Jerry Herman made his Broadway debut when a number of his songs were included in the 1960 musical revue From A to Z. And in that moment, Broadway welcomed what would become one of the great musical theatre songwriters of the 20th century.
Only four years later, Herman gifted us Hello, Dolly!, starring Carol Channing. (In between he wrote the score to Milk and Honey).
Next followed Ben Franklin in Paris, directed and choreographed by Michael Kidd. Then was the 1966 smash Mame starring Angela Lansbury and Bea Arthur; Dear World, starring Lansbury; Mack and Mabel starring Bernadette Peters and Robert Preston; the all-Black revival of Hello, Dolly! starring Pearl Bailey; The Grand Tour starring Joel Grey, Ron Holgate, and Florence Lacey; A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine; a Mame revival, bringing back Lansbury; and then, his Broadway composing swansong, La Cage aux Folles.
Revues of his music ensued with Jerry’s Girls and An Evening With Jerry Herman. Revivals of La Cage and Hello, Dolly! have trod the boards in recent years (with Dolly still on tour).
He won the Tony Award for Best Score for Dolly! and La Cage, also winning Best Musical for Dolly!. In 2009, he earned the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement—not to mention his five additional Tony nominations over his career.
But upon the December 26 passing of the genius of melody, we remember the showtunes he bestowed upon us throughout his decades in the business with the playlist below.
REMEMBERING JERRY HERMAN