Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Oscar Hammerstein II

Dr. Bob Prescribes Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II, Show Boat (1927)

World War One began on July 28, 1914. All of the warring parties – the Central Powers of principally Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Turkey and the Triple Entente of mainly France, the United Kingdom, the Russian Empire, and Italy – believed they would be victorious and home by Christmas. They were all very, very wrong. Across the pond, with the exception of a few hotheads, the American public and government wanted nothing to do with the “European war”. The prevailing public opinion and governmental policy was one of neutrality. The feeling was that if the dusty, old Euro-Empires wanted to destroy themselves, they should be allowed to do so. In the end, a neutral America could only benefit from Europe’s self-destruction, or so the majority of Americans believed at the time. It didn’t take long for American public opinion to turn against the Central Powers. That turn was triggered by the sinking of the British passenger liner the RMS Lusitania 11 miles off the southern coast of Ireland on May 7, 1915; the Lusitania was returning to port in England from New York. Torpedoed by the German submarine U-20, 1198 passengers and crew were killed, including 123 Americans. Though the German […]

Continue Reading