Richard Rodgers bio says work was his life
New York Daily News-
One would think that we heard enough of Richard Rodgers in 2002 — which
marked the centenary of the composer's birth — to last us for a long
Well, we heard a lot of great singing — by Hugh Jackman as Billy
Bigelow in a Carnegie Hall concert version of "Carousel" and by
Constance Towers in a Town Hall tribute — but it turns out there is a
lot of Rodgers' music waiting to be discovered.
In his meticulously researched new book "Richard Rodgers," the
inaugural edition in the Yale Broadway Masters series, Geoffrey Block
notes that there is a song from Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's 1927
"Connecticut Yankee" that has never been recorded.
Given that "Connecticut Yankee" is the source of such Rodgers
perennials as "My Heart Stood Still" and "Thou Swell," it is amazing
that no one has recorded "You're What I Need," which was cut from the
score on its pre-Broadway tour.
There are many such fascinating nuggets in Block's book, unlike the
2002 Meryle Secrest biography, which focused on the warts in Rodgers'
life — his occasional bouts of depression, alcoholism and womanizing.
Block notes that Rodgers lived in his work. The most intense
relationship he had was with the notes he wrote. He sees Rodgers' "real
life" in the extraordinarily abundant work he produced in a career that
spanned nearly 60 years.
Whatever happened in Rodgers' personal life, Block contends, in his
musical life he continued to grow at least through "Rex," written three
years before his death in 1979. One comes away with a renewed awe at