18 Facts About Richard Rodgers

1. Richard Rodgers is known for his songwriting partnerships, first with lyricist Lorenz Hart and then with Oscar Hammerstein II.

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2. In 1978, Richard Rodgers was in the inaugural group of Kennedy Center Honorees for lifetime achievement in the arts.

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3. Richard Rodgers spent his early teenage summers in Camp Wigwam where he composed some of his first songs.

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4. In 1921, Richard Rodgers shifted his studies to the Institute of Musical Art.

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5. Richard Rodgers was influenced by composers such as Victor Herbert and Jerome Kern, as well as by the operettas his parents took him to see on Broadway when he was a child.

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6. In 1919, Richard Rodgers met Lorenz Hart, thanks to Phillip Levitt, a friend of Richard Rodgers's older brother.

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7. When he was just out of college Richard Rodgers worked as musical director for Lew Fields.

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8. Richard Rodgers wrote a melody for which Hart wrote three consecutive lyrics which were either cut, not recorded or not a hit.

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9. Richard Rodgers contributed to the book on several of these shows.

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10. In 1939, Richard Rodgers wrote the ballet Ghost Town for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, with choreography by Marc Platoff.

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11. Richard Rodgers composed twelve themes, which Bennett used in preparing the orchestra score for the 26-episode World War II television documentary Victory at Sea.

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12. In 1954, Richard Rodgers conducted the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in excerpts from Victory at Sea, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue and the Carousel Waltz for a special LP released by Columbia Records.

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13. Richard Rodgers went on to work with lyricists: Stephen Sondheim who was a protege of Hammerstein, Martin Charnin (Two by Two, I Remember Mama) and Sheldon Harnick (Rex).

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14. Richard Rodgers died in 1979, aged 77, after surviving cancer of the jaw, a heart attack, and a laryngectomy.

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15. Richard Rodgers is a member of the American Theater Hall of Fame.

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16. Mary Martin said that Richard Rodgers composed songs for her for South Pacific, knowing she had a small vocal range, and the songs generally made her look her best.

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17. In 1943, Richard Rodgers became the ninth president of the Dramatists Guild of America.

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18. Richard Rodgers is one of the few entertainers to have won the EGOT, the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony.

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