JAMES RADO, CO-CREATOR OF GROUNDBREAKING MUSICAL ''HAIR,'' DIES OF HEART FAILURE AT 90

Jun 22, 2022

By Bob Komsic

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”Hair” was the brainchild oof James Rado and fellow New York City stage actor Gerome Ragni, who were responsible for coming up with the musical about hippies before hippies had a name.
(James Rado, left and Gerome Ragni)
Rado talked to Ragni about working on a musical that would capture the sexual liberation, racial integration, drug experimentation and opposition to the Vietnam War that was rising up in America.
The pair began letting their hair grow longer.
Then while walking through a museum they came across a painting of a tuft of hair by artist Jim Dine, titled ”Hair.”
”We were both knocked out,” Rado later recalled.
Their musical now had its name.
Rado not only co-wrote the lyrics and sang but was the first to play Claude; the young man about to be sent to Vietnam.
”Hair” was Broadway’s first rock musical, causing a stir for using profanity, sexual references and nudity.
It did open the doors to others such as ”Jesus Christ Superstar” and ”Rent.”
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