Half of Rodgers and Hammerstein was born on this same day in 1902.
If the name Richard Rodgers doesn’t ring a bell, then maybe the moniker Rodgers and Hammerstein does. Richard Rodgers is an American composer most widely recognized for his contributions to Broadway and his collaborative work with librettist Oscar Hammerstein.
Rodgers put music into some of the world’s most well-loved theatrical productions. His work with Hammerstein in Oklahoma! was the start of a prolific and prosperous partnership. The pair continued to create timeless hits that became defining elements of very successful musicals. So successful were these musicals that they were eventually made into films, and this list includes South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music.
Rodgers has won awards other composers could only dream of: a Grammy, an Emmy, an Oscar, and a Tony! He’s even been given a Pulitzer Prize. Now, how could someone be so talented?
Here is a scene from the film adaptation of The Sound of Music, where the Von Trapp children sing a Rodgers and Hammerstein song handed over from generation to generation.
So the next time you sing this, Do-Re-Mi, The Sound of Music, Sixteen Going on Seventeen, or Getting to Know You from The King and I, you know that you have Richard Rodgers and his partner to thank.