1pm - 2pm
Fascinatin' Rhythm explores the history and themes of American popular music from Stephen Foster to Stephen Sondheim. These weekly "radio essays," illustrated by recordings, won the 1994 George Foster Peabody Award for letting "our treasury of popular tunes speak (and sing) for itself with sparkling commentary tracing the contributions of the composers and performers to American society." The Peabody citation called Fascinatin' Rhythm "a celebration of American culture." The program originates from WXXI-Classical 91.5.
About the host:
Michael Lasser, a theater critic and writer, is host and producer, and Andrew Croucher is the technical director for the hour-long, nationally-syndicated program.
August 2, 2014
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.
August 9, 2014
Americans may claim wanderlust as their birthright, but we also like being home or making a home.
August 16, 2014
Abe Lincoln in Song
Campaign songs, comic songs, and soaring anthems: how the songs of his time portrayed America’s 16th president.
August 23, 2014
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.
August 30, 2014
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.
September 6, 2014
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.
September 13, 2014
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’.”
September 20, 2014
Come Follow the Band
Once marches got so popular in the late 19th century, it was only a matter of time before Tin Pan Alley began to set its love songs to march tempos.
September 27, 2014
George Gershwin Early and Late
Even though George Gershwin had a discernable sound, the evolution of his style over a mere twenty years is striking.