american songbook

    Everybody knows and loves the American Songbook. But it’s a bit less widely understood that in about 1950, this stream of great songs more or less dried up. All of a sudden, what came over the radio wasn’t Gershwin, Porter, and Berlin, but “Come on-a My House” and “How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?” Elvis and rock and roll arrived a few years later, and at that point the game was truly up.

What happened, and why?

In The B Side: The Death of Tin Pan Alley and the Rebirth of the Great American Song, acclaimed cultural historian Ben Yagoda answers those questions in a fascinating piece of detective work.

    With his unique, pitch-perfect voice still going strong after more than seven decades in the business, Tony Bennett is in a class by himself. He's the winner of 17 Grammy Awards, the Grammy Lifetime Award and 7 Emmy Awards for his 2007 prime-time special, Tony Bennett: An American Classic.

Bennett delights his fans, both young and old, around the globe with timeless classics such as "Because of You," "Rags to Riches," and his signature song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco."

He'll be performing at Tanglewood in Lenox, MA on Sunday, August 31st at 2:30pm.

    On August 6th The Philadelphia Orchestra will kick off their three week summer season at The Saratoga Performing Arts Center with The Great American Songbook.

Bramwell Tovey conducts an evening of music from the Gershwins, Bernstein, and Copland with vocal selections sung by Brian Stokes Mitchell.

    

  On Friday June 6th and Saturday June 7th – Albany Pro Musica will present “Pops Goes the Chorus” – two concerts of show tunes and popular songs at the Shaker Meeting House in Albany, NY.

The cabaret-style evening showcases APM’s individual and ensemble talents.

Local choir director and teaching artist Frank Leavitt will direct and emcee the Pro-Musica Pops shows and he joins us now to tell us more.

    In 1955, Johnny Mathis landed a job singing weekends at Ann Dee's 440 Club. George Avakian, then head of Jazz A&R at Columbia, came to the club, heard Mathis sing and sent the now famous telegram to his record company: "Have found phenomenal 19-year-old boy who could go all the way. Send blank contracts." Mathis made his first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1957, launching his career as a recording star and national celebrity.

Legendary crooner, Johnny "The Velvet Voice" Mathis, will perform at The Palace in Albany, New York tomorrow night at 8pm and in this interview we speak with him about his start, the support of people like Ella Fitzgerald, and how he feels about the term "crooner."

John Pizzarelli, the son of jazz guitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli, is a connoisseur of American song who grew up among the legends of jazz. His absorbing, upbeat, and down to earth new memoir, World on a String perfectly captures John's warm and funny tone as he tells the story of a musical life well lived.

This Saturday at 9pm, Tom Judson will perform “Nature Boy: Songs of Earth and Sky” as part of the Helsinki Hudson and Showstoppers New York series Helsinki on Broadway.