Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution Audiobook, by Todd S.  Purdum Play Audiobook Sample

Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution Audiobook

Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution Audiobook, by Todd S.  Purdum Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Todd S. Purdum Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 7.33 hours at 1.5x Speed 5.50 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: April 2018 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781538537084

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

65:54 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

14:34 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

50:18 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


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Publisher Description

A revelatory portrait of the creative partnership that transformed musical theater and provided the soundtrack to the American Century

They stand at the apex of the great age of songwriting, the creators of the classic Broadway musicals Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music, whose songs have never lost their popularity or emotional power. Even before they joined forces, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II had written dozens of Broadway shows, but together they pioneered a new art form: the serious musical play. Their songs and dance numbers served to advance the drama and reveal character, a sharp break from the past and the template on which all future musicals would be built.

Though different in personality and often emotionally distant from each other, Rodgers and Hammerstein presented an unbroken front to the world and forged much more than a songwriting team; their partnership was also one of the most profitable and powerful entertainment businesses of their era. They were cultural powerhouses whose work came to define postwar America on stage, screen, television, and radio. But they also had their failures and flops, and more than once they feared they had lost their touch.

Todd S. Purdum’s portrait of these two men, their creative process, and their groundbreaking innovations will captivate lovers of musical theater, lovers of the classic American songbook, and lovers in general. He shows that what Rodgers and Hammerstein wrought was truly something wonderful.

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“Purdum has a smile in his voice as he recounts their extraordinary working relationship, detailing how Hammerstein would write the wonderful lyrics first and then send them to Rodgers, who would add the sparkling tunes…[for] some of the world’s most beloved melodies.”

— AudioFile 


  • “A revelatory portrait…detailed and sharp.”

    — Time
  • “The milieu and circumstances that contributed to the creation of some of the musical theater’s greatest and most enduring treasures.”

    — New York Times Book Review
  • “A neatly proportioned study…of the Rodgers and Hammerstein partnership…[whose music] ventured sprawlingly across the planet, all day and deep into the night.”

    — Wall Street Journal (lead review)
  • “Strips away the accretions of time and reputation to retrieve the craft and dynamism with which his subjects created a new kind of musical.”

    — Economist (London)
  • “[A] lively, evocative joint biography…Rodgers and Hammerstein’s personal relationship was not especially close, but each man’s individual history had more than enough color.”

    — New York Times
  • “[An] affectionate tribute to the team that rewrote the rules for American musical theater…thoroughly researched and briskly written.”

    — Washington Post
  • “Purdum gives the pair far more complexity and feeling than they are generally credited for.”

    — The Atlantic
  • “Delightful…The most elaborate and entertaining exploration of that magic they’re ever likely to read.”

    — Christian Science Monitor
  • “With warm enthusiasm, Purdum reads his engaging…fast-paced account..[and] hooks the listener with lively anecdotes…This look at how Rodgers and Hammerstein’s shows endure despite changing times deserves sustained applause at the curtain call.”

    — Booklist (audio review)
  • “Something Wonderful is a scrupulously researched and infinitely fascinating history of the collaboration of Rodgers and Hammerstein—two giants who propelled the musical theater to uncharted heights.”

    — Hal Prince, Tony Award–winning theatrical producer
  • “Readers will learn the stories behind the music and how this most successful of writing duos crafted some of the finest musicals to grace the American stage…Something wonderful, indeed.”

    — Booklist (starred review)
  • “This lively book will appeal to anyone who loves theater, songwriting, or biography.”

    — Library Journal
  • “Come backstage in Todd S. Purdum’s Something Wonderful as he introduces the musical stars and up-and-comers of the day…Live the drama of opening nights, when anything could happen—and often did…Purdum has produced something wonderful indeed.”

    — BookPage
  • “Purdum’s anecdote-filled account is a sterling primer on the influential duo, both for newcomers to their work and to those looking to rekindle an old flame.”

    — Publishers Weekly
  • “Joyous, brisk, and gossipy…An exuberant celebration of musical genius.”

    — Kirkus Reviews
  • “I love the intimacy of the stories Todd Purdum tells—he shows himself to be especially sensitive to Oscar Hammerstein’s special connection with Richard Rodgers.”

    — Carly Simon, singer–songwriter and New York Times bestselling author
  • “Todd Purdum’s book is a piece of American history you should devour, as nothing tells us about our times and ourselves quite like our songs.”

    — Alec Baldwin, award–winning actor and New York Times bestselling author


  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month selection
  • A BookPage Book of the Day
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • An bestseller
  • A New York Times Pick of Refreshing New Books on Personal Relationships
  • A New York Times Book Review pick of the Best Books Out Now in Paperback
  • A Christian Science Monitor Best Book of the Year

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About Todd S. Purdum

Todd S. Purdum is the author of the nonfiction books Something Wonderful, An Idea Whose Time Has Come and A Time of Our Choosing. He is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and a senior writer at Politico, having previously worked at the New York Times for more than twenty years, where he served as White House correspondent, diplomatic correspondent, and Los Angeles bureau chief. He is a graduate of Princeton University.