Aired: Thu, 09/11/2014 (All day)
Shimmy, Stomp, Slow Drag, and Strut
The new kind of dancing the 20th century gave us—hot, sexy, and deliciously low down. An hour of “demonstratin’.”
Aired: Thu, 09/04/2014 (All day)
Irving Berlin’s Amazing Range
Rhythm ballads, sob songs, syncopated dance tunes, ragtime songs, double songs. There was nothing the protean Irving Berlin couldn’t write.
Aired: Thu, 08/28/2014 (All day)
The Dark Side
We like to think that songs are sunny, but the also inhabit and portray a demi-monde where anything and everything goes.
Aired: Thu, 08/21/2014 (All day)
Hearing That Song Again
Giving songs new life by making a ballad into a blues, a waltz into a rag. Popular songs keep remaking themselves.
Aired: Thu, 08/14/2014 (All day)
Abe Lincoln in Song
Campaign songs, comic songs, and soaring anthems: how the songs of his time portrayed America’s 16th president.
Aired: Thu, 08/07/2014 (All day)
Americans may claim wanderlust as their birthright, but we also like being home or making a home.
Aired: Thu, 07/31/2014 (All day)
Not Your Everyday Rain Songs
When you take a common image and make it sing, you’re making the familiar into something fresh; it’s what songwriters do.
Aired: Thu, 07/24/2014 (All day)
Two Kinds of Musicals
Astaire and Rogers at RKO helped us escape the Depression; the Gold Diggers at Warners gave us the everyday grit and struggle.
Aired: Thu, 07/17/2014 (All day)
Cole Porter at First
Typically, the earliest songs of Cole Porter could have been written by anyone, but even then the wit, the arched eyebrow, and the urbanity were beginning to appear.
Aired: Thu, 07/03/2014 (All day)
That Toddlin’ Town
New York gets most of the attention in songs because it’s the home of Tin Pan Alley and Broadway, but Chicago, as usual, is The Second City.