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Rodgers estate donates to bandshell effort

Aug. 22, 2008 at 4:17 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- The estate of U.S. songwriter Richard Rodgers has donated $1 million to renovate the bandshell in a New York City park, city officials say.

The bandshell is in Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem, adjacent to where Rodgers grew up, and will be completed with $4 million in city funds, the New York Post reported Friday.

Rodgers, who died in 1979, also donated the money to build the 1,000-seat outdoor facility in 1970, the newspaper said. He is considered one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century, teaming with Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II to write such classic Broadway musicals as "Pal Joey," "Oklahoma," "South Pacific" and "The King and I."

"Daddy's music covered a lot of territory, from the Alps of Austria to the wheat fields of Oklahoma, from the Royal Palace in Bangkok to Bali Hai in the South Pacific," daughter Mary Rodgers said in a statement. "But in his heart, he remained a hometown boy."

Work on the bandshell renovation is set to begin in fall 2009, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe told the Post.

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