|Songwriter(s)||Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II|
"Oklahoma" is the title song from the Broadway musical Oklahoma! , named for the setting of the musical play. The music and lyrics were written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. The melody is reprised in the main title of the 1955 film version and in the overtures of both film and musical productions.
Broadway theatre, commonly known as Broadway, refers to the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Along with London's West End theatre, Broadway theatre is widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.
Musical theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical – humor, pathos, love, anger – are communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole. Although musical theatre overlaps with other theatrical forms like opera and dance, it may be distinguished by the equal importance given to the music as compared with the dialogue, movement and other elements. Since the early 20th century, musical theatre stage works have generally been called, simply, musicals.
Oklahoma! is the first musical written by the team of composer Richard Rodgers and librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. The musical is based on Lynn Riggs' 1931 play, Green Grow the Lilacs. Set in farm country outside the town of Claremore, Indian Territory, in 1906, it tells the story of farm girl Laurey Williams and her courtship by two rival suitors, cowboy Curly McLain and the sinister and frightening farmhand Jud Fry. A secondary romance concerns cowboy Will Parker and his flirtatious fiancée, Ado Annie.
In 1953, the Oklahoma legislature chose it as the state song of Oklahoma, replacing a less well-known song, "Oklahoma - A Toast", that had been adopted in 1935.
Midway through the second act of the play, after the principals Curly and Laurey are married, Curly begins to sing the song and is soon joined by the entire cast as a chorus. The lyric, which briefly depicts the Midwestern twang phonetically,[ clarification needed ] describes the landscape and prairie weather in positive language. It further emphasizes the wholesome aspects of rural life, and the steadfast dedication of the region's inhabitants, against the overtly stated formal backdrop of the territory's impending admission to the Union in 1907.
Hammerstein's lyric is also notable and memorable for its trochaic re-iteration of its title as a chant, and the final iambic eight-letter spelling of the title as a play on the colloquial English word "Okay". Orchestrator Robert Russell Bennett's massive 8-part chorale near the end of the song extends it to include a spelling of the name, ending with an epic ritardando leading into one last iteration of "Oklahoma."
In poetic metre, a trochee, choree, or choreus, is a metrical foot consisting of a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed one, in English, or a heavy syllable followed by a light one in Latin or Greek. In this respect, a trochee is the reverse of an iamb.
Robert Russell Bennett was an American composer and arranger, best known for his orchestration of many well-known Broadway and Hollywood musicals by other composers such as Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, and Richard Rodgers.
The state of Oklahoma officially adopted the song as its state song in 1953.It is the only official state song from a Broadway musical. State Representative George Nigh, who later served as the state's Governor, was the principal author of the legislation designating the state song.
George Patterson Nigh is an American politician and civic leader from the U.S. state of Oklahoma. Nigh served as the 17th and the 22nd Governor of Oklahoma and as the 8th and 10th Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma. He was the first Oklahoma governor to be re-elected and the first to win all 77 counties in the state. Additionally, short term vacancies in the governor's office twice resulted in Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma Nigh assuming gubernatorial duties while serving as lieutenant governor.
The song also serves as one of the key songs of the University of Oklahoma. The song plays as one of the hourly tunes from the bell tower on campus. The song is also played by the Pride of Oklahoma at various Oklahoma Sooners athletic events and other campus events.
The University of Oklahoma (OU) is a public research university in Norman, Oklahoma. Founded in 1890, it had existed in Oklahoma Territory near Indian Territory for 17 years before the two became the state of Oklahoma. In Fall 2018 the university had 31,702 students enrolled, most at its main campus in Norman. Employing nearly 3,000 faculty members, the school offers 152 baccalaureate programs, 160 master's programs, 75 doctorate programs, and 20 majors at the first professional level. David Boren, a former U.S. Senator and Oklahoma Governor, served as the university's president from 1994 to 2018. James L. Gallogly succeeded Boren on July 1, 2018.
