|Birthname||Richard Charles Rodgers|
|born on||28 June 1902 at 02:30 (= 02:30 AM )|
|Place||New York, New York, 40n43, 74w0|
|Timezone||EST h5w (is standard time)|
|Astrology data||05°39' 28°16 Asc. 05°24'|
American preeminent composer of musical theater. In partnership with Lorenz Hart (born 5/02/1895, New York) from 1927, he wrote 29 musical shows and nearly 400 songs. In a career of 40 years, he wrote over 1,000 songs and scores for 34 stage productions, dominating the American musical theater after 1925. He also wrote in partnership Oscar Hammerstein. He received a TV Emmy for the special "Winston Churchill, The Valiant Years," 1961-62 season. Rodgers and partner Oscar Hammerstein II won the Pulitzer Prize for "Oklahoma!" and "South Pacific." Rodgers also won 34 Tony's, 15 Oscars, two Grammy's and Emmys for other compositions. He composed over 900 songs and 40 musicals. "Time" magazine and CBS News named Rodgers and Hammerstein among the 20 most influential artists of the 20th Century.
He was the second of two sons from a relatively affluent family with his dad William a doctor. His mother played piano, often bringing home sheet music after seeing a show and playing it for him. When Richard was only 14 years old he met future partner Hammerstein when he visited his older brother at his fraternity. At 16 he met his partner Lorenz Hart and was immediately impressed with his skill with lyrics. They began collaborating on amateur musicals and the following year Rodgers' first song was sung on Broadway. Rodgers' family supported his choice of career and sent him to Columbia University and the forerunner of Juilliard.
On 1/1/1922 Rodgers conducted the orchestra at the Schubert Theater on Broadway. Working with Hart, "The Garrick Gaieties" opened 5/17/1925 for a one week run, but stayed for 200 performances. Preferring to compose songs at a single sitting, he was annoyed when interrupted. Hart had personal habits Richard found difficult and being more methodical and business-like, Rodgers took charge of handling all negotiations. Developing the musical play in the 1920's and 1930's, Rodgers and Hart lived in Hollywood from 1932-34 to work on film musicals, "Love Me Tonight" and "I Married An Angel." Rodgers, unhappy with Hollywood, moved back to New York. "On Your Toes," 1936 choreographed by George Balanchine, and "Pal Joey," 1940 which focused on an amoral nightclub owner, were groundbreaking. Their work graced stage and screen from Hollywood to London bringing their sophistication to audiences. The 1948 film "Words And Music," was the story of Rodgers and Hart.
Before Lorenz Hart died in 1943, Rodgers approached Hammerstein and they formed a partnership that lasted until Hammerstein's death in 1960 producing a show every two years. "Oklahoma!" opened 3/31/1943 to audience appreciation, but poor critical reviews. Breaking new ground with Hammerstein, they filmed "Carmen Jones" and followed with stage then film versions of "Carousel," which premiered on Broadway 4/19/1945 and ran for 890 performances, "The King and I," "South Pacific," "Flower Drum Song" and the most popular film musical of all time, "The Sound of Music," which won the 1965 Oscar for Best Picture. Rodgers composed the score for "Victory at Sea" in 1952 which won an Emmy and earned a Gold Record. Richard made an appearance in the film "Main Street to Broadway" in 1953. After Oscar's death, Richard composed music and lyrics for "No Strings" which garnered him two Tony Awards. Rodgers continued to work until his death in 1979 either solo or collaborating with others on works for theater and television. In later years he founded the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization which represents a wide variety of entertainment copyrights and is still run by the family.
Rodgers songs include "My Funny Valentine," 1937 "Bewitched," 1940 and "It Might As Well Be Spring" which won the 1945 Oscar for Best Original Song.
Richard married Dorothy Feiner (born 5/04/1909), a writer and inventor, on 3/05/1930. Although he had a reputation as a womanizer, they remained married until his death. They had two daughters, Mary Rodgers Guettel born in the early 1930's and Linda Rodgers Emory. Mary and son Adam Guettel also became composers. Mary described her father as "deeply unhappy and tough to live with, distant, impersonal and depressive."
Sometimes a heavy drinker, he had himself committed following a nervous breakdown at the height of his success in the 1950's. After two major cancer operations his ability to speak was severely compromised. He died at home 12/30/1979 only eight months after his final musical opened on Broadway.
On 3/27/1990 he was honored posthumously with Broadway's highest accolade when the 46th Street Theatre, owned and operated by the Nederlander Organization, was renamed The Richard Rodgers Theatre, home to The Richard Rodgers Gallery, a permanent exhibit in the lobby areas presented by ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, which honors his life and works. ASCAP also gives a Richard Rodgers Award yearly. Rodgers and Hammerstein were honored with a U.S. postage stamp in 1999.
- business associate/partner relationship with Hammerstein, Oscar (born 12 July 1895)
LMR quotes David Ewen, "Richard Rogers" (1957, p.47, Chapter 3, "Life begins on Saturday at 2:30." "It was in a rented house on Brandreth Aveneue in Hammels Station near Arverne that Richard Rogers was delivered by Dr. Bernard Sauer on the morning of June 28, 1902.")
- Vocation : Entertain/Music : Composer/ Arranger
- Vocation : Entertain/Music : Song writer
- Vocation : Entertain/Business : Entertain Producer (Music for stage productions)
- Notable : Awards : Emmy
- Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession
- Notable : Book Collection : Culture Collection