"My mom bought me the OBC LP in '56 at Goldblatt's in Chicago. I played it so often that by '64 it had considerable wear (diamond needles and turntables back then were not the greatest) and needed to be replaced. I had not heard good things about the '59 OLC LP, even though it was in stereo. I received the soundtrack LP for Christmas in '64, but wasn't crazy about it. We drove all over Chicagoland trying to find the '56 original without any luck. I actually contacted the Columbia Record Club, offered to become a member if I could get the original recording, but was told only the London LP was available. I ended up buying the London version at our local Polk Bros. store. Ironically, my girlfriend at the time did have the '56 LP, having gotten it pre-'59. However, she dumped me for this big guy on the basketball team my senior year, so I learned to appreciate the London."
Great story :-) I distinctly remember at one point buying the London cast album on cassette, when I was maybe about 13 years old -- except I THOUGHT I was buying the Broadway cast album, because the background of the cassette sleeve with the logo, the Hirschfeld, the credits and the song titles was white, NOT gold. In fact, I didn't realize it was the London album until I started playing it and thought, "Hmm, that sounds like a different recording of the overture....." I think this was a deliberate attempt to mislead on Columbia's part, which was unlike them.