Richard Adler, the co-writer of two undeniably classic Broadway musicals, The Pajama Game and Damn Yankees, died last week at the age of 90. The New York Times has a comprehensive obituary detailing his life and career — including the tragic loss of his writing partner Jerry Ross as their two shows were achieving blockbuster status — that is well worth a read.
But for me, the facts of his life don’t do him justice; there’s no greater tribute to a composer/lyricist than just listening to the songs themselves. Adler & Ross wrote music filled with wit, heart and sexiness that still resonates decades later. I’m sure not a day goes by that someone, somewhere in the world isn’t performing “Hernando’s Hideaway” or “You’ve Gotta Have Heart”…and that, my friends, is a pretty nice world to be in.
So sit back and let’s watch two of their signature numbers…
What are some of your other favorite performances of Adler & Ross music?