CynthiaV

Nicely Nicely Johnson Stubby Kaye

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Befote Guys and Dolls gets going I have to say how much this is a favorite musical of mine partly bc of Sinatra and Vivian Blaine but mostly bc of, Nicely Nicely, Stubby Kaye. He was a Broadway and musical star who played the role originally on Broadway.  He was also well known for his roles in both the Broadway and film musical L'il Abner and other successful musicals of the 50s and 60s. His rendition of, Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat in Guys and Dolls is sublime. The entire ensemble of the musical is immensely talented but for me it's always been Stubby Kaye as Nicely Nicely Johnson who leaves a lasting impression. Fitting for a man whose last role was that of Marvin Acme in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

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2 minutes ago, CynthiaV said:

Befote Guys and Dolls gets going I have to say how much this is a favorite musical of mine partly bc of Sinatra and Vivian Blaine but mostly bc of, Nicely Nicely, Stubby Kaye. He was a Broadway and musical star who played the role originally on Broadway.  He was also well known for his roles in both the Broadway and film musical L'il Abner and other successful musicals of the 50s and 60s. His rendition of, Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat in Guys and Dolls is sublime. The entire ensemble of the musical is immensely talented but for me it's always been Stubby Kaye as Nicely Nicely Johnson who leaves a lasting impression. Fitting for a man whose last role was that of Marvin Acme in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

They said that Stubby Kaye stopped the show every night on Broadway.

If you like Stubby then you should check out his star turns in 2 other Hollywood musicals--

He performed " Jubilation T  Cornpone " in Li'l Abner and  " I Love To Cry at Weddings " for Bob Fosse's Sweet Charity.

 

Late forties and the 1950s up to the mid-1960s was the classic time for Broadway musicals. Before that really and after that Broadway became was more elitist.

During the classic period, people all over the country knew these shows and performed them in community theaters and high school shows. Everyone who collected records had the original Broadway cast album of My Fair Lady and The Music Man. These movies are popular and great not by chance, but because the entire American mainstream public was involved and that's what they wanted to see on the screen.

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"Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat" is probably my favorite number from any musical, ever.

"And the devil will drag you under
By the fancy tie 'round your wicked throat"

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We did Guys & Dolls in high school and I was always jealous because during "Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat" our Nicely Nicely had the best choreography (and the best song). We even had a church pew turn into a boat with a sail that he got to stand on. I was just a Mission Doll

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We did Guys and Dolls in my junior year of HS, and though I was cast as Nicely Nicely, my voice had already dropped below being able to sing a Stubby Kaye part. I barely made it. Then the following year, we were to do Li'l Abner, and our drama teacher wanted me to do Marryin' Sam, another Stubby Kaye part. I went on strike. Refused to try out at all. Eventually we compromised, and I played General Bullmoose.

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If you like Stubby you can find him singing with Nat King Cole and playing either the banjo or guitar in

Cat Ballou with Jane Fonda.  I love that film and the music is fantastic.  I don't know if he's really playing

but he's really singing.

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When I was growing up, Stubby Kaye was the host of a kids’ TV game show called “Shenanigans!”  He sang the theme song.  Here’s a clip of the opening, but you can find entire episodes on YouTube.

 

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2 hours ago, Languorous Lass said:

When I was growing up, Stubby Kaye was the host of a kids’ TV game show called “Shenanigans!”  He sang the theme song.  Here’s a clip of the opening, but you can find entire episodes on YouTube.

 

Oh that's wonderful! Thank you!

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My first exposure to Stubby Kaye was in "Cat Ballou" (1965), where he and Nat King Cole sang the narration. A great movie that, I suppose, could be considered a musical, even though Kaye and Cole are the only ones singing. At the very least, it's a movie where music drives the action. I enjoyed seeing him as Nicely, Nicely in "Guys and Dolls" (1955).

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