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October 17, 1975 - Image 19

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1975-10-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

October 17, 1975 19

Richard Rodgers 50-Year Career in Autobiography: 'musical Stages'

Richard Rodgers . . . an
electric name in the history
of Broadway and the devel-
opment of what has become
distinctly American, the big
theatrical musical.
After writing more than
1,000 songs for more than 40
musicals, Broadway plays,
and numerous Hollywood
films, Rodgers has put his
own views of his 50-year-

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career in his autobiography
"Musical Stages" (Random
House).
Year by year, Rodgers
takes the reader through
the development of his ca-
reer and some of the great-
est stage music that the
world has ever known.
His 25-year association
with Lorenz Hart, the
drunken master, who de-
veloped with Rodgers such
shows as "Babes in Arms"
and "Connecticut Yan-
kee," is detailed along
with his astounding team-
work with Oscar Ham-
merstein II.
Of the nine stage produc-
tions that Rodgers and
Hammerstein collaborated
on, six were made into
highly successful movies:
"Oklahoma!," "Carousel,"
"South Pacific," "The King
and I," "Flower Drum
Song," and "The Sound of
Music."
In his opening paragraph,
Rodgers makes no bones
about his Jewish back-
ground: "They carried my
great-grandmother's coffin
down . . . This hurried ri-

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RICHARD RODGERS

1949 photo

tual was the end of orthodox
Judaism in our family.
From that time on, my par-
ents, my brother and I were
Jewish for socioethnic rea-
sons rather than because of
any deep religious convic-
tion."
And although Rodgers
seems to say that religion
made little difference in his
musical gifts he puzzles over
the origin of his talent:
"It's the old question: Are
these drives genetic or envi-
ronmental? . . . In my case,
both motivations are possi-
ble: a mother who was an
accomplished musician and
parents who provided me
with the joys of music at a
time when I desperately
needed something in my life
that would give me plea-
sure."
In considering this same
question in regards to
other well-known compos-
ers, Rodgers reveals anec-
dotes which are indicative
of his entire "Musical
Stages," which tells the
story of his career and
spotlights bits and pieces

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NEW YORK — Dr. Her-
bert Bernstein, a social
worker and psychologist
who is a specialist in the
field of family treatment,
has been appointed execu-
tive director of NYANA —
the New York Association
for New Americans.
In his new position Dr.
Bernstein will succeed
Philip Soskis, who will con-
tinue as executve consultant
to the agency. NYANA is
the only resettlement
agency for Jewish migrants
in the Greater New York
area.
For the past 16 years Dr.
Bernstein has been director
of the Bronx Consultation
Center, Jewish Family Serv-
ice of New York and has
also one part time private
practice in the field of fam-
ily therapy.
Dr. Bernstein has contrib-
uted widely to professional
journals, in such subjects as
family casework problems,
family life education pro-
grams, and consultation
services to Jewish Commu-
nity Centers.

Judge Not Alone

Judge not alone! for- none
can judge alone save one.
—The Talmud

about thousands of other
personalities who crossed
the master's stage:
"Naturally, no two com-
posers for the musical thea-
ter have the identical back-
ground and environment,
nor does there seem to be
any consistency in the fac-
tors that shaped their inter-
est and talent. In the case of
George Gershwin, there was
no musical leaning shown
by either his mother or
father . . .
"Jerome Kern is a little
easier. His father planned a
business career for him, but
his mother encouraged his
musical interest and was ac-
complished enough to give
him piano lessons when he
was five years old.
"Another composer-lyri-
cist, Harold Rome, was in-
fluenced by a mother who
loved to sing and an uncle
who played the violin . ."
Rodgers goes on to talk
about the development of
Frederick Lowe, Jule
Styne and Arthur
Schwartz, and concludes
with: "Little is known
about Irving Berlin be-
yond the fact that his
father was born in Russia
and was a cantor, hardly
enough to account for one

of the greatest songwrit-
ing talents the world has
ever known.
"Both Harold Arlen's and
Kurt Weill's fathers were
cantors . . ."
Rodgers says that no defi-
nite conclusions can be
drawn from the examples
he presents, but there does
seem to be a musical thread
woven into the family back-
grounds of the masters.
In any event, Richard
Rodgers' "Musical_ Stages"
presents a chronological
passage through 50 years of
American musical history.
Writers, producers, publish-

ers, singers: all the names
and faces that swirled ar-
ound what was to become of
the most magnetic names in
American music.
Rodgers records it all as
faithfully as possible in a
glowing saga about Ameri-
ca's entertainment indus-
try.
—A.H.

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PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE BY-LAWS
OF THE
JEWISH WELFARE FEDERATION OF DETROIT

Pursuant to the by-laws of the JEWISH WELFARE FEDERATION OF DETROIT, the
text of three amendments to said by-laws are herewith published (in italics). The
membership of Federation will meet Wednesday, October 29, 1975 at 7:00 p.m. at

the Annual Meeting at Congregation Shaarey Zedek, 27375 Bell Road, South-
field to vote on adoption.

(1) ARTICLE III, Section 2

In addition to the members of the Board elected as aforesaid, the Board shall include
the following .. .

(d) The retiring president of the Federation and the retiring chairman of the
Executive Committee for a term of three (3) years following the completion
of his term of office."

(2) ARTICLE III, Section 4

"There shall be an Executive Committee consisting of the following . . .
(f) Former presidents of the Federation and retiring chairmen of the Executive
Committee for a term of three (3) years after the termination of their re-
spective terms as president or Executive Committee chairman."

(3) ARTICLE III, Section 1, Paragraph 2

"Any person who was or is a party or is threatened to be made a party to any
threatened, pending or completed action, suit or proceeding, whether civil, criminal,
administrative or investigative, by reason of the fact that he is or was a director,
officer, employee or agent of the Jewish Welfare Federation of Detroit, or is or was

serving at the request of the Jewish Welfare Federation of Detroit as a director, officer,

employee or agent of another corporation, partnership, joint venture, trust or other

enterprise, shall be indemnified against expenses (including attorneys' fees), judg-
ments, fines and amounts paid in settlement actually and reasonably incurred by him
in connection with such action, suit or proceeding in the manner and to the full extent
permitted by Michigan law. The indemnification provided hereunder shall continue as
to a person who has ceased to be a director, officer, employee or agent and shall inure
to the benefit of the heirs, executors and administrators of such person. The words
"employee" or "agent" as above used shall include any person who is, or may be
deemed to be or have the status of a member of the Retirement and Insurance Commit-
tee, an administrator or fiduciary under any employee welfare benefit plan or em-

ployee pension benefit plan acting on behalf of the Federation. The words "action, suit
or proceeding" as above used shall include actions by third parties as well as actions
by or in the right of the Federation.

The Federation may purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of any person com-
prising the class of persons intended to be indemnified under the preceding paragraph
in the manner and to the full extent permitted by Michigan law."

JEWISH WELFARE FEDERATION OF DETROIT

William Avrunin, Executive Vice-President

163 Madison Avenue, Detroit, Michigan 48226

965-3939

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