Getting to know him: A biography of Oscar Hammerstein II

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9780394494418: Getting to know him: A biography of Oscar Hammerstein II

Oscar Hammerstein II (1895–1960) forged a remarkable, multifaceted career as a librettist, lyricist, playwright, director, and producer. He wrote Carmen Jones, Carousel, Show Boat, and, with longtime collaborator Richard Rodgers, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music. Hugh Fordin enjoyed complete access to the Hammerstein archives and conducted numerous interviews with family and colleagues like Rodgers, Berlin, Robbins, and Sondheim. The result is the definitive biography of a creative giant, who changed forever the texture of American theater.

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About the Author:

Hugh Fordin has been a producer in both theater and film. As head of casting for David Merrick, he was involved in the making of M*A*S*H, Hello Dolly!, and Play It Again, Sam. The author of The Movies' Greatest Musicals: The Freed Unit at MGM, he lives in New York City, where he is the president of DRG Records.

Review:

Oscar Hammerstein II was born in New York City in 1895. His first success came in 1924 with Rose-Marie; the following year he began a twenty-year association with composer Jerome Kern. Their eight musicals included the 1927 hit Show Boat. But it was with Richard Rodgers that Hammerstein forged his most memorable partnership. From 1942 until Hammerstein's death in 1960, the team wrote eleven musicals which have collectively earned an astounding 26 Tony awards, 14 Academy awards, two Pulitzer Prizes, and two Grammy awards. One hundred years after he was born, Hammerstein's accomplishments are more timely than ever as productions of his musicals continue in record numbers around the world. In Getting To Know Him: A Biography Of Oscar Hammerstein II, biographer Hugh Fordin draws on archives and interviews with hammerstein's wife Dorothy, his five children, and his friends and colleagues (including Richard Rodgers, Irving Berlin, Jerome Robbins, James Michener, and Stephen Sondheim) to reveal a man whose homespun sensibility belied his truly complex nature. -- Midwest Book Review

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Fordin, Hugh
Published by Random House (1977)
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