program notes by composition > F > Flower Drum Song

Flower Drum Song

Richard Rodgers/arr. Phillip J. Lang

Flower Drum Song is a collection of songs from the 1958 musical by Richard Rodgers with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. In the story, a Chinese woman and her father illegally enter San Francisco for her arranged marriage. She falls deeply in love with another man and the American way of life, to her father's disapproval. This story of generational and cross-cultural conflict was highly successful at the time but would fall out of favor as the civil rights era dawned. In 2002 the story and music were reworked for a Broadway revival. Songs in this medley from the original production include “A Hundred Million Miracles”, “You Are Beautiful”, “Grant Avenue”, “Love, Look Away”, “Chop Suey”, “I’m Going to Like It Here”, “Sunday, Sweet Sunday”, “Don’t Marry Me”, and “I Enjoy Being a Girl”.

Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) was an American composer of more than 900 songs, 40 Broadway musicals, and for film and television. He is best known for his songwriting partnerships with lyricists Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II. His compositions have had a significant impact on popular music down to the present day. He began playing the piano at age six. He attended Columbia University (as did his future collaborators Hart and Hammerstein). In 1921 he shifted his studies to the Institute of Musical Art (now Juilliard). Rodgers was influenced by composers like Victor Herbert and Jerome Kern, as well as by the operettas his parents took him to see on Broadway when he was a child.

Last updated on July 17, 2013 by Palatine Concert Band