Photo: Times Square, New York City in the 1960s. Below: Cover of the 1776 Broadway Cast Album.

Upon returning to the US, Sauter recalled getting some work from a former Sauter-Finegan reedman. "Oboist Ray Shiner got me on a couple of commercials, but I couldn't live on what I was getting."

Then, Robert "Bobby" Dolan, a giant in the world of Broadway/television composition opted to utilize the orchestration services of Sauter and Hershy Kay. It's not clear whether Kay brought Sauter to Dolan or if the pair met while working for Dolan together. Regardless, the time spent with Kay would ultimately lead to a host of new experiences and work for Sauter.


Composers, as can be anticipated, create musical compositions in their entirety. An arranger typically creates settings of his own conception as backgrounds for given melodies written by others. It is also frequently the case that an arranger creates variations on a composer's theme which reflects the "theme and variations" format common to both classical and jazz music. An orchestrator takes a composer's composition and assigns instruments to complement it. There are often augmentations and embellishments of the composer's piano score. But the underlying musical statement is always left intact. — Greg Sauter

It went like this. One day, a call came from Hershy Kay to Sauter for help in orchestrating a musical based on a book by Don Appell. The musical, "Milk and Honey," dealt with the topic of Israel's fight for recognition as a nation.

The show had a three-year run on Broadway, and this kicked off a career for Eddie Sauter as a Broadway orchestrator that would be highly lucrative yet, very often, musically unsatisfying for the adventurous composer/arranger.

Throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s, Sauter went on to orchestrate nine other Broadway musicals, including "Foxy" (1964), "It's a Bird… It's a Plane… It's Superman" (1966), "The Apple Tree" (1966), "Henry, Sweet Henry" (1967), "1776" (1969), "La Strada" (1969), "Georgy" (1970), "Two by Two" (1970), and "Molly" (1973). Additionally, a touring revival of "Little Johnny Jones" that Sauter orchestrated had only one performance on Broadway in 1982.

Regarding his time as an orchestrator for Broadway, Sauter expressed a significant amount of frustration. "I orchestrate Broadway shows, which is a huge drag. I hate it. I hate it with a passion because there's no music in it."

However, in an apparent contradiction, Sauter's son Greg reports that Sauter, "enjoyed working with many of the people he encountered in the theater including Sherman Edwards, Jerry Bock, Stuart Ostrow, Elliot Lawrence, Peter Howard, Bobby Dolan, and John Barry. Not a few of them encouraged him to take liberties as he saw fit.

It was during his time orchestrating for Broadway shows, that Sauter's musical life took yet another turn. This time with filmmaker Arthur Penn and television host Rod Serling.

Recommended: Listen on headphones or external speakers.

Cover art from the Superman Cast Album

It's a Bird, It's a Plane It's Superman! – 1966
"You've Got Possibilities"

"We Don't Matter at All"

Cover art from the 1776 Musical Cast Album

1776 - A New Musical – 1969
Excerpt from "But, Mr. Adams"
In "But, Mr. Adams," Samuel Adams calls on various members of the Continental Congress to be the writer of the Declaration of Independence. In this excerpt, Eddie Sauter shows the value of theme and variations in orchestration.

"Mama Look Sharp"

"The music is absolutely modern in its sound, and it is apt, convincing and enjoyable." — NYT Clive Barnes' review of 1776

Broadway Musicals featuring Sauter's Orchestrations

  1. Milk and Honey - Oct 10, 1961-Jan 26, 1963, 543 performances. Best songs: Milk and Honey, Shalom
  2. Foxy - Feb 16-Apr 18, 1964, 72 peformances. Starred Bert Lahr (famed for his role as the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz).
  3. It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman - Mar 29-Jul 17, 1966, 129 performances. Best song: You've Got Possibilities delivered by Linda Lavin.
  4. The Apple Tree - Oct 18, 1966-Nov 25, 1967, 463 performances. Cast lead by Alan Alda and Barbar Harris.
  5. Henry, Sweet Henry - Oct 23-Dec 31, 1967, 80 performances. Based in the novel The World of Henry Orient, later made famous by Peter Sellers' performance as Henry.
  6. 1776 - Mar 16, 1969-Feb 13, 1972, 1,217 performances. Called "a most striking, most gripping musical" by influential Broadway critic Clive Barnes.
  7. La Strada - Dec 14, 1969, 1 performance. A musical based on the Fellini film of the same name.
  8. Georgy - Feb 26-Feb 28, 1970, 4 performances. Stage version of the film Georgy Girl.
  9. Two by Two - Nov 10, 1970-Sep 11, 1971, 351 performances. Music by Richard Rogers.
  10. Molly - Nov 01 (or September 27)-Dec 29, 1973, 68 (or 108) performances. Starred Kay Ballard.

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