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Can Classical Music Come Back?

Here are some previous Think Tank programs that may be of interest.

Irving Berlin’s America, Part II  (aired 12/29/2005)
From Ragtime to Swing and from Broadway to Hollywood, Irving Berlin’s music defined American songwriting for more than half a century. Songs like "God Bless America," "There’s No Business Like Show Business," Cheek to Cheek" and "White Christmas." Fully half of his eight hundred and ninety-nine published tunes went on to become hits. Two hundred and eighty-two reached the top ten on the popular charts; thirty-five went to number one. Berlin’s music reflects an almost instinctive understanding of the culture and the early events of what has been called "the American century." His songs capture the heart of small town America and the brass of Broadway. Who was Irving Berlin? What is there about his music that still stirs and unites Americans?

Irving Berlin’s America, Part I  (aired 12/22/2005)
Irving Berlin pulled himself up from poverty on New York’s Lower East Side to become America’s most famous and enduring songwriter. Born Israel Baline in Belarus, then part of the Russian empire, on May 11, 1888, he immigrated with his family to America at age five and later taught himself rudimentary piano while working as a singing waiter in a bar and brothel in New York’s Chinatown. By age twenty-three, he was the wunderkind of Tin Pan Alley with more than two hundred hit songs and hundreds more to come--songs like White Christmas, Easter Parade, and God Bless America. Who was Irving Berlin, and what does his music say about America?

The Fascinating Rhythm of George Gershwin  (aired 8/14/2003)
He was a child of the Jazz Age. The son of Russian Jewish immigrants, he grew up on the streets of Brooklyn and served an apprenticeship in Tin Pan Alley. He wrote music for Vaudeville acts, the musical comedy stage, the concert hall, and the Hollywood lot. And in the process, he created something few composers can claim--a new kind of music. This week Think Tank looks at the extraordinary life and phenomenal music of American composer George Gershwin.

Who Was John Philip Sousa?  (aired 7/3/2003)
The legendary John Philip Sousa composed the most famous piece of American music ever written - The Stars and Stripes Forever. This week, we examine Sousa the man, the composer and the promoter. Just who was the man known as "The March King?" And how is it that, almost 150 years after his birth, his music is still such an integral part of the American experience?

Duke Ellington  (aired 4/26/2001)
Think Tank takes a look at the life and influence of jazz giant Duke Ellington on the occasion of his 100th birthday.

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