The life of composer Richard Rodgers encapsulates the very essence of New York and London high society during the first half of the twentieth century and his brilliant twenty-five year collaboration with Lorenz Hart gave rise to songs that will live forever: Manhattan , The Lady is a Tramp , and Blue Moon are just a few of them. He later collaborated with Oscar Hammerstein II and together they wrote classics such as Oklahoma , South Pacific , Carousel , The King And I and The Sound Of Music . In her outstanding biography, Secrest sets the scenes for five decades of American musical history. It is also the intriguing portrait of a complex man: personable, sunny and seductive. Though riddled with insecurities, he was a composer unequalled, not just for longevity but output - thirty-nine musicals, more than a thousand songs, rediscovered and adored by successive generations around the world.