Rodgers and Hammerstein were an influential, innovative and successful 20th century American musical theatre writing team.
Possibly the greatest musical theatre writing partnership of the 20th century, Rodgers and Hammerstein created a string of popular Broadway musicals in the 1940s and 1950s, initiating what is considered the golden age of musical theatre.
They both had extensive careers in Broadway theatre music before they scored their first hit together in 1943: Oklahoma! They then had huge success with other Broadway shows such as Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I and The Sound of Music. Most of their shows have received frequent revivals around the world, both professional and amateur. Among their many accolades were thirty-four Tony Awards, fifteen Academy Awards, the Pulitzer Prize, and two Grammy Awards.
Prior to their partnership, both Rodgers and Hammerstein achieved success independently. Rodgers had collaborated for more than two decades with Lorenz Hart. Among their many Broadway hits were the shows A Connecticut Yankee (1927), Babes in Arms (1937), The Boys from Syracuse (1938), Pal Joey (1940), and By Jupiter (1942), as well as many successful film projects.
Hammerstein, a co-writer of the popular Rudolf Friml 1924 operetta Rose-Marie, and Sigmund Romberg operettas The Desert Song (1926) and The New Moon (1928), began a successful collaboration with composer Jerome Kern on Sunny (1925), which was a hit. Their 1927 musical Show Boat is considered to be one of the masterpieces of the American musical theatre. Other Hammerstein/Kern collaborations include Sweet Adeline (1929) and Very Warm for May (1939).
The Von Trapps, depicted as a wealthy family in The Sound of Music, were a real family whose music was their sole source of income. By 1935 they were a popular group and when they fled the country they just said they were off to tour America, where they continued to make music, including singing on an Elvis album.
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