If Charles Strouse and Lee Adams aren't exactly household names, maybe they should be. From Bye Bye Birdie, their first Broadway hit, to that All in the Family theme song (and a lot in between), we've been listening to their music for awhile now! They met at a party...Adams, straight from Columbia University, where he was getting a graduate degree in journalism, and Strouse, a native New Yorker who'd gone the classical music route at Eastman. And after that party back in the 1950s, they worked together for almost 20 years...
They had their hits (Birdie, Applause, Golden Boy), and their flops (All American, It's a Bird, It's a Plane...It's Superman!)...and Charles would go on to work with other lyricists, like Martin Charnin (Annie), Stephen Scwartz (Rags), and others...but together they were a great creative team, with the ability to write big, bright Broadway.
Favorites on this list? You've Got Possibilities, sung by a young Linda Lavin, the only song to transcend that Man Of Steel musical...and But Alive, with Lauren...such a 1970's feel! Visions of mirror balls, hip huggers, and side burns. And of course The Telephone Hour, from Birdie, which I always pretended to be about THIS Kim, not Kim MacAfee! Dream on!
Applause (Bonnie Franklin, Ensemble, Applause)
The Telephone Hour (Ensemble, Bye Bye Birdie)
One Boy (Susan Watson, Bye Bye Birdie)
Kids (Paul Lynde, Ensemble, Bye Bye Birdie)
You've Got Possibilities (Linda Lavin, It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman)
So Long, Big Guy (Jack Cassidy, It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman)
Once Upon a Time (Ray Bolger, Eileen Herlie, All American)
Blame it on the Summer Night (Julia Migenes, Rags)
Let's Go Home (Joanna Gleason, Nick & Nora)
Tomorrow (Andrea McArdle, Annie)
It's the Hard-Knock Life (Ensemble, Annie)
Little Girls (Dorothy Loudon, Annie)
While the City Sleeps (Billy Daniels, Golden Boy)
Don't Forget 127th Street (Sammy Davis Jr., Ensemble, Golden Boy)
Who's That Girl? (Lauren Bacall, Applause)
But Alive (Lauren Bacall, Applause)
Those Were the Days (Jean Stapleton, Carroll O'Connor, All in the Family)