As we prepare for this weekend’s The Very Best of Rodgers & Hammerstein, listen as Terry Gross of “Fresh Air” interviews Todd Purdum, bestselling author of Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway Revolution, about the partnership that created so many treasured musicals.
Oklahoma! was the first time that composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein partnered up to write a musical. The story came from a play called Green Grow the Lilacs, about settlers in the territory that would soon become the state of Oklahoma.
2019 marks the 70th anniversary of South Pacific, winner of ten Tony awards in 1949. It’s still the only musical production to win Tony Awards in all four acting categories. The original cast album was the bestselling record of the 1940s (which is pretty amazing when you think that it came out at the end of the decade!).