Album Challenge Day 1: “Mary Poppins”

Mary Poppins Songs

I got challenged on Facebook by my friend Ibo Yilmaz to name 10 albums that have influenced my musical taste and upbringing.

One record per day over a 10 day period. No explanations (usually), no reviews, just the cover art. Well, because I’m posting it here, I’ll give some explanation. Each day, I have to nominate someone else, although haven’t decided if I will.

I’ve chosen “Mary Poppins” although it’s not the movie soundtrack with Julie Andrews but instead the version I grew up, called “10 Songs From Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins”. For some reason, this was not sung by Ms. Andrews but by Marni Nixon, famous for being the singing voice behind many a famous performance including Deborah Kerr in “The King and I”, Natalie Wood in “West Side Story”, and Audrey Hepburn in “My Fair Lady”. However, Marni did appear lipsyncing her own voice, as Sister Sophia in “The Sound of Music”.

Whatever it was, I adored this album, playing it on our stereo console, a beautiful piece of furniture that had record player, reel-to-reel, and radio. Ah, why don’t they make these any longer?

I’d love to get one of these but replace the guts with new equipment.

And the songs, of course, are timeless: “Spoonful of Sugar”, “Jolly Holiday”, “Super-Cali-Fragil-Istic-Expi-Ali-Docious”, “Chim Chim Cheree”, “Step in Time”, “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” and especially the haunting “Feed the Birds”.

This record instilled in me at an early age my love for musical theatre, or at least that style of music, given that I didn’t see a musical on stage until I was in high school.

I have a specific – somewhat sad – memory of playing this album when I was seven years old, dancing around the living room, turning it up hoping someone from outside would notice it and me and join in. But no one did – not for another 12 or so years when I came out of the closet. Well, a fabulously appointed closet filled with music.

So nine more albums to go.