A phonograph record is an analog sound storage medium in the form of a flat disc with an inscribed, modulated spiral groove. The groove starts near the periphery and ends near the center of the disc. At first, the discs were made from shellac. In recent decades, records have sometimes been called vinyl records, or vinyl; the phonograph disc record was the primary medium used for music reproduction throughout the 20th century. It had co-existed with the phonograph cylinder from the late 1880s and had superseded it by around 1912. Records retained the largest market share when new formats such as the compact cassette were mass-marketed. By the 1980s, digital media, in the form of the compact disc, had gained a larger market share, the vinyl record left the mainstream in 1991. Since the 1990s, records continue to be manufactured and sold on a smaller scale, are used by disc jockeys and released by artists in dance music genres, listened to by a growing niche market of audiophiles; the phonograph record has made a notable niche resurgence in the early 21st century – 9.2 million records were sold in the U.
S. in 2014, a 260% increase since 2009. In the UK sales have increased five-fold from 2009 to 2014; as of 2017, 48 record pressing facilities remain worldwide, 18 in the United States and 30 in other countries. The increased popularity of vinyl has led to the investment in new and modern record-pressing machines. Only two producers of lacquers remain: Apollo Masters in California, MDC in Japan. Phonograph records are described by their diameter in inches, the rotational speed in revolutions per minute at which they are played, their time capacity, determined by their diameter and speed. Vinyl records may be scratched or warped if stored incorrectly but if they are not exposed to high heat, carelessly handled or broken, a vinyl record has the potential to last for centuries; the large cover are valued by collectors and artists for the space given for visual expression when it comes to the long play vinyl LP. The phonautograph, patented by Léon Scott in 1857, used a vibrating diaphragm and stylus to graphically record sound waves as tracings on sheets of paper, purely for visual analysis and without any intent of playing them back.
In the 2000s, these tracings were first scanned by audio engineers and digitally converted into audible sound. Phonautograms of singing and speech made by Scott in 1860 were played back as sound for the first time in 2008. Along with a tuning fork tone and unintelligible snippets recorded as early as 1857, these are the earliest known recordings of sound. In 1877, Thomas Edison invented the phonograph. Unlike the phonautograph, it could both record and reproduce sound. Despite the similarity of name, there is no documentary evidence that Edison's phonograph was based on Scott's phonautograph. Edison first tried recording sound on a wax-impregnated paper tape, with the idea of creating a "telephone repeater" analogous to the telegraph repeater he had been working on. Although the visible results made him confident that sound could be physically recorded and reproduced, his notes do not indicate that he reproduced sound before his first experiment in which he used tinfoil as a recording medium several months later.
The tinfoil was wrapped around a grooved metal cylinder and a sound-vibrated stylus indented the tinfoil while the cylinder was rotated. The recording could be played back immediately; the Scientific American article that introduced the tinfoil phonograph to the public mentioned Marey and Barlow as well as Scott as creators of devices for recording but not reproducing sound. Edison invented variations of the phonograph that used tape and disc formats. Numerous applications for the phonograph were envisioned, but although it enjoyed a brief vogue as a startling novelty at public demonstrations, the tinfoil phonograph proved too crude to be put to any practical use. A decade Edison developed a improved phonograph that used a hollow wax cylinder instead of a foil sheet; this proved to be both a better-sounding and far more useful and durable device. The wax phonograph cylinder created the recorded sound market at the end of the 1880s and dominated it through the early years of the 20th century. Lateral-cut disc records were developed in the United States by Emile Berliner, who named his system the "gramophone", distinguishing it from Edison's wax cylinder "phonograph" and American Graphophone's wax cylinder "graphophone".
Berliner's earliest discs, first marketed in 1889, only in Europe, were 12.5 cm in diameter, were played with a small hand-propelled machine. Both the records and the machine were adequate only for use as a toy or curiosity, due to the limited sound quality. In the United States in 1894, under the Berliner Gramophone trademark, Berliner started marketing records of 7 inches diameter with somewhat more substantial entertainment value, along with somewhat more substantial gramophones to play them. Berliner's records had poor sound quality compared to wax cylinders, but his manufacturing associate Eldridge R. Johnson improved it. Abandoning Berliner's "Gramophone" tradem
Billy Rose was an American impresario, theatrical showman and lyricist. For years both before and after World War II, Billy Rose was a major force in entertainment, with shows such as Billy Rose's Crazy Quilt, Billy Rose's Aquacade, Carmen Jones; as a lyricist, he is credited with many famous songs, notably "Me and My Shadow", "More Than You Know", "Without a Song", "It Happened in Monterrey" and "It's Only a Paper Moon". Despite his accomplishments, Rose may be best known today as the husband of famed comedian and singer Fanny Brice. Rose was born to a Jewish family in New York City, he attended Public School 44. While in high school, Billy studied shorthand under John Robert Gregg, the inventor of the Gregg System for shorthand notation, he won a dictation contest using Gregg notation, taking over 150 words per minute, writing forward or backward with either hand. Billy Rose began his career as a stenographic clerk to Bernard Baruch of the War Industries Board during World War I, became head of the clerical staff.
He became a lyricist. In this role, he is best known as the credited writer or co-writer of the lyrics to "Me and My Shadow," "Great Day", "Does the Spearmint Lose Its Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight", "I Found a Million Dollar Baby" and "It's Only a Paper Moon". Most of Rose's lyrical credits were collaborations. Biographer Earl Conrad said, "Nobody knew what he wrote or didn't write.... Publishers tend to credit him with writing the songs known to bear his name as a lyricist.... But tales rumble on... that Billy could feed and toss in a remark and monkey around, but that others did most of the writing." Lyricists might have been willing to tolerate a Rose credit grab because Rose was successful at promoting "his" songs. He went on to become a Broadway producer, a theatre/nightclub owner. In June 1934, he opened The Billy Rose Music Hall at 52nd and Broadway in New York with the first Benny Goodman Orchestra, he produced Jumbo, at the New York Hippodrome Theatre. For the Fort Worth Frontier Days fair, he constructed the huge elaborate dinner theatre Casa Mañana which featured celebrated fan-dancer Sally Rand and the world's largest revolving stage.
He presented a show at the Great Lakes Exposition in Cleveland, Ohio in 1937 where he displayed the "Aquacade". Rose was diminutive in stature; when he attended a show, his practice was to book four seats: one for himself, one for his date, the two in front of those so he would have an unobstructed view. In 1929, he married Fanny Brice, who would go on star in the 1931 Broadway production of Billy Rose's Crazy Quilt; the marriage lasted for nine years, ending in divorce in 1938. In 1938, he opened Billy Rose's Diamond Horseshoe, a nightclub in New York City's Times Square in the basement of the Paramount Hotel, it opened with a version of his Fort Worth show. The Diamond Horseshoe operated under that name until 1951. At the 1939 New York World's Fair, Billy Rose's Aquacade starred Olympian Eleanor Holm in what the fair program called "a brilliant girl show of spectacular size and content." Future MGM star Esther Williams and Tarzan star Johnny Weissmuller were both Aquacade headliners. Rose began an affair with the then-married Holm.
The couple married in 1939. Following the 1939 World's Fair, Rose asked John Murray Anderson, who had staged the Aquacade, to recommend a choreographer for a new show at the Horseshoe. Anderson recommended Gene Kelly performing in William Saroyan's One for the Money. Rose objected that he wanted someone who could choreograph "tits and asses," not "soft-soap from a crazy Armenian". However, after seeing Kelly's performance, he gave Kelly the job, an important step in Kelly's career. In 1943, he produced Carmen Jones with an all-black cast. An adaptation of Georges Bizet's opera Carmen, the story was transplanted to World War II America by lyricist and librettist Oscar Hammerstein II, it was an instant hit. The New York Telegraph called it "far and away the best show in New York"; the New York Herald Tribune said that Oscar Hammerstein II "must be considered one of the greatest librettists of our day" and that Carmen Jones was "a masterly tour de force." It was made into a motion picture in 1954, for which Dorothy Dandridge received an Academy Award nomination.
