Hollywood Bowl Vinyl Box’s Rare Live Tracks Range From a Young Sinatra to Death Cab for Cutie — and Dudamel, of Course

·14-min read

Boxed sets are typically compiled for the music fan that wants a lot of just one thing. But the Hollywood Bowl’s tens of thousands of repeat customers every summer tend to be musical omnivores. Sometimes it’s about the top-billed artist, and sometimes it’s about sampling genres slightly outside of one’s wheelhouse because the Bordeaux you’ve been hoarding isn’t going to drink itself.

A lavish new vinyl boxed set, “Hollywood Bowl: The First Hundred Years,” has been put together predicated on the belief that Bowl-goers will be into musical diversity when they’re encamped in the privacy of their own homes, too. Its seven LPs include more than 50 tracks that span the years from 1928 to 2021 and are broken down into sections that encompass the realms of classical, pop-rock, jazz, film scores and the world of Broadway and the Great American Songbook. The vast majority of tracks are previously unreleased and unavailable in any other format, giving turntable owners a chance to sample everything from Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Fred Astaire and Ella Fitzgerald to Donna Summer and James Brown; from the Doors and Dave Brubeck to Pentatonix, Pink Martini and Common. There will be Carol Channing, and Death Cab for Cutie.

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And, of course, John Williams and Gustavo Dudamel, too; patron saints will not go unprayed to.

“The First Hundred Years” has been pressed as a limited edition of 3,000, with a price tag of $125 ($112.50 for Bowl subscribers). If it were put out nationwide for Record Store Day in that limited a quantity, it’d most be snatched up by vinyl enthusiasts and sold out in a matter of days. Since the set (released this past Friday) is only being sold at the LA Phil’s stores at the Bowl and Walt Disney Concert Hall, and via its webstore, it will likely remain available much longer into the summer. But in the parlance of collectors, it’s not something to sleep on, representing as it does as broad-based a collection of essential American (and international) music as has ever been assembled under one pull-off box-top.

“One of the things that we’re very proud of at the Bowl is the breadth of programming,” says Daniel Song, COO of the LA Phil, talking about the new set. “We go from capturing audiences that are just like ‘I don’t know what’s playing at the Bowl, but let’s pack a bottle of wine and picnic and enjoy ourselves’ to ‘I am a Gustavo Dudamel super-fan’ to ‘I love everything jazz.’ And if you look at the way the the package is set, we start with classical, because the origins of the Bowl was the Phil and ‘symphonies under the stars,’ so we really wanted to kick it off there before moving into pop and rock. And even then, pop and rock, I remember we were struggling with what to call the category because it’s so vast; you go from Nat King Cole to Café Tacvba to Pentatonix — It’s sort of all over the place. And then of course the jazz, film and Broadway songbook (sections) represent what you’ll see every summer at the Hollywood Bowl.”

The selections do actually skew heavily to recordings from the 21st century. Broken down by decades, the set has one song from the 1920s, one from the ’30s, two from the ’40s, six from the 1950s, four from the ’60s, none from the ’70s, one from the ’80s, four from the ’90s, six from the 2000s… and then the floodgates open, with 27, or roughly half the set, from the 2010s. It also includes five selections from the last couple of seasons — the pandemic-affected years of 2020, when there were no real public shows, and 2021 — that probably wouldn’t have made it if the collection had been released when originally intended.

“I think the original idea came in 2018,” says Song. “Because the actual 100th anniversary of the Bowl was supposed to be 2021, but because of the pandemic, we decided to push the celebration to this year. Starting around 2018 in earnest, really trying to pull together special tracks in preparation for 2021, back then, we didn’t really have vinyl pressing issues. We didn’t have a pandemic yet. And so obviously, when all of that happened, it created even some more challenges. But I’m glad we did push the actual celebration of the 100th anniversary, to this season.” A thick hardback book of the same name recapping the 100-year (or 101-year) history of the Bowl was also released this past weekend.

(Sound samples of a number of key tracks from the new set can be found here.)

