Russ Brown, Nathaniel Frey, James Komack and Albert Linville
From the 1958 film "Damn Yankees," Russ Brown, as manager Ben Van Buren, sings his "Heart" out to the losingest baseball players around, the Washington Senators (Nathaniel Frey, James Komack, Albert Linville). He inspires them to go out and play like a team even if they don't have the best talent. Despite trying their best they're still horrible until "Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, Mo" shows up and starts hitting out of the ballpark. Joe is actualy a frustrated fan who has traded his soul to the devil in order to help his beloved Senators win for a change.
Ray Walston, everyone's favorite Martian, plays the devil in the form of Mr. Applegate, a role he delivered in the 1955 Best Musical stage production so well that he won a Tony Award. Russ Brown singing here won a Tony for Best Featured Actor. Bob Fosse won for Choreography and Gwen Verdon for Best Actress as the temptress Lola.
Richard Adler passed away in June 2012. Jerry Ross, his songwriting partner for The Pajama Game and Damn Yankees, died in 1955 just months after "Damn Yankees" opened. The two collaborated completely, taking turns as composer and lyricist. In an NPR interview from a few years before his death Adler reported that "Heart" was his favorite of all the songs he's written. Richard and Jerry, we thank you both from the bottom of our hearts.
An updated version of Damn Yankees starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Jim Carrey has been announced - but don't hold your breath. The announcement was in February 2009 and it doesn't seem to be on the radar yet.