Monday, April 09, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Robert Preston

Artist:Robert Preston
Song:Seventy Six Trombones
Album:The Music Man: Original Soundtrack

Robert Preston was a versatile character actor best known for starring in the Broadway and film productions of The Music Man. He was born Robert Preston Meservey June 8, 1918 in Newton, MA. His family moved to Los Angeles and he studied acting at the Pasadena Community Playhouse. He also served as an intelligence officer for the Air Force during WWII. For most of the 40s, Preston appeared as a supporting actor in Westerns. In the 50s, he moved to New York and appeared in several Broadway productions. Most were unsuccessful except The Music Man in 1957. Meredith Willson based The Music Man on his Iowa upbringing. The show was a huge success and Preston won a Tony for his performance as conman Harold Hill. Warner Bros. acquired the rights to produce the 1962 film version. For the most part, the film is faithful to the original Broadway production. Of course there were changes like Shirley Jones replacing Barbara Cook as Marian The Librarian. Jack Warner wanted Frank Sinatra to play Harold Hill but Willson stuck with Preston. When Warner approached Cary Grant about the role, Grant told him to stick with Preston. The film was a huge success and so was the soundtrack album which is available as a budget CD. Preston won another Tony for his role in the 1966 musical I Do! I Do! and he appeared in the film musicals Mame and Victor Victoria. Younger fans probably remember him from the 1985 film The Last Starfighter and the 1985 HBO film Finnegan Begin Again. But he'll forever be best known as Harold Hill in The music Man. Robert Preston died on Mar. 21, 1987 at age 68. Here's Robert Preston performing Seventy Six Trombones in the 1962 film The Music Man. This clip is not on Youtube.

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