Rodgers and Hart have been an American songwriting partnership between composer Richard Rodgers (1902–1979) and the lyricist Lorenz Hart (1895–1943). They labored collectively on 28 stage musicals and greater than 500 songs from 1919 till Hart’s demise in 1943.[1]

Historical past[edit]

Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart have been launched in 1919, when each attended Columbia College,[2] when requested to write down an newbie membership present. After writing collectively for a number of years, they produced their first profitable Broadway musical, The Garrick Gaieties, in 1925, which launched their hit music, “Manhattan” and led to a sequence of profitable musicals and movies.[1] They rapidly grew to become among the many hottest songwriters in America, and from 1925 to 1931 had fifteen scores featured on Broadway. Within the early 1930s they moved to Hollywood, the place they created a number of standard songs for movie, comparable to “Is not It Romantic?” and “Lover“, earlier than returning to Broadway in 1935 with Billy Rose‘s Jumbo.[2] From 1935 to Hart’s demise in 1943, they wrote a string of extremely regarded Broadway musicals, most of which have been hits.

Lots of their stage musicals from the late 1930s have been made into movies, comparable to On Your Toes (1936) and Babes in Arms (1937), although hardly ever with their scores intact. Pal Joey (1940), termed their “masterpiece”,[2] has a guide by The New Yorker author John O’Hara. O’Hara tailored his personal quick tales for the present, which featured a title character who’s a heel. So unflinching was the portrait that critic Brooks Atkinson famously requested in his evaluate “Though it’s expertly carried out, how are you going to draw candy water from a foul nicely?” When the present was revived in 1952, audiences had realized to just accept darker materials (thanks largely to Rodgers’ work with Oscar Hammerstein II). The brand new manufacturing had a significantly longer run than the unique and was now thought-about a traditional by critics. Atkinson, reviewing the revival, wrote that “it renews confidence within the professionalism of the theatre.”[3]


Time Journal devoted a canopy story to Rodgers and Hart (September 26, 1938). They wrote that their success “rests on a business intuition that almost all of their rivals have apparently ignored”. The article additionally famous the “spirit of journey.” “As Rodgers and Hart see it, what was killing musicomedy [sic] was its sameness, its tameness, its everlasting rhyming of June with moon.”[4]

Their songs have lengthy been favorites of cabaret singers and jazz artists. For instance, Ella Fitzgerald recorded their songbook. Andrea Marcovicci primarily based one in every of her cabaret acts totally on Rodgers and Hart songs.[5]

Hart’s lyrics, facile, vernacular, dazzling, typically playful, typically melancholic, raised the usual for Broadway songwriting. “His capacity to write down cleverly and to give you sudden, polysyllabic rhymes was one thing of a trademark, however he additionally had the even rarer capacity to write down with utmost simplicity and deep emotion.”[6] Rodgers, as a creator of melodies, ranks with Jerome Kern and Irving Berlin.

Their reveals belong to the period when musicals have been revue-like and librettos weren’t way more than excuses for comedian turns and music cues. Nonetheless, simply as their songs have been a minimize above, so did the workforce attempt to increase the usual of the musical type on the whole. Thus, A Connecticut Yankee (1927) was primarily based on Mark Twain‘s novel, and The Boys From Syracuse (1938) on William Shakespeare‘s The Comedy of Errors. “That they had at all times thought-about the mixing of story and music a vital think about a profitable present.” They used dance considerably of their work, utilizing the ballets of George Balanchine.[7]

Comparisons between Rodgers and Hart and the successor workforce of Rodgers and Hammerstein are inevitable. Hammerstein’s lyrics challenge heat, honest optimism, and occasional corniness. Hart’s lyrics confirmed larger sophistication in subject material, extra use of overt verbal cleverness, and extra of a “New York” or “Broadway” sensibility. The archetypal Rodgers and Hart music, “Manhattan,” rhymes “The nice huge metropolis’s a wondrous toy/Simply made for a woman and boy” within the first stanza, then reprises with “Town’s clamor can by no means spoil/The desires of a boy and goil” within the final. Lots of the songs (“Falling in Love with Love“, “Little Lady Blue“, “My Humorous Valentine“) are wistful or unhappy, and emotional ambivalence appears to be perceptible within the background of even the sunnier songs. For instance, “You Took Benefit of Me” seems to be an evocation of amorous pleasure, however the very title suggests some doubt as as to if the connection is mutual or exploitative.[citation needed]

Stage and movie productions[edit]

In response to Chuck Denison, “My Coronary heart Stood Nonetheless” is one in every of Rodgers and Harts’ most enduring hits. Their music “Blue Moon” was used within the 1934 film Manhattan Melodrama because the title music. The music was re-written and Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra recorded it in 1936, and that model topped the charts for three weeks. Elvis Presley included a haunting model on his self-titled debut album, in 1956. It once more was #1 in 1961, this time within the doo-wop model, by the Marcels. Bob Dylan included his Nashville-inflected model of the music on his Self Portrait album of 1970.

Frederick Nolan writes that “My Romance” (written for Jumbo) “options a number of the most elegantly wistful lyrics…[it] is, fairly merely, top-of-the-line songs Rodgers and Hart ever wrote.”[8]

Different of their many hits embody “My Humorous Valentine“, “Falling in Love with Love“, “Right here In My Arms“, “Mountain Greenery“, “My Coronary heart Stood Nonetheless“, “The Blue Room“, “Ten Cents a Dance“, “Dancing on the Ceiling“, “Lover“, “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered“, “Mimi“, and “Have You Met Miss Jones?“,[9]

Record of well-known songs[edit]

Different works[edit]

See additionally[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rodgers and Hart Biography Information to Musical Theatre, accessed April 5, 2009
  2. ^ a b c Everett, p. 747
  3. ^ Inexperienced, p. 127
  4. ^ Block, p. 43
  5. ^ Connema, Richard.Overview, The Incomparable Andrea Marcovicci Sings Rodgers & Hart, Aug 7, 2007
  6. ^ Block, p. 22
  7. ^ Everett, p. 754
  8. ^ Nolan, p. 206
  9. ^ Hart Biography, accessed April 5, 2009


  • Block, Geoffrey Holden. The Richard Rodgers reader (2002), Oxford College Press US, ISBN 0-19-513954-2
  • Denison, Chuck. The Nice American Songbook:Tales of the Requirements (2004), Writer’s Selection Publishing, ISBN 1-931741-42-5
  • Everett, William and Laird, Paul. The Cambridge Companion to the Musical (2008), Cambridge College Press, ISBN 0-521-86238-8
  • Inexperienced, Stanley. The world of musical comedy (1984, 4th Version), Da Capo Press, ISBN 0-306-80207-4
  • Nolan, Frederick. Lorenz Hart:A Poet on Broadway (1995), Oxford College Press US,ISBN 0-19-510289-4
  • Secrest, Meryle. Someplace for me:a biography of Richard Rodgers (2002), Hal Leonard Company, ISBN 1-55783-581-0

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