Richard Charles Rodgers was born on this day in 1902 in Queens, New York. He learned piano at age 6 and began writing songs shortly thereafter. He would go on to compose over 900 songs for 43 Broadway musicals, in addition to film and TV credits. He met his 1st musical partner, lyricist Lorenz Hart, in 1919. From 1935 to 1943, they had an unbroken string of Broadway hits ending only with Hart’s death in 1943. Some of their standards include “My Funny Valentine”, “Bewitched”, and “The Lady Is a Tramp”. Rodgers then partnered with Oscar Hammerstein II. Their 1st musical was the groundbreaking “Oklahoma!” (1943). Producers threatened to pull funding at previews, claiming that audiences would reject a show about rural folks with no “T&A”. But “Oklahoma!” was a major hit. It revolutionized the American book musical, integrating song, dance, and drama seamlessly. It was a masterpiece in which every song was a hit and it marked the beginning of the most successful partnership in theatre history. They went on to create “Carousel” (1945), “The King and I” (1951), “The Sound of Music” (1959), “South Pacific” (1949), and many more songs and shows. They earned a total of 35 Tonys and scads of other awards. Rodgers became the 1st EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Emmy) winner and, next to Marvin Hamlisch, the only person to have the EGOT and the Pulitzer. He passed away in 1979, at age 77. His legacy lives on in his music and also his grandson, Adam Guettel, Tony-winner for “The Light in the Piazza” (2005). Today’s feature is the film soundtrack for “South Pacific” (1958), featuring Mitzi Gaynor and Ray Walston. This LP topped the US charts for 7 months, the 4th longest run ever. “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught”, sung by John Kerr as Lt. Cable, raised controversy in its day for its condemnation of racism and overt support of interracial marriage. At only 1 minute 15 seconds, it’s certainly the reason this musical won the Pulitzer Prize. Other highlights include the classic “Some Enchanted Evening”, the mesmerizing “Bali Ha’i”, the goofy “Happy Talk”, the catchy kiss-off “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair”, and the effervescent “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy”.