The real life story of the Trapp Family Singers became a towering success on Broadway and then as film and soundtrack. In 1949, Maria Augusta von Trapp wrote her memoir The Story of the Trapp Family Singers about their life in Austria and their escape from Nazi occupied Europe. She sold movie rights to a German producer Wolfgang Liebeneiner, who made The Trapp Family and a sequel, The Trapp Family in America, both of which were popular in Europe. In 1956, Paramount Pictures secured the rights in the US; but decided not to produce a film. Producers Richard Halliday and Leland Heyward were able to get the rights and they hired Pulitzer Prize winning playwrights Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse to rework the story, adding a more dramatic escape over the mountains. Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II were brought in to do a song; but instead they wrote a new score for the whole production, which opened in 1959 as 'The Sound of Music'. It won six Tony Awards including Best Musical. In 1962, Twentieth Century Fox bought the rights and hired Ernest Lehman to adapt the musical storyline into a screenplay. Robert Wise was brought in to direct the film and Richard Rodgers wrote two new songs for the film on his own, as Hammerstein had died only nine months after working on the original Broadway score.
Julie Andrews was their first choice for the film, and after a screening of the still unreleased 'Mary Poppins', they offered her the part. 'The Sound of Music' was filmed on location in Salzburg, Austria; the state of Bavaria in Germany; and in California at the 20th Century Fox studios. The film won five Academy Awards (out of ten nominations), including Best Picture and became the highest-grossing film of all-time.
The soundtrack album became one of the biggest albums of the decade in the UK, and in the US it spent seventy weeks at the top of the album chart. It was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Album of the Year.
"The Sound of Music"
"My Favorite Things"
"So Long, Farewell"
"Climb Every Mountain"
'The Sound of Music'
'The Sound of Music'