Music Performance: The Early Years > Hammerstein, Hart, and Rodgers
Fly With Me, Columbia University, Varsity Show
New York, 1920
Columbia University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Over three quarters of a century ago, three eager, gifted young men collaborated on a project that represented both a shared ambition and a harbinger of things to come. Their undergraduate careers at Columbia College were a backdrop and training ground for two fated and legendary partnerships. When Oscar Hammerstein II, Class of 1917, Lorenz Hart, Class of 1918, and Richard Rodgers, Class of 1923, wrote the music and lyrics for the 1920 Varsity Show, Fly With Me, they were preparing themselves to begin a new chapter in American cultural history.
The teams of Rodgers and Hart and, later, Rodgers and Hammerstein, revolutionized American popular song writing and American musical theater. In 1956, Columbia recognized the Rodgers and Hammerstein contribution to musical theater by presenting them with the University's Alexander Hamilton medal, awarded by the Alumni Association "for distinguished service and accomplishment in any field of human endeavor."