Meredith Willson – musician, playwright and composer – was best known for the book, words, and music for The Music Man
The Music Man was a sensation on Broadway when it opened in 1957 and scored six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, beating out West Side Story. Sixty years later, it’s still an American institution, with a one-of-a-kind score that includes rousing numbers such as “Seventy-Six Trombones,” soaring ballads such as “Till There Was You” and Meredeth Willson’s famous snap-crackle-pop vocal arrangements that could be considered the Broadway precursors to rap. The storyline is classic: Slick-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill sets his sights on River City, Iowa, where he cons the townspeople into buying instruments for their non-musical children to create a marching band that Harold doesn’t really intend to form. But his plan to skip town with his takings is foiled when his heart is stolen by the town librarian.