From NPR's Fresh Air
Throughout the first half of the 20th century, Furia says, songwriters who wrote for Broadway were celebrated far more often than their contemporaries in the film industry. On Broadway, he says, the songwriters were "central to the production right from the beginning." Their names were featured prominently on the marquee — think Rogers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma or George and Ira Gershwin's Strike Up the Band.
More important: They were intimately involved with all stages of a production — working with the director, producers and choreographers to translate their visions to the stage.
"But in Hollywood, songwriters were just part of the whole production machine," says Furia, the coauthor (with wife Laurie Patterson) of The Songs of Hollywood, an account of how music in films has changed over the past 80 years.