Oscar – The Farmer and the Cowman

This Was Doylestown, 1948

 This article has been slightly revised from the original article that ran in the Doylestown Daily Intelligencer on Saturday, Oct. 30, 1948 under the headline “Hammerstein’s ‘Blackbird’ Hits The Jackpot Again.”  Printed with the kind permission by Edward Levenson.
(Notice the Aberdeen magazine on the floor in the photo above.)

Hammerstein’s prize cow has triplets

Editor’s note – Lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II and his family moved to Highland Farm on East Road in Doylestown Township in 1940, two years before he began his partnership with composer Richard Rodgers. Hammerstein wrote lyrics and librettos for Broadway musicals while dividing his time between his working cattle farm and his Manhattan apartment. He died at Highland Farm in 1960 at age 65.

They had reason to sing “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'” out at Highland Farm, overlooking the Doylestown Country Club, Saturday morning. The country home of Oscar Hammerstein II, the nation’s No. 1 librettist, hit the headlines again with a slap-bang.

There was plenty of action at Librettist Hammerstein’s domicile, according to Farm Manager Peter Moen, who proudly announced to a “Daily Intelligencer” reporter before the news hits the world via Walter Winchell [a nationally syndicated gossip columnist] tomorrow night.

Mr. Hammerstein was busy at his New York home last night working over some details on Jimmy Michener’s “Tales of the South Pacific,” which he is preparing for a Broadway premiere. [The musical “South Pacific” opened in April 1949.]

Blackbird of Rolling Ridge, 2d, a blueblood of the Aberdeen Angus breed of cattle, gave birth to triplets. Mother is six years old and, believe it or not, this is the second time that Mother Blackbird has been blessed with triplets. On Feburary 3, 1946, the first set of triplets was born to Mother Blackbird, and one died shortly after birth.

As for the new trio, “The calves are running around and everybody’s happy,” said Farmer Moen.

Incidentally, Blackbird of Rolling Ridge, 2d was a Christmas gift to Librettist Hammerstein from Broadway producer Billy Rose in appreciation for “Carmen Jones” [a successful 1943 musical by Hammerstein based on Bizet’s opera “Carmen”].

Nicknamed “Carmen Jones,” Mother Blackbird has proved herself beyond a reasonable doubt a good cow. This gives her a record of eight calves in six years.


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