A Land That's Free For You and Me

Event Type: Adults
Date: 4/4/2019
Start Time: 7:00 PM
End Time: 8:15 PM
 Jewish Songwriters Give Universal Voice to the American Dream: A Lecture-in-Song

When, in the years 1880-1920, the Jews arrived by the millions in America from eastern Europe and Russia, they found waiting for them the chance for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that had only before existed in their most fevered imaginations. No one ethnic group has ever taken swifter, greater advantage of that chance and achieved more than the Jews in America. And, nowhere more effectively than in their songwriting for Tin Pan Alley, vaudeville, Broadway, and Hollywood.

Through the anthems of gratitude and grit of Irving Berlin, Al Jolson, George & Ira Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Yip Harburg, Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick, and others, this Lecture-in-Song examines the Jews’ experience of the freedom they reveled in…and the very real obstacles they faced as well.

Fred Miller studied classical piano in his hometown of Albuquerque from ages 7-15 but early on gave up any notion of music as a profession. At that time, Fred assumed a musical career was either one devoted to the rigid discipline of classical music or being a freewheeling rock star, and he accurately decided he had no aptitude for either. However, at age 22, upon hearing Ella Fitzgerald sing Cole Porter, he found his calling and life’s mission.

Through the Seventies and Eighties, Miller studied and absorbed in minute detail the life and times and songs of nearly all the great American composers and lyricists who thrived during Broadway & Hollywood’s Golden Age between the two World Wars. In 1987, he founded Silver Dollar Productions in order to produce operettas, dramas, musicals and small cabarets. Silver Dollar Productions required ensemble casts, props, costumes and, most significantly, the challenges of publicity and selling tickets, and for a dozen busy years, the company presented an unbroken string of varied and highly lauded performances.

In presenting history, biography and psychology while sitting at a piano singing the superlative songs of his heroes, Miller has found a single performing medium that utilizes most of his intellectual and musical passions. The list of his Lectures-In-Song that began with six in 1999 is now more than seventy (and growing!), a joyful tribute to the boundlessly rich field of American Popular Song.
Library: Phoenixville Public Library
Location: Community Education Room
Contact: Mark Pinto
Contact Number: 610-933-3013 x132
Presenter: Fred Miller
Status: Closed
Please Note
  • Attendee MUST give 24 hour cancellation notice to allow others on the waiting list to attend.

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