Sunday, August 23, 2009
TODAY IN 1960 WE LOST A MUSICAL GIANT
Today way back in 1960 we lost our beloved Oscar Hammerstein: perhaps the finest lyricist and libretto (book) creator of any artist in songwriting history. Richard Rodgers did not again enjoy the success of any Broadway show after Oscar's untimely demise from stomach cancer. Today, with the advancement of science, we could have saved his life.
He died at age 65, his final musical, The Sound of Music having recently opened. Besides the aforementioned work, Hammerstein collaborated with composer Richard Rodgers on such other musicals as Oklahoma!, Carousel, the Pulitzer-winning South Pacific, and The King And I. Before he joined forces with Rodgers, Hammerstein worked successfully with several other composers. The most popular of these earlier works and collaborations is his 1927 musical with Jerome Kern, Show Boat. On August 31, for the first time since World War II, all lights in and around Times Square and the theatre district will be turned off for one minute in honor of this Broadway legend. Today also would have been the 97th birthday of genius performer Gene Kelly who's amazing contributions to "Singing In The Rain" and countless other MGM classics are stuff of pure legend. It was a quiet hot Sunday today and felt a little down, but feel better this evening. I am debating on whether to officially retire at age 62 -- because finding a job is really really hard. You must apply on line and nobody seems to be giving interviews that really matter. I decided against the ADT offer-- driving sixty nine miles per day on the chance of making a sale is just too much risk. Our deadline approaches quickly for Vermont on Wednesday. I hope we make it!