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June 25, 2012

Rembering the art of composer/lyricist Richard Adler

The death last week of composer and lyricist Richard Adler at the age of 90 got a lot of us remembering the colorful Broadway scores that he created with Jerry Ross, "Pajama Game" and "Damn Yankees."

The death of Mr. Ross at age 29 cut that inventive collaboration short, but those two shows were enough to assure both men lasting fame. Mr. Adler continued to write and produce -- he most famously staged the now iconic celebration for President Kennedy at Madison Square Garden where Marilyn Monroe breathed "Happy Birthday."

I thought you might enjoy these reminders of Mr. Adler's gift -- the endearing ...

duet "I'll Never Be Jealous Again" with Eddie Foy Jr. and Rita Shaw from the film version of "Pajama Game"; Rosemary Clooney's classy, gently swinging version of "Hey There" from that same show (I don't think you'll mind the introductory banter); and Peggy Lee's irresistible, oh-so-1960, Latin-ized version of "Heart" from "Damn Yankees":

Posted by Tim Smith at 2:05 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Clef Notes, Drama Queens

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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