May 2, 1895 – November 22, 1943
Think of all the famous pairs: Abbott & Costello, Barnum & Bailey, Ben & Jerry, Cheech & Chong, Siegfried & Roy, Tom & Jerry, Trinidad & Tobago... They seem inseparable, don't they? One doesn't make sense without the other. (The one exception is Simon & Garfunkel. Well, Garfunkel doesn't make sense without Simon. But this is not about them. Where were we?)
Rodgers & Hammerstein. The fathers of Broadway. Forever intertwined.
Or, you know, not. Before Rodgers & Hammerstein, there were Rodgers & Hart. And it wasn't just a passing thought: the duo collaborated for over two decades and was responsible for much of Broadway's fare in the 20s and 30s.
So what happened? Why did Rodgers sever his very long, very Jewy partnership?
Well, Hart was an alcoholic. Rodgers found it impossible to keep working with him. And while he did find success with another partner, Hart didn't. Soon after Rodgers dumped him, Hart got drunk, got pneumonia, and... died.
A fate even worse than Garfunkel's?
October 24, 2013