"Oh, what a beautiful day..." to take a quiz on the songs of the brilliant duo Rodgers and Hammerstein! Are you a fan of this duo? Could you ace this quiz on the lyrics to some of their greatest songs? Here's your chance to find out!
Rodgers and Hammerstein changed the face of Broadway and musical theater during their run together. This was, of course, after having successful careers separately before they finally joined forces. When the two finally came together, magic happened on stage, as Rodgers and Hammerstein composed some of the greatest songs in the history of musical theater, songs that are still remembered and sung today.
In fact, the musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein broke records, won awards and delighted audiences for nearly 20 years as they transformed how musicals were viewed on Broadway. Their success spawned revivals as well as film adaptations of many of their greatest works, showing that their legacy will not soon be forgotten.
How well do you know the works of Rodgers and Hammerstein? Can you sing all of their songs from "Oh, what a beautiful mornin'" to "Edelweiss"? If you think you can, then take this quiz and show everyone just how much you know about the legends of American musical theater!
"Edelweiss" was sung by the VonTrapps in The Sound of Music, the duo's last collaboration together. Before they'd met many years before, Richard Rodgers had been a musical composer who attended college at the Institute of Musical Art. His interest in music, however, can be traced back to his childhood.
This is also from The Sound of Music, which is considered by many Rodgers and Hammersteiners to be their most famous work. This was more than 20 years after Rodgers had started his career, attending Columbia University where he met lyricist Lorenz Hart, whom he worked with until Hart's death in 1943. Richard Rodgers' first professional production, Poor Little Ritz Girl, had premiered in 1920.
These lyrics are from Carousel, the second musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein. It hit Broadway in 1945. Carousel featured an anti-hero protagonist, which was rare at the time in musical theatre. It was a popular decision, as the musical was another huge success on Broadway.
We hope you knew this was from Cinderella, the duo's only work intended for television, which aired in 1957.
Yep, still Cinderella. You knew that. But did you also know that Rodgers professional song (not a full production, just his first song) debut was "Any Old Place With You" in 1919? It was part of the musical comedy A Lonely Romeo.
"Cock-Eyed Optimist" was featured in South Pacific, another mega-hit for Rodgers and Hammerstein. It's 2008 revival even won no less than seven Tony Awards.
Ah Cinderella, living the fairytale. Cinderella aired on CBS in 1957.
This is from South Pacific - even thought it does sound a bit like it could hail from Oklahoma!
This is immediately followed by "Them stories 'bout the way I lost my bloomer—rumors!" in the song "All Er Nothin'" from Oklahoma! Incidentally, Oscar Hammerstein II was a lyricist who also attended Columbia University. However, he was there several years before Richard Rodgers.
This was also from Cinderella. Julie Andrews starred as Cinderella. Both Rodgers and Hammerstein were excited to work with her as she'd already had success on Broadway in musicals like The Boy Friend and My Fair Lady.
Oklahoma! opened on broadway in 1943. The show was so successful that it won a special Pulitzer Prize in 1944. But maybe the best part of the whole show was when this song, "I Cain't Say No", was born.
It was in 1949 that Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific opened on Broadway. This show had an incredible run of over five years. This song was from the Finale.
This is from "Happy Talk" in South Pacific. South Pacific was based on short stories by James Michener. The stories were from his book Tales of the South Pacific.
Did you know this is from "How Can Love Survive?" in The Sound of Music? If you did, you're most certainly taking the right quiz.
Thanks to a certain advertising campaign in the 80s, you might also know the other lyrics from this South Pacific gem: "I'm gonna wash that man right outta my hair..."
Another tidbit from Cinderella.
You go, girl! Er, Cinderella.
Some of the other popular musical standards from this show include "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" and the title track, "Oklahoma!" Altogether, now: "OHHH-klahoma-where-the-wind-goes-sweepin-down-the-plaaain..."
Oklahoma! was adapted into a film in 1955.
The story of Oklahoma! was based on Green Grow the Lilacs.
This is what the nuns are singing in the beginning of The Sound of Music, wondering aloud just how they should solve a problem like their sister, Maria.
Carousel has had several great revivals over the years. The most recent was in 2018. Richard Rodgers believed it was the best musical he ever wrote. Time Magazine once called it the best musical of the 20th century.
This is from "Bloody Mary", another show-stopper in South Pacific. South Pacific won the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It also won 10 Tony Awards.
Ok, nevermind - "A Few of My Favorite Things" is definitely our favorite song from The Sound of Music. Isn't it everybody's?
In fact, if you don't have this song stuck in your head by now, you might want to check your pulse.
That's just how things grow in Oklahoma!
This Oklahoma! interlude is almost a reverse love song, lyrically speaking, with both of the stars playing hard-to-get.
The fifth musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein, The King and I starred Gertrude Lawrence and Yul Brynner. The musical helped launch the career of Brynner, who went on to star in the film version of The King and I in 1956. Deborah Kerr took on the role of Anna.
The story for The Sound of Music was based on the real-life memoir of Maria von Trapp. The book had been published 10 years before the musical reached Broadway.
Rodgers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song, which featured the song "I Enjoy Being a Girl", was produced in 1958. It was directed by Gene Kelly. The cast for Flower Drum Song was predominantly Asian, which was groundbreaking for Broadway at the time.
Did we mention Julie Andrews is incredible?
Rodgers and Hammerstein worked on the music for the 1945 film State Fair. Their song "It Might as Well Be Spring" from the film won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
"A Lonely Room" was sung by the character of Jud Fry in Oklahoma! It wasn't featured in the 1955 movie version of the show, but was part of the original musical.
The story for The King and I was based on the novel "Anna and the King of Siam" by Margaret Landon.
The Sound of Music was quite successful on Broadway, wining five Tony Awards. It was made into a popular film in 1965. These lyrics are from "So Long, Farewell" - a lovely little send-off that marked a pivotal plot point. "Good-bye! Good-byyyye! GOOD-BYYYYYYYYYYYYYYE...."