Rodgers & Hart: selected standards from the musicals of 1925-1934

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Rodgers & Hart: selected standards from the musicals of 1925-1934:

  • 1925 ManhattanGarrick Gaieties
  • 1926Mountain Greenery Garrick Gaieties
  • 1927 Thou SwellA Connecticut Yankee

Separate feature pages:

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For more Rodgers & Hart on Songbook, visit our index page:

Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart Songbook Index 1925-1942

Rodgers and Hart-x-lg

Rodgers & Hart biographies:

Songwriters Hall of Fame Exhibit biographies:

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1925

1925-manhattanManhattan (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart) was written for the revue Garrick Gaieties which debuted in 1925 on Broadway and was the first of three Garrick Gaiety revues, which were subsequently produced in 1926 and 1930. The show parodied current subjects, such as the New York City Subway system and the Theatre Guild (producer of the show).

The revue first opened on Broadway at the Garrick Theatre on May 17, 1925, as a 2-performance benefit for the Theatre Guild. The reviews were favorable, and Rodgers and others persuaded the Theatre Guild to continue the production, which re-opened on June 8, 1925 and ran until November 28, for 211 performances.[2] Several writers contributed the material for the sketches, including Edith Meiser, Sam Jaffe, Benjamin Kaye and Morrie Ryskind. – wikipedia

The California Ramblers recording as the Golden Gate Orchestra – 1925

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Ruth Tester & Allan Gould — The scene is from a film short called Makers of Melody, shot in the Spring of 1929, evidently a pilot for a series about songwriters. Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart play themselves in the twenty minute two-reeler. The image below  is an excerpt from the biography Lorenz Hart: A Poet on Broadway by Frederick Nolan, 1995, p. 127.

This performance retains the satirical element of the song, the caustic wit that Hart was known for, but which is lost on most later versions.

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Makers of Melody is short film made by Paramount featuring Rodgers and Hart “demonstrating how they had come to write” some of their songs, apparently to a script, though one site describes it as an interview interwoven with song performances. It includes renditions of four songs: Manhattan, The Girl Friend, The Blue Room, and Here in My Arms. The last of these, although I don’t know their order in the film, is performed by Rodgers & Hart. It’s the only one of the four songs in the film which I haven’t found on video.

Another recording of Manhattan

LeeWiley-51-NightinManhattanLee-Wiley-1-getty-cropped

Lee Wiley – from her album Night in Manhattan, with Bobby Hackett and Joe Bushkin – 1950

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Mountain Greenery – written for The Garrick Gaieties of 1926. It was first performed on stage by Sterling Holloway.

Roger Wolfe Kahn and his Orchestra — recorded on 27 May, 1926

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Richard Rodgers — Piano roll; played by Richard Rodgers, 1926

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Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke — Episode # 28 of  The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Sleeping Brother, 1962

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1927

1927 Connecticut Yankee, Constance Carpenter and William Gaxton-1aThou Swell was written for the musical comedy A Connecticut Yankee, based on the Mark Twain novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

From Wikipedia:

Like most adaptations of the Twain novel, it focuses on the lighter aspects of the story. The music was written by Richard Rodgers, the lyrics by Lorenz Hart, and the book by Herbert Fields. It was produced by Lew Fields and Lyle D. Andrews. It enjoyed an original run on Broadway in 1927 of 421 performances and a number of revivals.

Bix Beiderbecke “and his gang”, six fellow members of Paul Whiteman’s band. – 1928

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Blossom Dearie – from her self-titled 1957 album for Verve, recorded 11-12 September 1956

Wikipedia says,

This is Dearie’s first American solo album. Already famous for the group “Les Blue Stars” of France and their French version of “Lullaby of Birdland“, Norman Granz personally invited her to record for Verve Records.

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1929

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1932

From Wikipedia:

Love Me Tonight is a 1932 musical comedy film produced and directed by Rouben Mamoulian, with music by Rodgers and Hart. It stars Maurice Chevalier as a tailor who poses as a nobleman and Jeanette MacDonald as a princess with whom he falls in love. It also stars Charlie Ruggles as a penniless nobleman, along with Charles Butterworth and Myrna Loy as members of his family. [read more]

Separate feature pages:

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1934

From Wikipedia:

Manhattan Melodrama is a 1934 American pre-Code crime melodrama film, produced by MGM, directed by W. S. Van Dyke, and starring Clark Gable, William Powell, and Myrna Loy. The movie also provided one of the earliest film roles for Mickey Rooney, who played Gable’s character as a child. The film is based on a story by Arthur Caesar, who won the Academy Award for Best Story for this film. This was Myrna Loy and William Powell in their first of fourteen screen pairings. [read more]

Separate feature page:

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kevin Salatino
    Dec 22, 2010 @ 18:24:25

    The film clip of Deanna Durbin singing “Lover” is from “Because of Him” (1946), also starring Charles Laughton and Helen Broderick. Broderick is the woman in the clip who nods to Deanna, and you can see a picture of Laughton on Deanna’s night stand.

    Reply

  2. doc
    Dec 22, 2010 @ 20:35:44

    Thanks Kevin. – Doc

    Reply

  3. Don
    Jan 13, 2012 @ 00:52:15

    Many thanks for all your time and reseaching. I found the site very enjoyable and will make an extended visit shortly. Best wishes

    cardonkong2001@yahoo.co.uk

    Reply

  4. doc
    May 30, 2012 @ 20:50:36

    Don, Thank you very much for visiting. Please come back soon. Sorry for the delay in approving your comment. That was due to overzealous security as I’ve explained to you privately. — doc

    Reply

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