So, I was out to a late dinner when I finally had the time, and I got a phone call from my Aunt Joan. "Quick, put on WBEZ, they have an hour-long interview with Sheldon!!" Sheldon, in this case, is the great lyricist Sheldon Harnick, who wrote among many things, the Tony-winning Best Musical Fiddler on the Roof, the Pulitizer Prize-winning and Tony-winning Best Musical Fiorello!, and She Loves Me. She can get away with calling him just "Sheldon," since was childhood friends with him in Chicago and went to Northwestern with him.
(About four years ago, I arranged for them to get together when he and I were in Chicago at the same time. They hadn't seen each other in decades, and it was as time has slipped away.)
He also told a great story as a young man new to New York about being invited to attend a backers' audition for a new, hopeful musical, the first he had ever seen. He said that the score was so brilliant, it almost sent him back to Chicago. "If the unknown songwriters are this good," he said that he was thinking at the time, "then what chance do I have?" He reluctantly met the other young songwriter. It was Stephen Sondheim. He soon learned that, no, all unknown songwriters were not that good. The two became lifelong friends.
Anyway, in honor of his birthday, here's Sheldon Harnick singing the wonderful, "In My Own Lifetime,"one of my favorite of his songs, from The Rothschilds, the last musical he wrote with Jerry Bock.