The Oklahoma Sooners are the athletic teams that represent the University of Oklahoma, located in Norman. The 19 men's and women's varsity teams are called the "Sooners", a reference to a nickname given to the early participants in the Land Run of 1889, which initially opened the Unassigned Lands in the future state of Oklahoma to non-native settlement. The university's athletic teams compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)'s Division I in the Big 12 Conference. The university's current athletic director is Joe Castiglione.
According to the Oklahoma Historical Society, the first state song was "Oklahoma - A Toast". It was written in 1905 by Mrs. Harriett Parker Camden, a resident of Kingfisher, Oklahoma. It became a hit within the state, and was adopted as the state song by the legislature on March 26, 1935.The lyrics of the refrain are:
Kingfisher is a city in and the county seat of Kingfisher County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 4,633 at the 2010 census, up from 4,380 at the 2000 census. It is the former home and namesake of Kingfisher College. According to the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, Kingfisher is now primarily a bedroom community for people employed in Enid and Oklahoma City.
"I give you a land of sun and flowers, and summer a whole year long, I give you a land where the golden hours roll by to the mockingbird's song, Where the cotton blooms 'neath the southern sun, where the vintage hangs thick on the vine. A land whose story has just begun. This wonderful land of mine."
Members of the Western Writers of America chose "Oklahoma" as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.
Jerome David Kern was an American composer of musical theatre and popular music. One of the most important American theatre composers of the early 20th century, he wrote more than 700 songs, used in over 100 stage works, including such classics as "Ol' Man River", "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man", "A Fine Romance", "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", "The Song Is You", "All the Things You Are", "The Way You Look Tonight", "Long Ago " and "Who?". He collaborated with many of the leading librettists and lyricists of his era, including George Grossmith Jr., Guy Bolton, P. G. Wodehouse, Otto Harbach, Oscar Hammerstein II, Dorothy Fields, Johnny Mercer, Ira Gershwin and Yip Harburg.
Oscar Greeley Clendenning Hammerstein II was an American librettist, theatrical producer, and theatre director of musicals for almost 40 years. He won eight Tony Awards and two Academy Awards for Best Original Song. Many of his songs are standard repertoire for vocalists and jazz musicians. He co-wrote 850 songs.
Stephen Joshua Sondheim is an American composer and lyricist known for more than a half-century of contributions to musical theatre. Sondheim has received an Academy Award, eight Tony Awards, eight Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, a Laurence Olivier Award, and a 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom. He has been described by Frank Rich of The New York Times as "now the greatest and perhaps best-known artist in the American musical theater". His best-known works as composer and lyricist include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962), Company (1970), Follies (1971), A Little Night Music (1973), Pacific Overtures (1976), Sweeney Todd (1979), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sunday in the Park with George (1984), Into the Woods (1987), Assassins (1990), and Passion (1994). He also wrote the lyrics for West Side Story (1957) and Gypsy (1959).
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.
Lorenz Milton Hart was the lyricist half of the Broadway songwriting team Rodgers and Hart. Some of his more famous lyrics include "Blue Moon," "Mountain Greenery," "The Lady Is a Tramp," "Manhattan," "Where or When," "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered," "Falling in Love with Love," "Have You Met Miss Jones?," "My Funny Valentine," "I Could Write a Book", "This Can't Be Love", "With a Song in My Heart", "It Never Entered My Mind", and "Isn't It Romantic?".
The King and I is the fifth musical by the team of composer Richard Rodgers and dramatist Oscar Hammerstein II. It is based on Margaret Landon's novel, Anna and the King of Siam (1944), which is in turn derived from the memoirs of Anna Leonowens, governess to the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the early 1860s. The musical's plot relates the experiences of Anna, a British schoolteacher hired as part of the King's drive to modernize his country. The relationship between the King and Anna is marked by conflict through much of the piece, as well as by a love to which neither can admit. The musical premiered on March 29, 1951, at Broadway's St. James Theatre. It ran for nearly three years, making it the fourth longest-running Broadway musical in history at the time, and has had many tours and revivals.
