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Ray Bolger

b. Raymond Wallace Bolger, 10 January 1904, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, d. 15 January 1987, Los Angeles, California, USA. An eccentric, rubber-legged dancer with a style and image that had to be seen to be believed. He started out as a comedian in 1922 with the Bob Ott Musical Repertory Company and four years later gained a small part in a Broadway show called The Merry Whirl. After a spell in vaudeville, he returned to Broadway in the late 20s and 30s in shows such as Heads Up, George White’s Scandals, Life Begins At 8:40, and On Your Toes (1936). Bolger shot to stardom in the latter show in which he introduced the lovely ‘There’s A Small Hotel’, and performed an hilarious eccentric dance in Richard Rodgers’ famous ‘Slaughter On Tenth Avenue’ ballet. After leaving the show he moved to Hollywood and appeared in The Great Ziegfeld, Rosalie, Sweethearts, and one of the most memorable films of all time, The Wizard Of Oz (1939), in which he played the Scarecrow in search of a brain. After returning to New York for the short-lived musical Keep Off The Grass (1940), he made one more film, Sunny (1941), before leaving for the South Pacific where he entertained troops with the USO during World War II. He was back on Broadway in 1942 for By Jupiter, and then the revue Three To Make Ready, in which he stopped the show regularly with the charming ‘That Old Soft Shoe’, complete with straw hat and cane. Frank Loesser’s Where’s Charley? came along in 1948 and gave Bolger his greatest role; he introduced the gentle ‘Once In Love With Amy’, and it subsequently became his signature tune. During the 40s and 50s he made several more films including Stage Door Canteen, Four Jacks And A Jill, The Harvey Girls, Look For The Silver Lining, Where’s Charley?, and April In Paris. In 1962 and 1969 he appeared in two more stage musicals, All American and Come Summer, but mostly during the 60s and 70s he mixed feature films such as Babes In Toyland, The Daydreamer, The Runner Stumbles, and Just You And Me Kid, with television movies that included The Entertainer, The Captains And The Kings, and Only Heaven Knows. In the MGM extravaganza That’s Entertainment!, he looked back affectionately on a career that had spanned well over half a century. Three years later he died of cancer at the age of 83.
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Broadway

1. Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin'

2. The Surrey With The Fringe On Top

3. The Farmer And The Cowman

4. Oklahoma

7. June Is Bustin' Out All Over

9. Some Enchanted Evening

10. Bali Ha'i

11. I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair

12. This Nearly Was Mine

13. I Whistle A Happy Tune

14. Getting To Know You

15. Shall We Dance

16. Ol' Man River

18. Baubles, Bangles And Beads

19. Stranger In Paradise

21. I Got Plenty O' Nuttin'

22. It Ain't Necessarily So

23. I Got Rhythm

24. The Hostess With The Mostes'

27. Doin' What Comes Natur'lly

28. You Can't Get A Man With A Gun

30. Anything You Can Do

32. Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend

38. So In Love

42. Once In Love With Amy

43. The Oldest Established

44. I'll Know

45. A Bushel And A Peck

46. Guys And Dolls

47. Luck Be A Lady

48. Sit Down, You're Rocking The Boat

x

Track List: Broadway: The American Musical

Disc 1

2. Swanee

3. When The Moon Shines On The Moonshine

7. If You Knew Susie (Like I Know Susie)

9. Bill

10. Ol' Man River

11. Ain't Misbehavin'

12. Ten Cents A Dance

14. Brother, Can You Spare A Dime

16. Heat Wave

18. You're The Top

20. September Song

21. My Heart Belongs To Daddy

Disc 2

5. How Are Things In Glocca Morra

8. Some Enchanted Evening

10. Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend

14. Stranger In Paradise

18. I Could Have Danced All Night

21. Glitter And Be Gay

22. Tonight

Disc 3

3. Everything's Coming Up Roses

4. My Favorite Things

7. Camelot

9. I Believe In You

17. If I Were A Rich Man

Disc 4

4. Ladies Who Lunch

10. Send In The Clowns

13. All That Jazz

14. Tomorrow

Disc 5

3. Move On

17. Movin' Out

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once in love amey

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