In 1946 Rose's memoir Wine and Words, dedicated to Rose's early patron Bernard M. Baruch, was published in New York by Simon & Schuster; the book was illustrated, including the cover of the numbered and signed first edition of 1500 copies, by Salvador Dalí whom Rose met while producing events at the 1939 World's Fair. Following the publication of Wine and Words Rose appeared on the cover of Time on June 2, 1947. Rose and Holm divorced in 1954. On July 2, 1956, he married showgirl Joyce Mathews, they divorced July 23, 1959, they remarried on December 29, 1961, only to divorce again on February 10, 1964 two years before he died. In 1964, Rose married Doris Vidor, the widow of film director Charles Vidor. Billy Rose founded the Billy Rose Sculpture Garden at the Israel Museum in Israel, his legendary pragmatism is illustrated by a seeming minor event at the sculpture garden opening ceremony, which Rose attended personally. When asked by one of the many distinguished guests what, in the event of war, Rose would have Israel do with
George Gershwin was an American composer and pianist whose compositions spanned both popular and classical genres. Among his best-known works are the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue and An American in Paris, the songs Swanee and Fascinating Rhythm, the jazz standard I Got Rhythm, the opera Porgy and Bess which spawned the hit Summertime. Gershwin studied piano under Charles Hambitzer and composition with Rubin Goldmark, Henry Cowell, Joseph Brody, he began his career as a song plugger but soon started composing Broadway theater works with his brother Ira Gershwin and Buddy DeSylva. He moved to Paris intending to study with Nadia Boulanger, he returned to New York City and wrote Porgy and Bess with Ira and DuBose Heyward. It was a commercial failure but came to be considered one of the most important American operas of the twentieth century and an American cultural classic. Gershwin moved to Hollywood and composed numerous film scores until his death in 1937 from a malignant brain tumor.
His compositions have been adapted for use in films and television, several became jazz standards recorded and covered in many variations. Gershwin was of Russian Lithuanian Jewish ancestry, his grandfather, Jakov Gershowitz, had served for 25 years as a mechanic for the Imperial Russian Army to earn the right of free travel and residence as a Jew. His teenage son, Moishe Gershowitz, worked as a leather cutter for women's shoes. Moishe Gershowitz met and fell in love with Roza Bruskina, the teenage daughter of a furrier in Vilnius, she and her family moved to New York due to increasing anti-Jewish sentiment in Russia, changing her first name to Rose. Moishe, faced with compulsory military service if he remained in Russia, moved to America as soon as he could afford to. Once in New York, he changed his first name to Morris. Gershowitz lived with a maternal uncle in Brooklyn, he married Rose on July 21, 1895, Gershowitz soon Americanized his name to Gershwine. Their first child, Ira Gershwin, was born on December 6, 1896, after which the family moved into a second-floor apartment on Brooklyn's Snediker Avenue.
On September 26, 1898, George was born as second son to Morris and Rose Bruskin Gershwine in their second-floor apartment on Brooklyn's Snediker Avenue. His birth certificate identifies him as Jacob Gershwine, with the surname pronounced'Gersh-vin' in the Russian and Yiddish immigrant community, he had just one given name, contrary to the American practice of giving children both a first and middle name. He was named after a one time Russian army mechanic, he soon became known as George, changed the spelling of his surname to'Gershwin' about the time he became a professional musician. After Ira and George, another boy Arthur Gershwin, a girl Frances Gershwin were born into the family; the family lived in many different residences, as their father changed dwellings with each new enterprise in which he became involved. They grew up around the Yiddish Theater District. George and Ira frequented the local Yiddish theaters, with George appearing onstage as an extra. George lived a usual childhood existence for children of New York tenements: running around with his boyhood friends, roller skating and misbehaving in the streets.
