So, moving rapidly on: everyone agrees that The Sound of Music is the best awful song ever written, in the best awful musical ever written, at least by R&H. A school of thought suggests that they should have packed it in after Carousel, and I have some sympathy with that, only bidding South Pacific as a preferred quit point. But they knew what they were doing. Well, they’d both been in the trade, individually and then together, for half a century or more. (The first trace I can find of Rodgers as a composer is a song called ‘Any Old Place with You’, with Lorenz Hart, in 1919; and of Hammerstein writing, with Otto Harbach and Herbert Stothart, a musical called ‘Jimmie’ in 1920, from which no songs, perhaps thankfully, seem to have survived.)
Anyway, what I’d meant to write about (prompted by some thoughts about rhythm, melody and harmony) – the actual sound of the stuff – will have to wait for another day. Besides, there aren’t any hills around here.
(to be continued...)