Rodgers and Hammerstein refers to the duo of composer Richard Rodgers (1902–1979) and lyricist-dramatist Oscar Hammerstein II (1895–1960), who together were an influential, innovative and successful American musical theatre writing team. They created a string of popular Broadway musicals in the 1940s and 1950s, initiating what is considered the "golden age" of musical theatre. Five of their Broadway shows, Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I and The Sound of Music, were outstanding successes, as was the television broadcast of Cinderella (1957). Of the other four that the team produced on Broadway during their lifetimes, Flower Drum Song was well-received, and none was an outright flop. Most of their shows have received frequent revivals around the world, both professional and amateur. Among the many accolades their shows garnered were thirty-four Tony Awards, fifteen Academy Awards, the Pulitzer Prize, and two Grammy Awards.
Vincent Millie Youmans was an American Broadway composer and producer.
Me and Juliet is a musical comedy by Richard Rodgers (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II and their sixth stage collaboration. The work tells a story of romance backstage at a long-running musical: assistant stage manager Larry woos chorus girl Jeanie behind the back of her electrician boyfriend, Bob. Me and Juliet premiered in 1953 and was not considered a success, although it ran for much of a year on Broadway and returned a small profit to its backers.
"Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" is the opening song from the musical Oklahoma!, which premiered on Broadway in 1943. It was written by composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist/librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. The leading male character in Oklahoma!, Curly McLain, sings the song at the beginning of the first scene of the musical. The refrain runs: "Oh, what a beautiful mornin'! / Oh, what a beautiful day! / I've got a beautiful feelin' / Ev'rythin's goin' my way." Curly's "brimming optimism is perfectly captured by Rodgers' ebullient music and Hammerstein's buoyant pastoral lyrics."
Allegro is a musical by Richard Rodgers (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II, their third collaboration for the stage. Opening on Broadway on October 10, 1947, the musical centers on the life of Joseph Taylor, Jr., who follows in the footsteps of his father as a doctor, but is tempted by fortune and fame at a big-city hospital.
Lady Be Good is an MGM musical film released in 1941. The film stars dancer Eleanor Powell, along with Ann Sothern, Robert Young, Lionel Barrymore, and Red Skelton. It was directed by Norman Z. McLeod and produced by Arthur Freed. This was the first of several films Powell made with Skelton. Powell received top billing, but Sothern and Young are the main stars. They play, respectively, Dixie Donegan, a would-be lyric writer and Eddie Crane, a struggling composer.
Oklahoma! is a 1955 American musical film based on the 1943 musical of the same name by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, starring Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones, Rod Steiger, Charlotte Greenwood, Gloria Grahame, Gene Nelson, James Whitmore, and Eddie Albert. The production was the only musical directed by Fred Zinnemann. Oklahoma! was the first feature film photographed in the Todd-AO 70 mm widescreen process.
The 59th Annual Tony Awards ceremony was held on June 5, 2005 at Radio City Music Hall and broadcast by CBS television. Hugh Jackman hosted for the third time in a row.
Green Grow the Lilacs is a 1930 play by Lynn Riggs named for the popular folk song of the same name. It was performed 64 times on Broadway, opening at the Guild Theatre on January 26, 1931, and closing March 21, 1931. It had had an out-of-town tryout, running January 19–24, 1931, at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C.. It is the basis of the 1943 musical Oklahoma!
"My Favorite Things" is a show tune from the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music.
Ridgely McClure "Ridge" Bond was an American actor, singer and businessman, who is best known for playing the role of Curly in the musical Oklahoma! on Broadway and on tour. He retired from acting when the musical closed in 1954, and entered the insurance business.
Jeremiah James is an American singer, producer, and stage actor who is best known for his membership in the music group Teatro.