Until 1908, he cared nothing for music, when as a ten-year-old he was intrigued upon hearing his friend Maxie Rosenzweig's violin recital. The sound, the way his friend played, captured him. At around the same time, George's parents had bought a piano for lessons for his older brother Ira, but to his parents' surprise, Ira's relief, it was George who spent more time playing it. Although his younger sister Frances was the first in the family to make a living through her musical talents, she married young and devoted herself to being a mother and housewife, thus surrendering any serious time to musical endeavors. Having given up her performing career, she settled upon painting as a creative outlet, a hobby George pursued. Arthur Gershwin followed in the paths of George and Ira becoming a composer of songs and short piano works. With a degree of frustration, George tried various piano teachers for some two years before being introduced to Charles Hambitzer by Jack Miller, the pianist in the Beethoven Symphony Orchestra.
Until his death in 1918, Hambitzer remained Gershwin's musical mentor and taught him conventional piano technique, introduced him to music of the European classical tradition, encouraged him to attend orchestral concerts. Following such concerts, young Gershwin would try to play, on the piano at home, the music he had heard from recall, without sheet music; as a matter of course, Gershwin studied with the classical composer Rubin Goldmark and avant-garde composer-theorist Henry Cowell, thus formalizing his classical music training. In 1913, Gershwin left school at the age of 15 and found his first job as a "song plugger", his employer was Jerome H. Remick and Company, a Detroit-based publishing firm with a branch office on New York City's Tin Pan Alley, he earned $15 a week, his first published song was "When You Want'Em, You Can't Get'Em, When You've Got'Em, You Don't Want'Em" in 1916 when Gershwin was only 17 years old. It earned him 50 cents. In 1916, Gershwin started working for Aeolian Company and Standard Music Rolls in New York and arranging.
He produced dozens, if not hundreds, of rolls under his own and assumed names
George Gard "Buddy" DeSylva was an American songwriter, film producer and record executive. He wrote or co-wrote many popular songs and along with Johnny Mercer and Glenn Wallichs, he founded Capitol Records. DeSylva was born in New York City, but grew up in California and attended the University of Southern California, where he joined the Theta Xi Fraternity, his father, Aloysius J. De Sylva, was better known to American audiences as the Portuguese-born actor, Hal De Forrest, his mother, Georgetta Miles Gard, was the daughter of Los Angeles police chief George E. Gard. DeSylva's first successful songs were those used by Al Jolson on Broadway in the 1918 Sinbad production, which included "I'll Say She Does". Soon thereafter he met Jolson and in 1918 the pair went to New York and DeSylva began working as a songwriter in Tin Pan Alley. In the early 1920s, DeSylva worked with composer George Gershwin. Together they created the experimental one-act jazz opera Blue Monday set in Harlem, regarded as a forerunner to Porgy and Bess ten years later.
In April 1924, DeSylva married a Ziegfeld Follies dancer. In 1925, DeSylva became one third of the songwriting team with lyricist Lew Brown and composer Ray Henderson, one of the top Tin Pan Alley songwriters of the era; the team was responsible for the song Magnolia, popularized by Lou Gold's orchestra. The writing and publishing partnership continued until 1930, producing a string of hits and the perennial Broadway favorite Good News; the popularity of this team was so great that Gershwin's mother chided her sons for not being able to write the sort of hits turned out by the trio. DeSylva joined ASCAP in 1920 and served on the ASCAP board of directors between 1922 and 1930, he became a producer of screen musicals. DeSylva went under contract to Fox Studios. During this tenure, he produced movies such as The Little Colonel, The Littlest Rebel, Captain January, Poor Little Rich Girl and Stowaway. In 1941, he became the Executive Producer at Paramount Pictures, a position he would hold until 1944.
At Paramount, he was an uncredited executive producer for Double Indemnity, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Story of Dr. Wassell and The Glass Key. Betty Hutton always credited DeSylva for launching her film career; the Paramount all-star extravaganza Star Spangled Rhythm, which takes place at the Paramount film studio in Hollywood, features a fictional movie executive named "B. G. DeSoto", a parody of DeSylva. In 1942, Johnny Mercer, Glenn Wallichs and DeSylva together founded Capitol Records, he founded the Cowboy label. He is sometimes credited as: Buddy De Sylva, Buddy DeSylva, Bud De Sylva, Buddy G. DeSylva and B. G. DeSylva. Buddy DeSylva died in Hollywood, aged 55, is buried at Glendale's Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery. Desylva, Buddy, B. G. De Sylva, Lew Brown, Ray Henderson. Good News: vocal selection.: Chappell, n.d. OCLC 495863850 Henderson, Ray, B. G. De Sylva, Bud Green. Alabamy Bound. New York: Shapiro, Bernstein & Co, 1925. OCLC 645628000 De Sylva, B. G. Lew Brown, Ray Henderson. Magnolia.
1927. OCLC 918927178 Sonny Boy 1919 - La La Lucille 1922 - George White's Scandals of 1922 1922 - Orange Blossoms 1922 - The Yankee Princess 1923 - George White's Scandals of 1923 1924 - Sweet Little Devil 1924 - George White's Scandals of 1924 music by George Gershwin 1925 - Big Boy 1925 - Tell Me More! 1925 - George White's Scandals of 1925 1925 - Captain Jinks 1926 - George White's Scandals of 1926 1926 - Queen High 1927 - Good News 1927 - Manhattan Mary 1928 - George White's Scandals of 1928 1928 - Hold Everything! 1929 - Follow Thru 1930 - Flying High 1932 - Take a Chance Stepping Sisters My Weakness The Stork Club The 1956 Hollywood film The Best Things in Life Are Free, starring Gordon MacRae, Dan Dailey, Ernest Borgnine, depicted the De Sylva and Henderson collaboration. Ewen, David. Great Men of American Popular Song ASIN: B000OKLHXU Green, Stanley; the World Of Musical Comedy. Publisher: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80207-4 Buddy DeSylva at the Internet Broadway Database Buddy G. DeSylva on IMDb Buddy DeSylva and the 1909 Copyright Act Buddy DeSylva at the Internet Archive
It's Only a Paper Moon
"It's Only a Paper Moon" is a popular song published in 1933 with music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by Yip Harburg and Billy Rose. It was titled "If You Believed in Me," but went by the more popular title "It's Only a Paper Moon." The song was written for an unsuccessful 1932 Broadway play called The Great Magoo, set in Coney Island. Claire Carleton first performed this song on December 2, 1932, it was used in the movie Take a Chance in 1933 when it was sung by June Knight and Charles "Buddy" Rogers. Paul Whiteman recorded a hit version, released in 1933 featuring Bunny Berigan on trumpet. Another popular recording in 1933 was by Cliff Edwards, its lasting fame stems from recordings by popular artists during the last years of World War II, when versions by Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman Chet Baker Art Blakey Nat King Cole Nat King Cole Trio Sammy Davis, Jr. The Nat King Cole Songbook, Perry Como – a single (RCA, 1951 Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney recorded the song for Crosby's radio show and it was heard on the March 26, 1953 broadcast and released on the album Bing & Rosie - The Crosby-Clooney Radio Sessions.
Miles Davis Kenny Drew Trio Cliff Edwards Ella Fitzgerald with The Delta Rhythm Boys – recorded 27 March 1945 for Decca Benny Goodman Stephane Grappelli Lionel Hampton Oscar Peterson Django Reinhardt George Shearing – Paper Moon: Songs of Nat King Cole Paul Whiteman Orchestra List of 1930s jazz standards
Sammy Cahn was an American lyricist and musician. He is best known for his romantic lyrics to films and Broadway songs, as well as stand-alone songs premiered by recording companies in the Greater Los Angeles Area, he and his collaborators had a series of hit recordings with Frank Sinatra during the singer's tenure at Capitol Records, but enjoyed hits with Dean Martin, Doris Day and many others. He played the violin, he won an Oscar 4 times for his songs, including the popular song "Three Coins in the Fountain". Among his most enduring songs is "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!", cowritten with Jule Styne in 1945. Cahn was born Samuel Cohen in the Lower East Side of New York City, the only son of Abraham and Elka Reiss Cohen, who were Jewish immigrants from Galicia ruled by Austria-Hungary, his sisters, Pearl and Evelyn, all studied the piano. His mother did not approve of Sammy studying it though, feeling that the piano was a woman's instrument, so he took violin lessons. After three lessons and following his bar mitzvah, he joined a small dixieland band called Pals of Harmony, which toured the Catskill Mountains in the summer and played at private parties.
