AMERICAN MUSICAL THEATRE: SALUTE TO RICHARD RODGERS {EARL WRIGHTSON, MARTHA WRIGHT, RALPH CURTIS} (TV)

Summary

One in this educational public affairs series that traces the origins and development of the American musical theater and examines the careers and contributions of the creative artists who have made the musical a native American art form. In an informal workshop setting, New York City high school students meet the composers, lyricists, and performers who have shaped the American musical and question them about their work. In this edition, host Earl Wrightson chronicles the work of Richard Rodgers in celebration of the prolific composer's upcoming sixtieth birthday. The program opens with a medley of Rodgers tunes performed by Martha Wright, Ralph Curtis, and Earl Wrightson consisting of "June Is Bustin' Out All Over," "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'," "I'm in Love with a Wonderful Guy," and "We Kiss in a Shadow." After the CBS Orchestra plays "I Cain't Say No," Wrightson reviews Rodgers's childhood, his collaboration with Lorenz Hart on twenty-seven shows, and his partnership with Oscar Hammerstein II beginning with the 1943 hit "Oklahoma." In a review of some Rogers and Hart songs and the shows in which they were featured, Curtis sings "Here in My Arms" from "Dearest Enemy," Wright sings "My Funny Valentine" from "Babes in Arms," and Wrightson sings "With a Song in My Heart" from "Spring Is Here." Wrightson then explores Rodgers's more serious music by touching on his work for the ballet, and the scores he wrote for television. The orchestra then plays "The Guadalcanal March" from "Victory at Sea," a dramatic history of the U.S. Navy's role in World War II, as a musical illustration of war at sea. From Rodgers's work in movie musicals, Curtis sings "You're Nearer," a ballad added by Rodgers and Hart for the film version of "Too Many Girls," and Wright sings "It Might As Well Be Spring" from Rodgers and Hammerstein's "State Fair." Conductor Alfredo Antonini recalls that while he was musical director of the Milwaukee Symphony he commissioned Rodgers to compose a piece for the inauguration of the St. Lawrence Seaway, "The Seaway March," which is then played by the CBS Orchestra. Martha Wright sings "The Sweetest Sounds" from the current season's production of "No Strings" for which Rodgers uncharacteristically wrote both music and lyrics. Finally, Wrightson, joined by Curtis and Wright, close the program with "Climb Every Mountain" from "The Sound of Music."

Cataloging of this program was made possible by a grant from the GRAMMY Foundation.

Details

  • NETWORK: WCBS-TV
  • DATE: June 24, 1962 Sunday 5:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:27:42
  • COLOR/B&W: B&W
  • CATALOG ID: T:54303
  • GENRE: Music
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Biography
  • SERIES RUN: WCBS (New York, NY) - TV series, 1959-1965
  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

    • Ned Cramer … Producer
    • Ethel Burns … Associate Producer
    • Anthony Farrar … Director
    • Alfredo Antonini … Conductor
    • CBS Orchestra, The … Music Group
    • Earl Wrightson … Host, Singer
    • Ralph Curtis … Singer
    • Martha Wright … Singer
    • Hammerstein, Oscar, II
    • Lorenz Hart
    • Richard Rodgers