Oscar Greeley Clendenning Hammerstein ( now thats a mouthful) was born in New York City and was a graduate of Columbia University. He wrote his first musical in 1920, entitled "Always You".
Hammerstein was noted for helping to change the face of musical comedies. Early in his career, most musicals consisted of a bunch of unrelated songs and dances that revoloved around a weak plot. Hammerstein, along with Jerome Kern and Richard Rodgers integrated the dialogue, songs and dances into a more unified body of work.
Rodgers and Hammerstein teamed up for the first time in Oklahoma! in 1943 and won the Pulitzer Prize for that effort in 1944. Togethor they wrote eight other musicals.
South Pacific 1949
The King and I 1951
Me and Juliet 1943
Pipe Dream 1955
Flower Drum Song 1958
The Sound of Music 1959
In 1950, Rodgers and Hammerstein also shared a Pulitzer Prize with Joshua Logan for South Pacific, who wrote the dialogue for the musical.
Hammerstein was also noted for his optimistic attitude which carried through to most of his songs. Some of the more notable are:
Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'
You'll Never Walk Alone
My Favorite Things