VIDEO: HAIR Creator Jim Rado and Florence LaRue Talk the Musical's History on the Pop Charts
This is the 50th anniversary of the love-rock musical Hair, which took the Broadway stage in April 1968. James Rado, co-creator of Hair as well as an original Broadway cast member, was in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y. recently to be inducted into the Rochester Music Hall of Fame. There he met up with Florence LaRue, lead singer of The 5th Dimension -- the band that blended two songs from Hair to top the pop-music charts.
"And when we went to see "Hair," we were sitting there listening and we heard that song and we all just looked at each other and said 'Oh we have to record that,'" said LaRue. Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" was one of the biggest hits of the 20th century.
"We never anticipated any of these pop groups of the day latching onto our material and doing cover songs," said Rado. "Mr. Davis, their producer, came to see the show and got the idea to do a cover of 'Aquarius' and 'Let the Sunshine In' in conjunction. So that's how it happened." Rado and Larue hadn't met up in person in five decades, but together at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony they shared details on their fortuitous chance meeting.
The Rochester Music Hall of Fame was founded in 2012 and recognizes those with ties to Rochester whose talents, efforts, perseverance, and creativity have contributed to the creation of musical excellence. New inductees are honored annually through ceremony and celebration and their achievements memorialized to promote an appreciation for the Greater Rochester area's rich and diverse musical history and culture. Learn more about RMHF at rochestermusic.org.=