The Recording


Buy new: $17.99 $15.25

Fred Barton's acclaimed CD of his show Miss Gulch Returns! is available in select stores nationwide, at AmazonCDBabyi-Tunes and thirty other digital download services.

The expanded, remastered CD release of Fred Barton's acclaimed Miss Gulch Returns! contains his original performance, recorded before a live audience, plus two bonus tracks:  "Take Me, Please" (the show's original opening number, suspended from the original LP release for time), and "Party Girl" (a preview of Fred Barton's new show The Two Svengalis, sung by Toni DiBuono and backed by a full Broadway orchestra arranged and conducted by Barton). Included is a twelve-page booklet with numerous photographs, production notes, and reviews.

The original album was produced by Fred Bracken, who had co-produced Fred Barton's original run of the show in New York in the mid-Eighties. The album has sold consistently since then, reaching the distant shores of England and Australia.


1.  "You're The Woman I'd Wanna Be" – In a late night cabaret, Fred Barton meets Miss Gulch, whose distinctive personality so fascinates him that he can't help appropriating it for the evening.
2.  "I'm A Bitch" – At last, Miss Gulch unveils the song that would have made her star of Oz, had not the moguls axed it to make room for You-Know-Who singing "Over The You-Know-What."  (Note:  the recording on this site was performed by Toni DiBuono)
3.  "Born On A Bike" – Miss Gulch did not become an embittered also-ran overnight. She tells the tale from beginning, and any resemblance to Leonard Gershe's and Roger Eden's "Born In A Trunk" is strictly intentional.
4.  "Pour Me A Man" – In case you're surprised to find Miss G. frequently the local bars, she now reveals herself as the definitive connoisseuse of liquid entertainment.  
5.  "Everyone Worth Taking" – Almira formulates her romantic philosophy, designed to survive all assaults from the optimist opposition.
6.  "It's Not My Idea Of A Gig" – Fate dispenses to Miss Gulch a unique professional punishment, worthy a new chapter in Dante's Inferno.
7.  "Don't Touch Me" – Miss Gulch ponders the mystery of women who actually have men and don't want them, and demonstrates their battle cry.
8.  "I'm Your Bitch" – The impossible occurs. Miss Gulch meets a man. She gets right to the point.
9.  "Pour Me A Man (Part 2)" – Miss Gulch exults in the latest addition to her repertoire of favorite cocktails.
10.  "Give My Best To The Blonde" – Bowing to the inevitable, Miss Gulch bids her man the ultimate goodbye.
11. "Everyone Worth Taking (Part 2)/Finale" – Expanding her impeccable philosophy to include her latest lesson in love, Almira bids us adieu, and rides securely off into the sunset.
12.  "Take Me, Please" – This song was omitted from the original LP, but was always the opening number of Miss Gulch Returns!, performed by Fred Barton in black tie; it linked the show to its pianist-singer-patter-song ancestry and presented the theme of the evening.
13.  "Party Girl" – Toni DiBuono sings one of my songs from our show The Two Svengalis; it depicts the exact moment of her transformation from a tone-deaf, insecure housewife into – well, you'll hear.
Recorded before a live audience at Uptown Chelsea Sound, September 1986.
Edited and mixed by Robert Suraci.
“Take Me, Please” recorded at Westrax, New York City, November 1999. 
“Party Girl” recorded at Hit Factory, December 1990.
Bonus tracks mixed by Jeremy Harris at Westrax.

Comments from Amazon listeners:

Fred Barton in
"AMAZING!!," (5 stars out of 5), April 2, 2004, Reviewer: "A music fan":

"This CD is AMAZING!! It is hysterically funny, with clever lyrics and a great delivery that toggles between funny and touching. Would highly recommend to anyone with a sense of humor and a sharp mind."
"Wickedly Brilliant!," (5 stars out of 5), December 11, 2003
, Reviewer: "A music fan":
"I'm so thrilled to see that this is on CD! I've had the original vinyl album since 1987, but the updated medium will make it so much easier to share this brilliant bit of writing and performing with all! Never has the double-entendre been used so wonderfully, and the piano prowess of Mr. Barton is awe-inspiring. I wish the sheet music for this were available! "Pour Me a Man" is the most famous, but everybody I've played it for loves "Not My Idea of a Gig" most of all! HOW can one person be so utterly clever with lyrics, sly references, and CAMP!"
"This one's worth taking!," (5 stars out of 5), August 3, 2001, 
Reviewer: "lurquer": (Canada)
"Master songwriter Fred Barton brings to life Almira Gulch, the snippity, crotchety, black-and-white alter-ego to the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz. Did you ever wonder what might have made her so bitter?
"With the skill of a musical journeyman, Barton takes a throw-away character and gives her hopes and dreams, frailties and fears, and carries you deep inside the mind of a woman on a life-long search for love.
"With brilliant parodies, haunting melodies, and a fair dash of hilarity, this album also manages to poke fun at cheating lovers, unappreciative mates, and even Dorothy herself. The song 'Pour Me a Man' is worth at least twice the cost of the album (and maybe more, since there's even a reprise on track 9!)
"Does Miss Gulch find love? I won't spoil that for you, but I can guarantee that when you hear this album, you won't be disappointed! (And the liner notes will keep you captivated for hours!)"
"Classic Comic Characterization, with a heart,(5 stars out of 5), August 14, 2002
, Reviewer: "efrex" (New York, NY USA)
"How to begin to describe this show? Fred Barton, music directing genius, adopts the persona of perhaps the least-remembered character in The Wizard of Oz and, in a dazzling series of witty, slightly raunchy, and bitter songs and monologues, creates an event simultaneously gut-splittingly funny and heartfelt. To do either with the craft that Barton puts into his material is remarkable; to do both is fantastic.
"'Pour Me a Man' contains more double entendres than you can shake a stick at (assuming that you stop convulsing with laughter long enough to grab a stick), 'Born on a Bike' is a splendid parody of Judy Garland's 'Born in a Trunk,' and 'Not My Idea of a Gig,' the piano bar pianist's lament, contains some of the most virtuoso rhymes this side of Cole Porter.
"The comedy is not contextless, however; all this leads to the sobering 'Everyone Worth Taking,' which concludes both halves of this show and gives it a human heart so lacking in most parody artists.

"Easily one of the most original cabaret shows ever conceived and brilliantly executed."
"Fred Barton - Wickedly Funny!," (5 stars out of 5), June 11, 2001, 
Reviewer: "Never a customer again" (Shoreline, Washington USA)
"Fred Barton (unknown to the mainstream audience) has taken his love for movies (A Star is Born, Wizard of Oz" etc.) and created a wickedly funny musical based on Almira Gulch (The Wicked Witch of the West BEFORE the cyclone) and her life pre and post Wizard of Oz. With marked inspiration from other classic movies, Barton picks up your imagination with his cyclonic humor and drops you in the middle of "Pour Me A Man"-land and leaves you laughing, commiserating but mostly wanted more. Highly recommended listening when you want 'the whole story.'"