Rodgers at the left, Hammerstein at the right.
American songwriting team consisting of Richard Rodgers
(June 28, 1902 — December 30, 1979, composer) and Oscar Hammerstein II
(July 12, 1895 — August 23, 1960, lyricist). Together they earned 34 Tonys, 15 Academy Awards, a Pulitzer and two Grammys. As the quote above indicates, their shows were well on the "idealist" end of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism
; despite often dealing with serious topics (racism in South Pacific
, sexual harassment in Oklahoma!!
, spousal abuse in Carousel
), they're a by-word for perky, heart-warming, optimistic musicals.
Before their creative partnership began, both had been involved in earlier collaborations; Rodgers was acclaimed for his work with Lorenz Hart, while Hammerstein co-wrote Show Boat
(arguably the first modern musical, and written in a style which foreshadowed the work of this duo) with composer Jerome Kern.
Curiously, Oscar Hammerstein knew Stephen Sondheim
as a young man and was a formative influence on him (Sondheim has said that "if Oscar was a geologist, I would have been a geologist").
were Broadway shows, with two exceptions that later received Screen to Stage Adaptations