Long before ringtones and multi-million dollar deals with cell phone companies, the defining barometer of success – as defined by the mass of units shipped to retail outlets – the Gold Record was birthed on this day in 1958, the RIAA awarding the first full album to move 500,000 units, Rogers and Hammerstein‘s iconic soundtrack for the musical Oklahoma! How the songwriting duo beat out efforts from Elvis to The Everly Brothers is a bit of an anomaly, with rock and roll in full swing. But so goes a sign of post-war times when a true West tale of American love could command a nation. Lest we not forget how refreshing the debut of the first a capella game-changer, “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’,” was to boring old classical Broadway at the time, cutting its cheekiness just right as to set a cloud-nine farmer up for a too-good-to-be-true come down. Which is kind of rock and roll if you think about it:

There’s a bright, golden haze on the meadow
There’s a bright, golden haze on the meadow
The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye
And it looks like it’s climbing clear up to the sky

Oh, what a beautiful Mornin’
Oh, what a beautiful day
I’ve got a beautiful feelin’
Everything’s goin’ my way