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I think my knowledge of music theory is rooted in jazz theory, and a lot of the writers of standards - Rodgers and Hart, and Gershwin.
I was always drawn to Broadway musicals, and obviously composers like Gershwin, Rodgers, Berlin and Porter were writing music that I found wildly impressive.
After the Rodgers and Hammerstein revolution, songs became part of the story, as opposed to just entertainments in between comedy scenes.
In the Rodgers and Hammerstein generation, popular hits came out of shows and movies.
Like Rodgers and Hammerstein, I'm not afraid to deal with themes about the ups and downs of life, yet which are still entertaining, and you still feel these stories.
And what could be a hotter ticket than the improbable triumph of 'The Book of Mormon,' the musical-comedy moon shot of the season? Its creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, of Comedy Central's 'South Park,' are the most unlikely Rodgers and Hammerstein team ever to bowl a thundering strike.
I was mainly influenced by the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, and others like Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash.
I feel very fortunate to have been associated with people such as Rodgers and Hammerstein. I think they were geniuses of their time.
Rodgers and Hammerstein didn't mean anything to me. I just wanted to have a hit, I just wanted to be like those people on the radio. It was all of a case of the present tense with no projecting into the future, particularly.
We never thought we were writing for posterity, because at the time everyone assumed that all the great standards had already been written by Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein... The songs we were writing were supposed to be temporary things, of the period, like comic books.
When I listen to most forms of music, in their most raw and pure, it all has a punk edge to me, like Lead Belly, Jimmie Rodgers, Otis Redding or Nirvana.
It's kind of hard to get deep with Rodgers and Hammerstein. I can't think of a moral in the music - it's just fun.
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