Mary Rodgers grew up knowing what it took to be a famous composer-her father was Richard Rodgers of Rodgers and Hammerstein fame. She attended Wellesley College, contributing special material to nightclubs, concerts, and televisions shows.

Her first big hit came from a show that was developed at an adult summer camp. She and lyricist Marshall Barer created the music to go with a one-act play, Once Upon a Mattress. It was met with such acclaim that they expanded it into a full-length play and took it to Broadway, where Carol Burnett played in the lead role.

Rodgers’ talents stretch beyond her musical skill. In 1972, she became a talented children’s author whose work, Freaky
, became a Disney movie starring Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster.