“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens”
“Brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things”
Ahhh yes, the hills are alive.. with The Sound of Music. We enter the 1960s with the #1 selling album of the year, the soundtrack to the Broadway musical, not the subsequent feature film that many of us know so well. (I have never actually watched the entire show or film version of The Sound of Music). Even with that void, so many of these songs are permanently embedded in my head as songs we were raised on and that appear in all walks of life and culture.
As I noted, this is the Broadway soundtrack, with the original cast, so the lead of Maria Von Trapp is performed and sung by Mary Martin. Not only a famous Broadway star with multiple Tony awards, she is also known for being the real-life mother of Larry Hagman, aka J.R. Ewing and Major Nelson. The title track “The Sound of Music”, “My Favorite Things”, “Do-Re-Mi”, and “An Ordinary Couple” are among the many classics to emerge from the Rodgers and Hammerstein score and story that was based (loosely) on the true story of an Austrian family during WWII and their embrace of music.
After a highly successful run on Broadway, as noted above, these songs ultimately emerged in the 1965 film starring Julie Andrews in the lead role, a highly successful film that won Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and also ranked itself as one of the highest grossing films of all-time. It’s hard not to sing along with some of these songs, even if you suddenly feel as though you have been transported back to second grade music class with Mrs. Hall banging away on your school’s tired and battered upright piano.
With this, we begin the 1960s. Ike is still President, all is relatively calm on the home front, musical theater reigns supreme on the charts, while rock and roll, jazz and blues simmer in the background. It’s only one short decade until the end of 1969… I mean, how much can the “Sound of Music” really change in ten short years anyway?