This new dream of Cahn's destroyed. Some of the side jobs he had were playing violin in a theater-pit orchestra, working at a meat-packing plant, serving as a movie-house usher, freight-elevator operator, restaurant cashier, porter at a bindery. At age 16, he was watching vaudeville, of which he had been a fan since the age of 10, he witnessed Jack Osterman singing a ballad Osterman had written. Cahn was inspired and, on his way home from the theater, wrote his first lyric, titled "Like Niagara Falls, I'm Falling for You – Baby." Years he would say "I think a sense of vaudeville is strong in anything I do, anything I write. They call it'a vaudeville finish,' and it comes through in many of my songs. Just sing the end of'All the Way' or'Three Coins in the Fountain'—'Make it mine, make it mine, MAKE IT MINE!' If you let people know they should applaud, they will applaud."Much of Cahn's early work was written in partnership with Saul Chaplin. They first met. Cahn said, "I'd learned a few chords on the piano, maybe two, so I'd tried to write a song.
Something I called'Shake Your Head from Side to Side.'" Billed as "Cahn and Chaplin", they composed witty special material for Warner Brothers' musical short subjects, filmed at Warners' Vitaphone studio in Brooklyn, New York. "There was a legendary outfit on West 46th Street and Pransky... they were the MCA, the William Morris of the Borscht Belt. I got a room in their offices, we started writing special material. For anybody who'd have us—at whatever price." They did not make much money, but they did work with up-and-comers Milton Berle, Danny Kaye, Phil Silvers, Bob Hope. One of his childhood friends was Lou Levy, who had gone from neighborhood bum to blackface dancer with the Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra. Lyric writing has always been a thrilling adventure for me, something I've done with the kind of ease that only comes with joy! From the beginning the fates have conspired to help my career. Lou Levy, the eminent music publisher, lived around the corner and we met the day I was leaving my first music publisher's office.
This led to a partnership. Lou and I wrote "Rhythm is Our Business," material for Jimmie Lunceford's orchestra, which became my first ASCAP copyright. I'd been churning out "special lyrics" for special occasions for years and this helped facilitate my tremendous speed with lyric writing. Many might have written these lyrics better—but none faster! Glen Gray and Tommy Dorsey became regular customers and through Tommy came the enduring and most satisfying relationship of my lyric writing career – Frank Sinatra; the song became the Orchestra's signature song. The duo worked for Glen Gray's Casa Loma Orchestra and their premiere at Paramount Theatre, they worked for Andy Kirk and his Clouds of Joy and they wrote Until the Real Thing Comes Along. Cahn wrote the lyrics to "Love and Marriage,", used as the theme song for the FOX TV show Married... with Children. The song debuted in a 1955 television production of Our Town, won an Emmy Award in 1956; this was only one of many songs that Jimmy Van Heusen wrote for Frank Sinatra.
They were "almost considered to be his personal songwriters."Cahn contributed lyrics for two otherwise unrelated films about the Land of Oz, Journey Back to Oz and The Wizard of Oz. The former were composed with Van Heusen, the latter with Allen Byrns, Joe Hisaishi, Yuichiro Oda. Cahn became a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972, he took over the presidency of that organization from his friend Johnny Mercer when Mercer became ill. Cahn died on January 1993, at the age of 79 in Los Angeles, California from heart failure, his remains were interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery. He changed his last name from Cohen to Kahn to avoid confusion with comic and MGM actor Sammy Cohen and again from Kahn to Cahn to avoid confusion with lyricist Gus Kahn, he was married twice: first in 1945 to vocalist and former Goldwyn girl Gloria Delson with whom he had two children. They divorced after 18 years of marriage. In 1965, she re-married Mike Franks. In 1970, he married Virginia Curtis, a former fashion coordinator for the clothes designer Donald Brooks.
