I’ve mentioned my penchant for playing an internal soundtrack based on whatever is going on around me.
Just like clockwork ? or calendar-work ? June 1 of each year brings a rock-solid guarantee that the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic “June Is Bustin” Out All Over,? a raucous celebration of the turning of the seasons, will flit through my mind for at least a brief spell.
The song comes from the great American show “Carousel,” which holds a place in my heart as the first musical I ever saw performed on stage. And of course it led me to wonder, “Do we “have that???
No single place can ?have everything,? but if any place comes closest, it is probably the Library of Congress.
Sure enough, a quick search of our Web site turned up the finding aid for the ?Richard Rodgers Collection?: 2,700 items on 20 feet of shelves. It includes many of the works on which Rodgers collaborated ? including the complete score to “Carousel” and the aforementioned “June Is Bustin” Out All Over? in Rodgers? own hand. (Box 3, folder 21, for those playing at home.)
I don’t think that exact item is online, although if I went down the hall to the Performing Arts Reading Room I might be able to see it in person. I did, however, find another R&H treasure in digital form: a 1949 holograph of ?Some Enchanted Evening? from ?South Pacific.?
Who knew during all those countless hours around the piano when I was younger, or on stage in amateur productions when I was a little older, that I would someday be literally surrounded by these original and important works of American creativity?
Did I mention that I love this place?
(Image from Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog)
Out of curiosity: is there some kind of rule of thumb for determining where to look for collections like that? About half of the things I look for end out being at the LOC, and another third or so at various universities, and the random stuff is at the Smithsonian (they have the rights to a recording my grandfather did in the 1980s, about his Spanish Civil War prison camp experiences.) And Google doesn’t always know the right place to look (it’s only recently I found several collections at NYU that I knew were out there someplace.)
Matt–thank-you very much for bringing some light from the past days of Rodgers and Hammerstein. Your post brings back memories of watching their musicals in the local theater in small town Michigan.
Your blog is great. You are opening doors to helping us remember and for those younger to become acquainted with our past.
Knowing that you’re probably busy with many other duties, I do miss the daily multiple posts with links that lead me to the treasures in the LOC collection.
I wonder if anybody else feels the same.
It’s great to know that there are places like the Library of Congress that you can go and find gems like that for study purposes. Being a music student at the University of Louisville, I am very excited to see that there are collections like this!
I agree with Wes Thorp. You do a really good job of bringing back memories of long ago to those who have forgotten, and you open doors for the young to discover what is hidden in the past. I haven’t watched those musicals that you mentioned, but it made me reminisce about all the others that I have seen. It makes me want to watch a few right now, just bask in the beauty of music for a while.
I think it’s great that you found those at the library. Sometimes I feel as if being in a library is like taking in the whole world and stepping back in time. A delightful experience, I might add.
I need the words to–JUNE IS BUSTING OUT ALL OVER. Can you help me asap. Thanks, Ann