In 1962, Julie Andrews was both a hot recording property and between projects. Having completed her commitment to Camelot, she was angling for film roles. But her major project for the year turned out to be her daughter, Emma Kate Walton, born November 27. At the same time, as the female star of two successive chart-topping Broadway cast albums, My Fair Lady and Camelot, she seemed to have potential as a solo recording artist, and if she couldn't go on-stage or in front of the cameras during her pregnancy, she could go before the microphone at a studio. Thus, she signed on with Columbia Records (which had released both the My Fair Lady and Camelot cast albums), and quickly made three LPs. Broadway's Fair Julie was the first, and accompanied by Henri René & His Orchestra she took on a selection of show tunes she had not had a chance to sing previously. Her familiar style, with the proper British accent, the precise intonation, and the ease of phrasing, was better suited to some of these songs than it was to others. The contrast was no better heard than in the juxtaposition of the third and fourth songs. Andrews may not have made an appropriate Maria in West Side Story for ethnic reasons, but she turned "I Feel Pretty" into a tour de force
. The stretch was just too far, however, when it came to the next track, "A Sleepin' Bee," from House of Flowers, sung by the West Indian prostitute Ottilie. Andrews cleaned up the grammar (one can hardly imagine her singing, "I has found"), but did not succeed in reinventing the song. Still, the album was full of little-known theater songs to which she brought her customary warmth and sympathy, making this a successful outing on the whole.