American Masters

The Day Carl Sandburg Died

Studs Terkel: Sandburg Packs a Wallop

The late and great Studs Terkel, author of Hard Times, Working, and The Good War, and his last thoughts on Carl Sandburg and the America Terkel documented and recorded his whole life.

“I also say, ‘The People, Yes,'” Terkel says, referring to the 300 page Sandburg poem of the same name. “But I have to add a proviso: The People, Perhaps or The People, Maybe.”

Inventing David Geffen

David Geffen on Sunset Blvd.

A vintage scene from the Geffen-Roberts office on Sunset Blvd. in L.A.: a place where deals were made and a place where the show was as much about David Geffen as it was about the acts–from Neil Young to Joni Mitchell–he represented.

Inventing David Geffen

Always About the Song

For David Geffen it came down to representing his friends and the songs that moved him. That’s what made David Geffen.

The Day Carl Sandburg Died

Carl Sandburg on Chicago, U.S.A.

See and hear Carl Sandburg’s Chicago in a scene from The Day Carl Sandburg Died. It’s a city that’s the archetype of America: where we all come from. And, that’s what came through in Sandburg’s work from when he first wrote “Chicago” and published it as a part of Chicago Poems in 1916.

The Day Carl Sandburg Died

Filmmaker Interview: Paul Bonesteel

See and hear Paul Bonesteel, writer, director and editor of ‘The Day Carl Sandburg Died,’ talk about how the film was made: the process, the characters, the interviews, and the history.

The Day Carl Sandburg Died

The American Songbag: I Ride an Old Paint

Hear Carl Sandburg sing, ‘I Ride an Old Paint,’ recorded sometime in the 1930s or 40s, and published as a part of his The American Songbag. Sandburg: ‘The song smells of saddle leather, sketches ponies and landscapes, and varies in theme from a realistic presentation of the drab Bill Jones and his violent wife to an ethereal prayer and cry of phantom tone.’

The Day Carl Sandburg Died

Norman Corwin: Go On Spider

The late and great Norman Corwin was from the generation after Carl Sandburg’s. Writing for radio in the 1930s and 40s, Corwin’s broadcast titles included, “The Plot to Overthrow Christmas,” a drama entirely in rhyming verse in which demons and historical figures from Hell tried to destroy Christmas, and “They Fly through the Air with the Greatest of Ease,” a gutty reaction to the Spanish Civil War. Corwin used the airwaves for morality plays–a medium to comment on society through entertainment.

See and hear Corwin on how he tried to echo Sandburg throughout his life.

Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer

Last Thoughts: 100 Years of Gene Kelly

Dancer and entertainer Gene Kelly’s wife of sixteen years, Betsy Blair, talks about Kelly’s legacy in an audio clip from our Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer.

The Day Carl Sandburg Died

Podcast: Meet Carl Sandburg

It’s American Masters radio: the other AM, on the podcast dial.

For this hour, ‘Meet Carl Sandburg,’ from NBC Radio’s Biography in Sound series. This 1955 broadcast is a documentary in sound about the poet, author, musician, and historian, Carl Sandburg: all told through readings and songs from Sandburg, as well as interviews with the people that knew him–describing him as if he were as big as Paul Bunyan.