound of Music in Vienna;

-- A soaring cover version of "Climb Ev'ry Mountain," sung in Swedish (as"Sok dig till bergen") by Tommy Korberg, best known to American audiences for his vocals on the concept album of Chess.

The release of the recording comes just as Simon & Schuster adds to The Sound of Music phenomenon with a collectible pop-up book for every family's library. The heartwarming, classic adventure - adapted by Bert Fink from the story of the stage musical - comes alive with paper engineering as unforgettable as each timeless melody. It is available now wherever books are sold.