Of course, there has been no shortage of live albums by single artists recorded at the Bowl, like the Beatles’. That album is not excerpted in this set, but an oft-reissued and -expanded 1968 Hollywood Bowl recording by the Doors is, in the form of “Hello, I Love You.” Most of the tracks have not appeared elsewhere, though.

It was just coincidence that a new Fitzgerald release, “Ella at the Hollywood Bowl: The Irving Berlin Songbook,” was announced just days before the Bowl’s own set came out. The Fitzgerald track on “The First Hundred Years” is from a different appearance (1956, versus the “Berlin” album’s 1958). “We reached out to the label about this particular recording, not knowing that they were releasing a (Bowl-based) album. We thought, ‘Oh, there’s no way we’re going to be able to get this because it’s going to compete against her album.’ But they were so great and wanting her to be involved and part of his collection, because it’s Ella Fitzgerald — she needs to be celebrated in this way.”

Most of these tracks come from the Bowl’s own holdings, although there are important distinctions to be made between professional recordings and bare-bone archival recordings; there are many of the latter, which weren’t used.

“In modern history, the ’80s and ’90s and forward, we essentially would record for archival purposes almost every show, unless an artist specifically tells us not to, and we have those tracks. But the majority of them aren’t really usable,” Song explains, “because an archival recording is just that — not meant to be heard on a commercial medium or by the public. It’s supposed to serve as an archive of what happened at the Bowl that day, and so that means you’re literally capturing the show with two microphones, capturing ambient noise, too, and nothing like that that can really go out there. That is kind of frustrating thing, that we have all these recordings from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s that we would have loved to have included, but it was never meant to be captured in that way.”

But, obviously, much was recorded in a more professional way, especially in the last couple of decades — but also going back to 1928.

“There were decisions to make on whether or not to include a recording that ‘sounds old.’ I go back to that 1928 recording; it’s not going to sound like the best Dvorak ‘Carnival Overture’ you’ll ever hear, and is that what a buyer of this collection is going to want? And we made that decision that we were OK with some of these recordings not being super-mastered and remastered. When you listen to Frank Sinatra from his 1943 concert here, you know that it’s not just him in a recording studio — it’s him at the Bowl, standing on that same stage that we see today, and it’s kind of a surreal experience. Especially when you can hear little noises in the audience, and it kind of takes you back to thinking about who was there at that time.”

No one will have any fidelity issues with the plethora of modern recordings, of course, which includes such Bowl favorites as Herbie Hancock, Pink Martini, Randy Newman, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Cécile McLorin Salvant and Dianne Reeves, along with obviously the Phil and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Different shows were professionally recorded for different reasons, but Song points out, “We do have a radio series, mainly on the classical side of things. We broadcast 10 concerts a summer on KUSC. And so those concerts are captured in a more sophisticated way and are able to be used in this way.”

Not everyone has a turntable… hard as that is to believe amid the current vinyl resurgence that has the format finally re-surpassing CDs as the top physical medium in the music business. Any chance the Phil would cater to the holdouts by releasing this set on CD or as a download?

“For right now, this would be it,” says Song. “I don’t know if this makes sense to put it out on Apple Music or Spotify or anything like that. But, you know, we’ll see. Let’s get through these first 3,000 first. This is meant to be a physical product of this nature, and everything that went into it was designed to part of that experience and not just listening to music.”

Song is proud of the official opening night of the 2022 season that went down Friday, for a diversity within just one bill that included everything from Gwen Stefani to John Williams to Branford Marsalis to a ballet performance. The Bowl had never tried to pack so many different elements into a single opening night before. “It really kind of parallels what we were trying to do with the vinyl album, too, is to really show in one night the different programming variety that you get at the Bowl. … Usually it’s the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra (on opening night), but we had an opportunity to have the LA Phil and Gustavo, and to pack so much into one night is was definitely above and beyond.”

