In honor of the Gershwin centennial year, conductor Erich Kunzel worked in cooperation with Gershwin scholar Edward Jablonski, the Music Division of the Library of Congress, and John Andrew Johnson at Harvard University to create his own performing edition of the one-act opera Blue Monday, heard here for the first time with its original orchestration by Will H. Vodery. Kunzel's sources included the original piano sketches by Gershwin, the Vodery orchestration, and the original Buddy De Sylva text, all of which are housed in the Library of Congress.
The recording of legendary performer Cab Calloway singing "It Ain't Necessarily So," was made about one year before he died. This is the only available performance on disc of him singing a selection from his signature role.
Maestro Kunzel also discovered, at the Library of Congress, previously unrecorded dialogue from Act III, Scene I of Porgy and Bess, which leads into the duet between Bess and Serena, "Lonely Boy," also never before recorded. Gershwin discarded the duet for reasons of length (and thus never orchestrated it), substituting the aria, "Summertime," sung here by radiant soprano Harolyn Blackwell, making her Telarc debut. The duet is heard in an orchestration provided by Steven Reinke.