James Rado, co-creator of the influential hippie-era rock musical Hair, has died on the age of 90.
Publicist Merle Frimark, Rado’s longtime girlfriend, confirmed the information to the New York Times, saying the Broadway legend died of cardiac arrest in Manhattan on Tuesday.
Rado was born in Venice, California however grew up in Rochester, NY and Washington, DC. After a two-year stint within the Navy, he moved to New York, the place he studied appearing and wrote music. The ’60s had been his breakthrough decade: in 1963 he landed a job within the Broadway play Marathon ’33 and three years later he had a job in The Lion in Winter, enjoying Richard reverse Christopher Walken.
But his most profitable connection was when he appeared within the off-Broadway musical Hang Down Your Head and Die in October 1964 and met Gerome Ragni. After transferring to an residence in New Jersey, the duo started collaborating on Hair: An American Tribal Love-Rock Musical. to create a ebook and writings that explored the thriving counterculture and sexual liberation of the last decade amid the Vietnam War. (Composer Galt MacDermot wrote the music.)
Hair made its Off-Broadway debut in October 1967 and premiered on Broadway six months later. The musical was met with widespread controversy, together with church pickets and outrage over using profanity, sexual innuendos, and most significantly, a nude scene throughout the track “Where Do I Go?”.
But the musical additionally turned a cultural phenomenon — it even spawned a profitable forged recording session and a handful of hit singles, together with fifth Dimension’s chart-topping “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In,” Three Dog Night’s “Easy to Be Hard,” and Oliver’s “Guten.” Tomorrow, Starshine.”
Rado continued to work in the musical medium after Hair’s first run, including less famous titles such as The Rainbow Rainbeam Radio Roadshow and Sun (Audio Movie), the latter a reunion with Ragni. But his most popular project still stands. “Hair had a non secular message,” Rado told the Associated Press in 1993. “And it has a mystical message that I hope will get by – there’s extra to life than the way in which it was designed for us, defined to us and taught to us.” “
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