Richard Rodgers

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Yale University Press, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 362 pages
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"This is an excellent and authoritative book -- one that will no doubt become the standard biography of Richard Rodgers". -- Allen Forte, Yale University

Richard Rodgers, a musical genius whose Broadway career spanned six successful decades, composed more than a thousand songs for the American stage. Although he reaped wealth, success, and recognition that included two shared Pulitzer Prizes, Rodgers found happiness elusive. In this first comprehensive biography of Rodgers, William G. Hyland tells the full story of the complex man and his incomparable music.

Hyland's portrait of Rodgers (1902-79) begins with his childhood in an affluent Jewish family living in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan. During college years at Columbia University and early work on the amateur circuit and Broadway, Rodgers entered into a historic collaboration with the lyricist Lorenz Hart. The team produced a dozen popular shows and such enduring songs as "The Lady Is a Tramp". Rodgers' next partnership, with Oscar Hammerstein II, led to the creation of the musical play, a new and distinctively American art form. Beginning with Oklahoma! in 1943, this pair dominated Broadway for almost twenty years with a string of hits that remain beloved favorites: Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music. When Hammerstein died in 1960, Rodgers began a new phase in his career, writing the lyrics to his own music, then joining lyricists Stephen Sondheim, Sheldon Harnick, and Martin Charnin. Despite periods of depression, excessive drinking, hypochondria, and devastating illness at different points in his life, Rodgers' outpouring of music seemed little affected, and he continued to compose untilhis death at age seventy-seven. An icon of the musical theater, Rodgers left a legacy of timeless songs that audiences return to hear over and again.

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Richard Rodgers

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

During his 20-year partnership with Lorenz Hart, composer Richard Rodgers produced an unprecedented number of hit songs for such shows as Pal Joey, On Your Toes, and Babes in Arms. The depression and ... Read full review

Review: Richard Rodgers

User Review  - Scott - Goodreads

Interesting biography on a fine composer of stage music. I especially enjoyed the chapters that covered his collaboration with Oscar Hammerstein. I was glad I found this in the library. Read full review

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About the author (1998)

About the Author:
William G. Hyland was Editor of Foreign Affairs for many years, and is currently Research Pofessor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. After a long and successful career at top levels of the State Department and the White House staff, he returns here to his first love, the songs
that America sang and danced to through World War II.

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