She collected great notices for the recent Broadway revival of “Finian’s Rainbow” (which regretfully I missed) and I’ve just been sampling her delightful new album from PS Classics. What a sunny open personality Kate’s voice has – the kind that looks you straight in the eye and promises…. well, just about everything. The album includes two of my very favourite show songs: the glorious ‘He Wasn’t You’ from “On a Clear Day” – as impassioned a melody as Burton Lane ever penned dispatched here with optimum intensity all the way to to the very top of Baldwin’s shining head voice – and “That Something Extra Special” from the short-lived “Darling of the Day” (Harburg with Jule Styne). I once shared a stage with Patricia Routledge, who starred in it opposite Vincent Price, and she became quite emotional recalling opening night. She and Price didn’t particularly get along (“Not an easy man”, I recall her saying with withering emphasis) but as she came off stage after taking her final curtain call he was waiting with a glass of champagne: “You’ll never forget this”, he said. The Tony committee didn’t either. Pat won a Tony Award for her performance.
Anyway, I digress. If you don’t know Kate Baldwin’s work you now have no excuses.