With the arrival of spring, comes a spring in the step and a song in the heart. Everyone enjoys that beautiful feeling.
Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’ is the opening song from the musical Oklahoma!
Oklahoma! was the first collaboration and hit for composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II.
Oklahoma! on the Broadway stage in 1943.
Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’ became a popular Rodgers and Hammerstein number. The song “quickly became one of the most popular American songs to emerge from the wartime era, gaining currency away from Broadway first on the radio and recordings, and then later on numerous television variety shows.”
This opening number was sung by the character of Curly McLain.
Brooks Atkinson, reviewing the original production in The New York Times, wrote that the number changed the history of musical theatre: “After a verse like that, sung to a buoyant melody, the banalities of the old musical stage became intolerable.”
Oklahoma! was made into a movie musical in 1955. Gordon MacRae sings the song in the movie version.
Other artists to cover the film include Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, James Taylor, Rosemary Cloney, Nelson Eddy, Peggy Lee, Placido Domingo, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
A book on the Golden Age of Musicals by Ethan Mordden was titled Beautiful Mornin: The Broadway Musical in the 1940s and published in 1999.