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Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II
RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN

After long and highly distinguished careers with other collaborators, Richard Rodgers (composer) and Oscar Hammerstein II (librettist/lyricist) joined forces to create the most consistently fruitful and successful partnership in the American musical theatre.

Prior to his work with Hammerstein, Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) collaborated with lyricist Lorenz Hart on a series of musical comedies that epitomized the wit and sophistication of Broadway in its heyday. Prolific on Broadway, in London and in Hollywood from the '20s into the early '40s, Rodgers & Hart wrote more than 40 shows and film scores. Among their greatest were On Your Toes, Babes In Arms, The Boys From Syracuse, I Married An Angel and Pal Joey.

Throughout the same era Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960) brought new life to a moribund artform: the operetta. His collaborations with such preeminent composers as Rudolf Friml, Sigmund Romberg and Vincent Youmans resulted in such operetta classics as The Desert Song, Rose-Marie and The New Moon. With Jerome Kern, he wrote Show Boat, the 1927 operetta that changed the course of modern musical theatre. His last musical before embarking on an exclusive partnership with Richard Rodgers was Carmen Jones, the highly-acclaimed 1943 all-black revision of Georges Bizet's tragic opera Carmen.

Oklahoma!, the first Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, was also the first of a new genre, the musical play, representing a unique fusion of Rodgers' musical comedy and Hammerstein's operetta. A milestone in the development of the American musical, it also marked the beginning of the most successful partnership in Broadway musical history, and was followed by Carousel, Allegro, South Pacific, The King And I, Me And Juliet, Pipe Dream, Flower Drum Song and The Sound Of Music. Rodgers & Hammerstein wrote one musical specifically for the big screen, State Fair, and one for television, Cinderella. Collectively, the musicals of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II earned 42 Tony Awards, 15 Academy Awards, two Pulitzer Prizes, two Grammy Awards and 2 Emmy Awards. In 1998 Rodgers & Hammerstein were cited by Time Magazine and CBS News as among the 20 most influential artists of the 20th century, and in 1999 they were jointly commemorated on a U.S. postage stamp.

Collectively, the Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals have earned Tony, Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, Pulitzer, and Olivier Awards.

Despite Hammerstein's death in 1960, Rodgers continued to write for the Broadway stage. His first solo entry, No Strings, earned him a Tony Award for Best Composer and was followed by Do I Hear A Waltz?, Two By Two, Rex and I Remember Mama. Richard Rodgers died on December 30, 1979, less than eight months after his last musical opened on Broadway. In March of 1990, Broadway's 46th Street Theatre was renamed The Richard Rodgers Theatre in his honor.

At the turn of the 21st century, the Rodgers and Hammerstein legacy continues to flourish, as marked by the enthusiasm that greeted their centennials, in 1995 and 2002, respectively.

In 1995, Hammerstein's centennial was celebrated worldwide with commemorative recordings, books, concerts and an award-winning PBS special, Some Enchanted Evening. The ultimate tribute came the following season, when he had three musicals playing on Broadway simultaneously: Show Boat (1995 Tony Award winner, Best Musical Revival); The King and I (1996 Tony Award winner, Best Musical Revival); and State Fair (1996 Tony Award nominee for Best Score.)

In 2002, the Richard Rodgers centennial was celebrated around the world, with tributes from Tokyo to London, from the Hollywood Bowl to the White House, featuring six new television specials, museum retrospectives, a dozen new ballets, half a dozen books, new recordings and countless concert and stage productions (including three simultaneous revivals on Broadway, matching Hammerstein's feat of six years earlier), giving testament to the enduring popularity of Richard Rodgers and the sound of his music.

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Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II
RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN

After long and highly distinguished careers with other collaborators, Richard Rodgers (composer) and Oscar Hammerstein II (librettist/lyricist) joined forces to create the most consistently fruitful and successful partnership in the American musical theatre.

Prior to his work with Hammerstein, Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) collaborated with lyricist Lorenz Hart on a series of musical comedies that epitomized the wit and sophistication of Broadway in its heyday. Prolific on Broadway, in London and in Hollywood from the '20s into the early '40s, Rodgers & Hart wrote more than 40 shows and film scores. Among their greatest were ON YOUR TOES, BABES IN ARMS, THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE, I MARRIED AN ANGEL and PAL JOEY.

Throughout the same era Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960) brought new life to a moribund artform: the operetta. His collaborations with such preeminent composers as Rudolf Friml, Sigmund Romberg and Vincent Youmans resulted in such operetta classics as THE DESERT SONG, ROSE-MARIE, and THE NEW MOON. With Jerome Kern he wrote SHOW BOAT, the 1927 operetta that changed the course of modern musical theatre. His last musical before embarking on an exclusive partnership with Richard Rodgers was CARMEN JONES, the highly-acclaimed 1943 all-black revision of Georges Bizet's tragic opera CARMEN.

OKLAHOMA!, the first Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, was also the first of a new genre, the musical play, representing a unique fusion of Rodgers' musical comedy and Hammerstein's operetta. A milestone in the development of the American musical, it also marked the beginning of the most successful partnership in Broadway musical history, and was followed by CAROUSEL, ALLEGRO, SOUTH PACIFIC, THE KING AND I, ME AND JULIET, PIPE DREAM, FLOWER DRUM SONG and THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Rodgers & Hammerstein wrote one musical specifically for the big screen, STATE FAIR, and one for television, CINDERELLA. Collectively, the musicals of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II earned 42 Tony Awards, 15 Academy Awards, two Pulitzer Prizes, two Grammy Awards and 2 Emmy Awards. In 1998 Rodgers & Hammerstein were cited by Time Magazine and CBS News as among the 20 most influential artists of the 20th century and in 1999 they were jointly commemorated on a U.S. postage stamp.

Collectively, the Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals have earned Tony, Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, Pulitzer, and Olivier Awards.

Despite Hammerstein's death in 1960, Rodgers continued to write for the Broadway stage. His first solo entry, NO STRINGS, earned him two Tony Awards for music and lyrics, and was followed by DO I HEAR A WALTZ?, TWO BY TWO, REX and I REMEMBER MAMA. Richard Rodgers died on December 30, 1979, less than eight months after his last musical opened on Broadway. In March of 1990, Broadway's 46th Street Theatre was renamed The Richard Rodgers Theatre in his honor.

At the turn of the 21st century, the Rodgers and Hammerstein legacy continues to flourish, as marked by the enthusiasm that greeted their Centennials, in 1995 and 2002 respectively.

In 1995, Hammerstein's centennial was celebrated worldwide with commemorative recordings, books, concerts and an award-winning PBS special, "Some Enchanted Evening." The ultimate tribute came the following season, when he had three musicals playing on Broadway simultaneously: SHOW BOAT (1995 Tony Award winner, Best Musical Revival); THE KING AND I (1996 Tony Award winner, Best Musical Revival); and STATE FAIR (1996 Tony Award nominee for Best Score.)

In 2002, the Richard Rodgers Centennial was celebrated around the world, with tributes from Tokyo to London, from the Hollywood Bowl to the White House, featuring six new television specials, museum retrospectives, a dozen new ballets, half a dozen books, new recordings and countless concert and stage productions (including three simultaneous revivals on Broadway, matching Hammerstein's feat of six years earlier), giving testament to the enduring popularity of Richard Rodgers and the sound of his music.

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Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart
RODGERS & HART

Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) and Lorenz Hart (1895-1943) wrote their first shows together when both were still students attending Columbia University. After writing a series of musical comedies for the University's Varsity Shows and other charities, they made their professional debut with the song "Any Old Place With You," featured in the 1919 Broadway musical comedy A LONELY ROMEO.

Their breakthrough came with the score for a 1925 charity show, THE GARRICK GAITIES, which introduced the classic valentine to their hometown, "Manhattan." From 1920 to 1930 Rodgers & Hart wrote an astonishing array of musical comedies for Broadway and London's West End. At their pinnacle the team was writing an average of four new shows a year, and among these were: DEAREST ENEMY, BETSY, PEGGY-ANN, THE GIRL FRIEND, CHEE-CHEE and A CONNECTICUT YANKEE.

In 1930 the team relocated to Hollywood, where they contributed songs and wrote the scores for several movie musicals, including the landmark LOVE ME TONIGHT starring Maurice Chevalier; THE PHANTOM PRESIDENT starring George M. Cohan; HALLELUJAH, I'M A BUM starring Al Jolson; and MISSISSIPPI starring Bing Crosby and W.C. Fields.

The partnership disbanded temporarily early in 1943 when Rodgers collaborated with Oscar Hammerstein II on OKLAHOMA!

They were lured back to New York by legendary Broadway producer Billy Rose in 1935 to write the songs for his circus musical spectacular, JUMBO. Their score introduced "The Most Beautiful Girl In The World," "My Romance" and "Little Girl Blue," and Rodgers & Hart were back on Broadway.

From 1936 to 1943 Rodgers & Hart wrote a series of Broadway musical comedies, each of which seemed to top the one before in terms of innovation and box office success. ON YOUR TOES (1936), BABES IN ARMS (1937), I'D RATHER BE RIGHT (1937),I MARRIED AN ANGEL (1938), THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE (1938), TOO MANY GIRLS (1939), HIGHER AND HIGHER (1940), PAL JOEY (1940), and BY JUPITER (1942) dazzled Broadway in spectacular succession, and collectively offered such classic songs as "There's A Small Hotel," "I Wish I Were In Love Again," "My Funny Valentine," "Where Or When," "The Lady Is A Tramp," "Spring Is Here," "Falling In Love With Love," "Sing For Your Supper," "This Can't Be Love," "I Didn't Know What Time It Was," "It Never Entered My Mind," "Bewitched," "I Could Write A Book," "Nobody's Heart," and "Wait Till You See Her."

The partnership disbanded temporarily early in 1943 when Rodgers collaborated with Oscar Hammerstein II on OKLAHOMA! The Rodgers & Hart partnership resumed with a revision of their 1927 musical comedy A CONNECTICUT YANKEE, and the new production (which featured six new songs including "To Keep My Love Alive") opened on Broadway November 17, 1943. Already ill at the time, Lorenz Hart died less than a week later.

Richard Rodgers then pursued a career with Oscar Hammerstein II, and their collaboration over the next two decades resulted in the following musical plays: CAROUSEL (1945), ALLEGRO (1947), SOUTH PACIFIC (1949), THE KING AND I (1951),ME AND JULIET (1953), PIPE DREAM (1955), FLOWER DRUM SONG (1958) and THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1959). The team wrote one movie musical, STATE FAIR (1945), and one for television, CINDERELLA. (1957). Oscar Hammerstein II died in 1960.

Richard Rodgers continued to write for the musical stage for the rest of his life; his fortieth, and final, Broadway musical, I REMEMBER MAMA, opened on Broadway less than eight months before his death on December 30, 1979. In March of 1990, Richard Rodgers was honored posthumously with Broadway's highest honor when the 46th Street Theatre was renamed in his honor. In 1999, Rodgers and Hart were each commemorated on United States postage stamps.

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