He was proud of having both the USC and UCLA marching bands on hand for the finale, of Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl.” “I wasn’t sure how well the public would understand the significance of that, but this is the first time ever they were collaborating in this way, which is kind of crazy.” That finale would make a great pick, actually, for “Hollywood Bowl: The Second Hundred Years,” although not everyone may want to wait that long for a sequel.

The full track list for the new vinyl collection:



DVOŘÁK  Carnival Overture, Op. 92
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Eugene Goossens, conductor
Recorded August 31, 1928

RACHMANINOFF  Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18: mvt 1, Moderato
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Serge Koussevitzky, conductor
Arthur Rubinstein, piano
Recorded September 3, 1949

PONCE  “Estrellita”
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Carlos Chávez, conductor
Bidu Sayão, soprano
Recorded August 18, 1955

SMITH [arr. Stravinsky]  “The Star-Spangled Banner”
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Igor Stravinsky, conductor
Recorded July 5, 1966

BERLIOZ  Symphonie fantastique: mvt 2, “A Ball”
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Zubin Mehta, conductor
Recorded August 1, 1961

BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 3, “Eroica”: mvt 3
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Leonard Bernstein, conductor
Recorded August 22, 1983

SIBELIUS  Pelléas et Mélisande: “The Death of Mélisande”
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor
Recorded August 18, 1998

TCHAIKOVSKY  1812 Overture
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
USC Trojan Marching Band
Recorded July 24, 2015

Arturo MÁRQUEZ  Danzón No. 1
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
Recorded August 6, 2020

ELGAR  Enigma Variations: “Nimrod”
Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
Thomas Wilkins, conductor
Recorded September 11, 2016

Gabriela ORTIZ  Corpórea: “Ritual Mind – Corporeous Pulse”
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
Recorded August 6, 2020



“Unforgettable” (Gordon)
Nat King Cole
King Cole Trio
Hollywood Bowl Pops
Meredith Willson, conductor
Recorded August 21, 1954

“Hello, I Love You” (Densmore, Krieger, Manzarek, Morrison)
The Doors
Recorded July 5, 1968

“Hasta la Raíz” (Lafourcade)
Natalia Lafourcade
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
Recorded July 21, 2019

Finale: “El Rey,” “Volver Volver,” and “La Negra” (Jimenez, Maldonado, Fuentes/Vargas)
Mariachi USA
Recorded 1990

“Last Dance” (Jabara)
Donna Summer
Recorded August 22, 2008

“Can’t Help Falling in Love” (Peretti, Creatore, Weiss)
Recorded July 4, 2017

“Get It Right” (Travis, Sharkey, Riggins, Lynn, Jones)
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
Recorded April 24, 2021

“Transatlanticism” (Gibbard, Walla)
Death Cab for Cutie
Recorded July 12, 2015

“Fire is Coming” (Atwood-Ferguson, Bruner, Ellison,
Hamm, Lynch)
Flying Lotus
Recorded June 17, 2018

“Eres” (Albarrán, Del Real, A. Arroyo, E. Arroyo)
Café Tacvba
Recorded September 15, 2019

“I Will Be Glad” (Marley)
Ziggy Marley
Recorded August 1, 2021


“Take the A-Train” (Strayhorn)
Dave Brubeck Quartet
Recorded August 19, 1955

“Billie’s Blues (I Love My Man)” (Holiday)
Billie Holiday
Recorded August 19, 1955

“Too Close for Comfort” (Bock, Weiss, Holofcener)
Ella Fitzgerald
Recorded August 15, 1956

“Blues in Frankie’s Flat” (Basie, Foster)
Count Basie and His Orchestra
Recorded October 2, 1959

“For Once in My Life” (Miller, Murden)
James Brown
Christian McBride Big Band
Louie Bellson
Recorded September 6, 2006

“Waiting in Vain” (Marley)
Dianne Reeves
Recorded September 11, 2013

“Basie” (Wilkins)
Count Basie Orchestra
Directed by Scotty Barnhart
Recorded July 9, 2014

“Wives and Lovers” (Bacharach, David)
Cécile McLorin Salvant
Recorded September 15, 2015

