Broadway Loses a Great: Richard Adler (1921-2012)

With his writing partner Jerry Ross, he won Tony Awards for two musicals that are part of the classic repertoire even today: Damn Yankees! and The Pajama Game.

Ross died in 1955 at age 29 and Adler quit Broadway to write commercial jingles like “Let Hertz Put You in the Driver’s Seat.”

The two musicals have two of the best scores from classic Broadway; if Ross had lived, they’d probably be among the top five Broadway composing teams. Some of his songs include:

“I’m Not At All in Love”
“Hey There”
“Small Talk”
“Steam Heat”
“Hernando’s Hideaway”
“Six Months Out Of Every Year”
“Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, Mo.”
“Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets”

He also produced and stage-managed President Kennedy’s infamous 1962 birthday bash. They were originally going to have Totie Fields sing Happy Birthday to him . . [joke!]