Music styles: The Spin Offs- Richard Rodgers (Chapter II)
None of them, with the exception of, A Connecticut Yankee, may have been considered as great shows to keep on mind , but they could not be considered as the bursting of their particular bubble, in spite they were not memorable, have the honor having produced a list of hits that has none comparison and most of them become standards.Let us have a look:
from Dearest Enemy (1925),
"Here in My Arms,"
from The Girl Friend
(1926), the title song, and The Blue Room,"
from the second edition of The Garrick
Gaieties (1926), "Mountain Greenery,"
from Peggy-Ann (1926), "Where's That Rainbow?,"
from A Connecticut Yankee
(1927), "Thou Swell,"
and "My Heart Stood
from Present Arms (1928),
"You Took Advantage of Me,"
and "Do I Hear You
Saying 'I Love You'?,"
from Spring Is Here (1929), "With a Song in My Heart,"
from Simple Simon (1930), "Ten Cents a Dance,"
and from America's Sweetheart (1931), "I've Got Five Dollars,"
By 1927 with the introduction of sound in movies in 1927 led to an interest in film musicals, and several of the shows composed by the magic duo were adapted as motion pictures, often much altered
Thus, most of film studios became interested in hiring songwriters to write musicals directly for the screen.
By the time the beginning of the Depression made it more difficult to create shows on Broadway.
Starting in 1930, our men began working regularly in Hollywood, and they did not have a new musical on Broadway for nearly five years between 1931 and 1935 even they signed a contract with Warner Bros., but worked for different studios.
The first film for what they composed was The Hot Heiress, 1931, but the first film hit was Love Me Tonight, 1932, including hits like “Love Me Tonight”,
“Isn't It Romantic?"
On the other hand, their last hits in Hollywood were from the film Mississippi, with “Soon”,
this track was recorded
by Bing Crosby and reached the number one on the first broadcast of the radio
series Your Hit Parade on April 20, 1935 and "It's Easy to Remember”.
The great couple wrote a song called "Prayer" for the film Hollywood Revue, but this was not the final track that reached the market and was cut before being commercially released. New lyrics were written and the track tittle became “The Bad in Every Man”, but this was not the final version either, Lorenz Hart wrote new lyrics and the track was finally released under the “hardly well-known title of “Blue Moon”.
Richard Rodgers was deeply disillusioned with the status they both got as songwriters in the Hollywood scene, in contradiction with Broadway, so that they both decided returning to New York.
Back again to their natural environment, musically speaking, they composed music and lyrics for Jumbo and giving the world tracks such as, "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World"
Little Girl Blue,
These tracks might have become hits at the
time if the producer had not prohibited radio performances of them .
Over the next seven years, our men kept creating
new musicals on Broadway, and most of
them were finally adapted as cinema pictures, as well as happened with Jumbo.
From that time let us highlight, “There's a Small Hotel”, from On Your Toes (1936)
“I Wish I Were in Love Again”, “The Lady Is a Tramp," “My Funny Valentine," and Where or When," from Babes in Arms. (1937)
Over the late '30s, and because of Lorenz Hart alcohol addiction an strange atmosphere surrounded the formerly magic duo prolific production works, and Richard Rodgers was finding Lorenz Hart more and more difficult to work with.
The situation was so hard that sometimes Richard Rodgers hat to complete the lyrics to songs himself because of Lorenz Hart inability.
The last musical they worked together was By Jupiter.
Richard Rodgers received an
offer to adapt a play to a new musical, but Lorenz Hart refused that order, so
that they both agree to work, for the very first time in 20 years with other
composers. That was how Richard Rodgers approached Oscar Hammersmith and both
were responsible for Oklahoma.
From this work we may highlight, "People Will Say We're in Love"
and "Oh! What a Beautiful Mornin',"
In spite of the success of Oklahoma! did not immediately spell the end of the professional collaboration between Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, being replaced by the new duo, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, as they still had the chance to collaborate together on a revised version of A Connecticut Yankee.
But, unfortunately five days after A
Connecticut Yankee's opening on November 17, 1943, Lorenz Hart died of pneumonia.
As from this moment on Richard Rodgers proposed Lorenz Hart making their partnership
Their next production was Carousel, from where sourced tracks such as, "If
I Loved You"
"You'll Never Walk Alone”
Later on and because of the success they both got, they were requested to write songs for a musical remake of the film State Fair, what early became a source of smash hits, among others, It Might as Well Be Spring,"
"That's for Me",
Their next hit was South Pacific, with "Bali Hali",
and "A Wonderful
Dated 1951 they created The
King and II, being their fifth show, included standards as "We Kiss in a Shadow,"
"March of the Siamese Children",
and "I Have Dreamed",
Although they both, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, worked together along the 50s, they did not scored as many success as they had got previously.
Their following hit was reached with “Me and Juliet”, outstanding the track “No other Love”,
In spite of Pipe Dream is considered as their least successful production, there were some tracks that hit the lists, let us have a look, "All at Once You Love Her",
a Home but Me,"
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, left the scene and started to produce for television, the first work they created was a version of Cinderella, outstanding, "Do I Love You (Because You're Beautiful)".
What is considered by the critics as their last great success was “The Sound of Music”, dated 1959, included the following smash hits, "Climb Ev'ry Mountain",
and “My Favorite Things”,
One year later the Magic Team ended when Oscar Hammerstein died of cancer.
At the age of 58, Richard Rodgers, tried
to work with another collaborator, as he has been doing for his entire life,
but he continued his solo career, from that time sources the musical No
Strings, including "The Sweetest Sounds”.
His last hit came in March 1965 with the opening of the film version of The Sound of Music and the songs, "I Have Confidence",
and "Something Good",
By the same month Richard Rodgers, created a new musical, Do I Hear a Waltz?, for this musical we worked with lyricist Stephen Sondheim.
In spite our man was at his 70s he continued working in different musicals, his last work was I Remember Mama,
At the age of 77 Richard Rodgers died of heart failure.
Nowadays the music of Richard Rodgers is
still a landmark, his collaborations with Lorenz Hart, and of course with the
other tunesmiths, are a real reference source where, both jazz and pop, musicians and singers turn to get
And that is why I nominated him as the Queen Bee of the tunesmiths.