“Footprints” (Shorter)
Herbie Hancock
Recorded August 6, 2014

“Amado Mio” (Fisher, Roberts)
Pink Martini
Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
Thomas Wilkins, conductor
Recorded August 24, 2019

“Moanin’” (Timmons, Hendricks)
Christian McBride Big Band
José James
Recorded August 28, 2019

“Amado Mio” (Fisher, Roberts)
Pink Martini
Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
Thomas Wilkins, conductor
Recorded August 24, 2019

“Moanin’” (Timmons, Hendricks)
Christian McBride Big Band
José James
Recorded August 28, 2019


“They Can’t Take That Away from Me” from Shall We Dance (G. Gershwin, I. Gershwin)
Fred Astaire
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Victor Young, conductor
Recorded September 9, 1937

RÓZSA  Prelude to Ben-Hur
Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
Miklós Rózsa, conductor
Recorded September 25, 1963

MANCINI  “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Sarah Hicks, conductor
Recorded July 20, 2012

“The Monorail Song” from The Simpsons (O’Brien, Jean, Martin, Meyer, Mula, Reiss, Swartzwelder, Vitti)
Conan O’Brien
Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
Thomas Wilkins, conductor
Recorded September 13, 2014

John WILLIAMS  Theme from Schindler’s List
Los Angeles Philharmonic
John Williams, conductor
Bing Wang, violin
Recorded September 2, 2018

BARRY  James Bond Medley
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Bramwell Tovey, conductor
Recorded July 21, 2007

“You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story (Newman)
Randy Newman
Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
David Newman, conductor
Recorded August 12, 2018

John WILLIAMS  “Flight to Neverland“ from Hook
Los Angeles Philharmonic
John Williams, conductor
Recorded September 4, 2016

HERRMANN  “The Wild Ride” from North by Northwest
Los Angeles Philharmonic
David Newman, conductor
Recorded September 4, 2016

KORNGOLD  “March of the Merry Men” from
The Adventures of Robin Hood
Los Angeles Philharmonic
David Newman, conductor
Recorded September 1, 2017

Medley*: GERSHWIN Porgy and Bess Overture, HUTCH Theme from The Mack, ROSENTHAL Theme from A Raisin in the Sun, HAYES Theme from Shaft
Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
Vince Mendoza
Recorded September 25, 2019


Broadway, American Songbook

“Night and Day” from The Gay Divorcee (Porter)
Frank Sinatra
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Vladimir Bakaleinikoff, conductor
Recorded August 14, 1943

“I Am What I Am” from La Cage aux Folles (Herman)
George Hearn
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Don Pippin, conductor
Recorded June 30, 1993

“I’m Still Here” from Follies (Sondheim)
Ann Miller
Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
John Mauceri, conductor
Recorded September 19, 1999

“Happy Days Are Here Again” (Ager, Yellen), ”Get Happy” (Arlen, Koehler)
Patti LuPone
Audra McDonald
Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
John Mauceri, conductor
Recorded July 8, 2000

“Losing My Mind” from Follies (Sondheim)
Barbara Cook
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Paul Gemignani, conductor
Recorded July 8, 2005

“Razzle Dazzle” from Chicago (Kander, Ebb)
Carol Channing
Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
Thomas Wilkins, conductor
Recorded September 15, 2007

“Feeling Good” (Newley, Bricusse)
Cheyenne Jackson
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Jack Everly, conductor
Recorded July 29, 2011

“Smile” (Chaplin, Turner, Parsons)
Kristin Chenoweth
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Kevin Stites, conductor
Recorded August 23, 2013

BERNSTEIN  West Side Story Overture
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
Recorded July 14, 2016

“New York, New York” from On the Town (Bernstein, Comden, Green)
Brian Stokes Mitchell
Sutton Foster
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
Recorded July 10, 2018

GERSHWIN [arr. Bruce Healey]  Strike Up the Band
Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
Thomas Wilkins, conductor
Recorded July 4, 2021


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