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File:240x240 rodgers hammerstein 9203.jpg

Rodgers at the left, Hammerstein at the right.

"I know the world is filled with troubles and many injustices. But reality is as beautiful as it is ugly. I think it is just as important to sing about beautiful mornings as it is to talk about slums. I just couldn't write anything without hope in it."
—Oscar Hammerstein II

American songwriting team consisting of Richard Rodgers (1902-1979, composer) and Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960, 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").

Best known for their Broadway musicals: