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April 14: Bye Bye Birdie

April 13, 2016

6a00d8345212eb69e2014e864bf171970d-500wiThe stage musical Bye Bye Birdie, created by the all-Jewish team of Michael Stewart (book), Lee Adams (lyrics), and Charlie Strouse (music), opened on Broadway on this date in 1960. Inspired by the real-life induction of Elvis Presley into the army in 1958, Bye Bye Birdie won a Tony Award and spawned a London production as well as a 1963 film, and became a very popular music for high school and college productions (indeed, your Jewdayo editor played Conrad Birdie in a gold lamé suit in a high school production in 1968). Playwright Michael Stewart (Myron Stuart Rubin) was also involved with Hello, Dolly!; Carnival; George M!; I Love My Wife; and numerous other Broadway hits. Strouse and Adams co-wrote “Those Were the Days”, the opening theme to the Norman Lear sitcom, All in the Family. Strouse also scored the films Bonnie and Clyde (1967), The Night They Raided Minsky’s (1968), and All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989), among others. To see an ensemble piece from the 1963 movie, look below.

“Kids! I don’t know what’s wrong with these kids today! Kids! Who can understand what they think and say? ... Why can’t they be like we were, perfect in every way?” —Lee Adams