News & Classical Music from Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Show Tunes S4 EP 3: The Music Man (1957)

The Music Man album cover.jpg
Original Broadway Cast Album artwork
Meredith Willson: The Music Man

In Meredith Willson's masterpiece, ya got trouble, a slick salesman, and a whole lot of trombones.

"Professor" Harold Hill has made a long career of selling fake boys' bands to small towns - no instruments or uniforms ever arrive, and the erstwhile "professor" is long gone once anyone notices. He attempts the same scam on the stubborn folks of River City, Iowa, only to run up against librarian/piano teacher Marian, who's wise to his wily ways.

Music and lyrics: Meredith Willson


Hard to believe as the styles are so different, but this show came out the same year as "West Side Story" - and beat Bernstein and Sondheim for the Best Musical Tony!

Biggest hits:

"Ya Got Trouble"
"76 Trombones"
"Till There Was You"

Tony Awards (1958):

  • Best Musical
  • Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical (Robert Preston as Harold Hill)
  • Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical (Barbara Cook as Marian Paroo)
  • Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical (David Burns as Mayor Shinn)
  • Best Conductor and Musical Director (Herbert Greene)

Musical numbers:

  1. Overture/Rock City
  2. Iowa Stubborn
  3. Ya Got Trouble
  4. Piano Lesson
  5. Goodnight My Someone
  6. Seventy Six Trombones
  7. Sincere
  8. The Sadder But Wiser Girl
  9. Pick a Little Talk a Little
  10. Marian the Librarian
  11. My White Knight
  12. The Wells Fargo Wagon
  13. It's You
  14. Shipoopi
  15. Lida Rose/Will I Ever Tell You
  16. Gary, Indiana
  17. Till There Was You
  18. Finale

Kate Botello is a host and producer at Classical IPR.