In 1968, Harry Nilsson began work on a Broadway musical he conceived about the Wright Brothers. To help write the book for "How Wright You Are," Nilsson enlisted David Sontag[1] and John Bradford[2]. Nilsson would provide the score. They intended to use the "living screen technique developed in Czechoslovakia"[3] as well as "projections and graphics."


"Nilsson is said to have completed 14 songs, while Sontag and Bradford are into the second act of the book."[4]


Nilsson said that he would liked to have Tommy and Dick Smothers play the Wright Brothers in the musical. [5]


Man wasn't meant to, to fly

He wasn't meant to go up in the sky

Man wasn't meant for such things

If God wanted Man to fly, we'd have wings

-- "Man Wasn't Meant to Fly" by Harry Nilsson


The play was never produced, but Alyn Shipton found a "substantial draft" of the work, renamed "Orville and Wilbur," in Harry's personal files. It is based on Orville Wright's long struggle to get the Smithsonian to acknowledge that the Wrights had built and flown the first successful powered manned airplane.[6]