Show History



The Music Man, written by Meredith Willson, is inspired by Willson's childhood in Mason City, Iowa.  His fictional town of River City is extremely similar to Mason City, and his lyrics sometimes make references to the geography of his home state.  The character of Marian Paroo is a take on Marian Seeley, a Utah native and medical records librarian whom Willson met in World War II.

In developing the musical, Willson attempted to go to multiple producers about creating a movie or television special, but he was turned away.  Discouraged by his attempts, he enlisted the help of Franklin Lacey to work on the libretto.  While making edits, Willson considered eliminating a long piece of dialogue in which Harold Hill describes the trouble facing River City parents.  He realized the speech sounded like a lyric and, instead, decided to turn it into the song, "Ya Got Trouble," arguably one of the most famous songs in the musical.