The Richard Rodgers Reader
Oxford University Press, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 372 pages
Richard Rodgers was one of America's most prolific and best-loved composers. A world without "My Funny Valentine," "The Lady is a Tramp," "Blue Moon," and "Bewitched," to name just a few of the songs he wrote with Lorenz Hart, is scarcely imaginable, and the musicals he wrote with his second collaborator, Oscar Hammerstein--Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music--continue to enchant and entertain audiences.
Arranged in four sections, Rodgers and Hart (1929-1943), Rodgers and Hammerstein (1943-1960), Rodgers After Hammerstein (1960-1979), and The Composer Speaks (1939-1971), The Richard Rodgers Reader offers a cornucopia of informative, perceptive, and stylish biographical and critical overviews. It also contains a selection of Rodgers's letters to his wife Dorothy in the 1920s, the 1938 Time magazine cover story and New Yorker profiles in 1938 and 1961, and essays and reviews by such noted critics as Brooks Atkinson, Eric Bentley, Leonard Bernstein, Lehman Engel, Walter Kerr, Ken Mandelbaum, Ethan Mordden, George Jean Nathan, and Alec Wilder. The volume features personal accounts by Richard Adler, Agnes de Mille, Joshua Logan, Mary Martin, and Diahann Carroll. The collection concludes with complete selections from more than thirty years of Rodgers's own writings on topics ranging from the creative process, the state of the Broadway theater, even Rodgers's bout with cancer, and a generous sample from the candid and previously unpublished Columbia University interviews.
For anyone wishing to explore more fully the life and work of a composer whose songs and musicals have assumed a permanent--and prominent--place in American popular culture, The Richard Rodgers Reader will offer endless delights.
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The Richard Rodgers readerUser Review - Book Verdict
For this book, Block (music history, Univ. of Puget Sound; Enchanted Evenings) has assembled fascinating pieces of writing about the popular American composer of Oklahoma! and The Sound of Music. While not strictly a biography, it is divided into four chronological parts: "Rodgers and Hart," "Rodgers and Hammerstein," "Rodgers After Hammerstein," and "The Composer Speaks." Among the pieces included are a Time magazine story (Rodgers and Hart made the cover in 1938); a profile from The New Yorker; reminiscences by Rodgers's wife; a piece by longtime collaborator Oscar Hammerstein; an unflattering account of Rodgers from actress and singer Diahann Carroll's autobiography; classic criticism by Alec Wilder, Walter Kerr, and Leonard Bernstein; and other writings by those who knew Rodgers or wrote about the American musical theater. Music examples are provided throughout. Much of the best writing on Rodgers and his music is included here, though Meryle Secrest's recent Somewhere for Me: A Biography of Richard Rodgers is not represented. The most valuable contribution (and also the longest) is a never-before-published excerpt from an interview with Rodgers around 1968. A fine combination of anecdote, music criticism, and biography, this is recommended for all libraries interested in American popular culture and American musical theater.--Bruce R. Schueneman, Texas A&M Univ., Kingsville ...
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The Richard Rodgers Reader (New York:. Oxford University Press, 2002) and has an. encyclopedic knowledge of his subject that. shines through in this study. ...
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... D. Taylor, Some Enchanted Evening (1953, repr. 1972); E. Mordden, Rodgers and Hammerstein (1992); G. Block, ed., The Richard Rodgers Reader (2002). ...
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232–33; repr. in Block, The Richard Rodgers Reader (New York: Oxford Univ. ..... Simon and Schuster, 1951), ix; repr. in The Richard Rodgers Reader, 81. ...
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