First posted 11/13/2011. Last updated September 4, 2018.
The Sound of Music (cast/soundtrack)
Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein II (composers)
Opened on Broadway: Nov. 16, 1959
Cast Album Charted: Dec. 21, 1959
Soundtrack Released: March 20, 1965
Sales (in millions):
The cast album for The Sound of Music went to #1 for 16 weeks in the U.S. in 1959. Six years later, the soundtrack spent two weeks at #1 in the U.S., but topped the U.K. charts for an astounding 70 weeks. The soundtrack has been estimated at worldwide sales of 22 million which makes it one of the top 100 best sellers of all time. It sparked standards such as the title song, Climb Ev’ry Mountain, and Do-Re-Mi.
The Sound of Music was the final work for the famous musical theater team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. The pair previously worked on iconic musicals like South Pacific and The King and I. Like those, this was “set in a foreign locale, it starred a female lead in charge of children, it concerned an unlikely romance between an older man and a younger woman, it had a social/political element, and it featured a stirring anthem for a soprano (in this case, ‘Climb Ev’ry Mountain’). The ‘based on a true story’ plot concerned an aspiring nun who becomes a governess in pre-World War II Austria” WR-C for “a wealthy naval captain with seven children,” WR-S “only to marry the children’s father and flee with the family from the Nazis.” WR-C
The film opened in March 1965 and “became the highest grossing movie in history up to that time, and went on to win the Academy Award for best picture. WR-S While the musical starred Mary Martin, the movie version went with Julie Andrews, who had starred in the musical My Fair Lady and was fresh from an Academy Award for her title role in Mary Poppins, another story about a children’s nanny. She “proved to be superb in the film as well as on the soundtrack album.” WR-S
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