He was the father of Laurie Cahn and jazz/fusion guitarist Steve Khan who, early
Richard Charles Rodgers was an American composer of music, with over 900 songs and 43 Broadway musicals, leaving a legacy as one of the most significant composers of 20th century American music. He is best known for his songwriting partnerships with the lyricists Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II, his compositions have had a significant impact on popular music. Rodgers was the first person to win what are considered the top American entertainment awards in television, recording and Broadway – an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, a Tony Award — now known collectively as an EGOT. In addition, he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize, making him one of only two people to receive all five awards. Born into a prosperous German Jewish family in Arverne, New York City, Rodgers was the son of Mamie and Dr. William Abrahams Rodgers, a prominent physician who had changed the family name from Abrahams. Richard began playing the piano at age six, he attended P. S. 166, Townsend Harris Hall and DeWitt Clinton High School.
Rodgers spent his early teenage summers in Camp Wigwam. Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, collaborator Oscar Hammerstein II all attended Columbia University. At Columbia, Rodgers joined the Pi Lambda Phi fraternity. In 1921, Rodgers shifted his studies to the Institute of Musical Art. 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. In 1919, Richard met Lorenz Hart, thanks to a friend of Richard's older brother. Rodgers and Hart struggled for years in the field of musical comedy, they made their professional debut with the song "Any Old Place With You", featured in the 1919 Broadway musical comedy A Lonely Romeo. Their first professional production was the 1920 Poor Little Ritz Girl, which had music by Sigmund Romberg, their next professional show, The Melody Man, did not premiere until 1924. When he was just out of college Rodgers worked as musical director for Lew Fields. Among the stars he accompanied.
Rodgers was considering quitting show business altogether to sell children's underwear, when he and Hart broke through in 1925. They wrote the songs for a benefit show presented by the prestigious Theatre Guild, called The Garrick Gaieties, the critics found the show fresh and delightful. Only meant to run one day, the Guild knew they allowed it to re-open later; the show's biggest hit — the song that Rodgers believed "made" Rodgers and Hart — was "Manhattan". The two were now a Broadway songwriting force. Throughout the rest of the decade, the duo wrote several hit shows for both Broadway and London, including Dearest Enemy, The Girl Friend, Peggy-Ann, A Connecticut Yankee, Present Arms, their 1920s shows produced standards such as "Here in My Arms", "Mountain Greenery", "Blue Room", "My Heart Stood Still" and "You Took Advantage of Me". With the Depression in full swing during the first half of the 1930s, the team sought greener pastures in Hollywood; the hardworking Rodgers regretted these fallow years, but he and Hart did write some classic songs and film scores while out west, including Love Me Tonight, which introduced three standards: "Lover", "Mimi", "Isn't It Romantic?".
Rodgers wrote a melody for which Hart wrote three consecutive lyrics which either were cut, not recorded or not a hit. The fourth lyric resulted in one of their most famous songs, "Blue Moon". Other film work includes the scores to The Phantom President, starring George M. Cohan, Hallelujah, I'm a Bum, starring Al Jolson, and, in a quick return after having left Hollywood, starring Bing Crosby and W. C. Fields. In 1935, they returned to Broadway and wrote an unbroken string of hit shows that ended only with Hart's death in 1943. Among the most notable are Jumbo, On Your Toes, Babes in Arms, I Married an Angel, The Boys from Syracuse, Pal Joey, their last original work, By Jupiter. Rodgers contributed to the book on several of these shows. Many of the songs from these shows are still sung and remembered, including "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World", "My Romance", "Little Girl Blue", "I'll Tell the Man in the Street", "There's a Small Hotel", "Where or When", "My Funny Valentine", "The Lady Is a Tramp", "Falling in Love with Love", "Bewitched and Bewildered", "Wait till You See Her".
In 1939, he wrote the ballet Ghost Town for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, with choreography by Marc Platoff. Rodgers' partnership with Hart began having problems because of the lyricist's unreliability and declining health. Rodgers began working with Oscar Hammerstein II, with whom he had written songs, their first musical, the groundbreaking hit Oklahoma!, marked the beginning of the most successful partnership in American musical theatre history. Their work revolutionized the musical form. What was once a collection of songs and comic turns held together by a tenuous plot became a integrated piece; the team went on to create four more hits. Each was made into a successful film: Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, The Sound of Music. Other shows include the minor hit Flower Dru