Richard Rodgers And Hammerstein: The Most Famous Composers

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So famous are the classic musicals he created as part of not one but two of America’s most celebrated songwriting duos, that his name is rarely heard or seen alone. More commonly it’s linked to the name of one of his lyricist-partners, either Lorenz “Larry” Hart or Oscar Hammerstein, because it’s as the musical half of both Rodgers & Hart as well as Rodgers & Hammerstein that Richard Rodgers is best known. Without him, the Broadway musical as we know it would have been something else entirely; his work forever changed its course. It’s a body of work that is astounding for its greatness and lasting power and also for the sheer volume of it, an output unrivaled by any other Broadway composer: some 40 Broadway musicals (26 with Hart and nine with Hammerstein), one Broadway play, three London musicals (all with Hart), 10 original movie musicals (nine with Hart, one with Hammerstein), two television …show more content…

One of the first songs they wrote, and the first one to be published, was “Any Old Place With You,” which was used in the 1919 show A Lonely Romeo. All of their first songs were written for various Broadway revues which were more vaudevillian than dramatic; loosely-linked presentations of songs, dances and comic routines. But in 1925, Rodgers & Hart created their own show Dearest Enemy that instead of being a revue was a “musical play,” a show with a narrative progression in which the songs fit and furthered the plot. The subject was a serious one: the American Revolution. It was the first of many successful musicals the team would create. Next came Garrick Gaieties, also in 1925, followed by A Connecticut Yankee and Evergreen. Rodgers & Hart were then lured West to write for films and spent four years in Hollywood writing songs which were featured in such movies as Love Me Tonight, with Jeanette MacDonald and Maurice Chevalier; Hallelujah, I’m a Bum!, with Al Jolson; and The Phantom President, starring George M.

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