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S10 Ep5
Nichols & May: Take Two
Elaine May and Mike Nichols
Nichols and Elaine May revolutionized the landscape of American comedy. By perfecting the art of improvisation and introducing it to the public through their appearances in clubs and on television and radio, they forever changed our expectations of comedy, and our sense of humor.
Premiered: 5/22/1996
S12 Ep4
Lou Reed: Rock and Roll Heart
Lou Reed: Rock and Roll Heart
Reed was always at the forefront of American avant-garde music, beginning with creation of the Velvet Underground in 1965. Gritty and realistic, the brutal honesty in Reed’s lyrics and sound made him a cultural icon of the disenfranchised throughout the ’60s and ’70s. From punk rock to grunge, he has had an unparalleled influence on the American music scene.
Premiered: 4/29/1998
S10 Ep1
Rod Serling: Submitted for your Approval
Rod Serling
Known primarily for his role as the host of television’s THE TWILIGHT ZONE, Rod Serling had one of the most exceptional and varied careers in television. As a writer, a producer, and for many years a teacher, Serling challenged the medium of television to reach for loftier artistic goals. The winner of more Emmy Awards for dramatic writing than anyone in history.
Premiered: 11/29/1995
S4 Ep6
Neil Simon: Not Just for Laughs
Neil Simon
Neil Simon is the world’s most successful playwright. He has had dozens of plays and nearly as many major motion pictures produced. He has been showered with more Academy and Tony nominations than any other writer, and is the only playwright to have four Broadway productions running simultaneously.
Premiered: 8/21/1989
S13 Ep7
Yours For a Song: The Women of Tin Pan Alley
Yours For a Song: The Women of Tin Pan Alley
The 1920s began a decade of change in the American arts. Jazz, along with such inventions as the phonograph, radio and sound movies, transformed the music industry. With its concentration of theaters and publishing houses, New York became the center of the music world and at the center of New York was a small area called Tin Pan Alley where musicians would play their songs for publishers.
Premiered: 8/18/1999
S2 Ep9
The Algonquin Round Table: The Ten Year Lunch
algonquin
The period that followed the end of World War I was one of gaiety & optimism, and it sparked a new era of creativity in American culture. Surely one of the most profound — and outrageous — influences on the times was the group of a dozen or so tastemakers who lunched together at New York City’s Algonquin Hotel. For more than a decade they met daily and came to be known as the Algonquin Round Table
Premiered: 9/28/1987
S19 Ep5
Willa Cather: The Road is All
Willa Cather: The Road is All
Willa Cather’s MY ANTONIA is about the hardy people who risked their lives and fortunes in a harsh new land; Cather had the great good fortune to have lived among the first generation of white settlers in 1880s Nebraska, and she gives witness to their time and place in such a way that American literature will never forget them.
Premiered: 9/7/2005
S6 Ep8
Ray Charles: The Genius of Soul
Ray Charles, 1968
They call him the “genius” and they call him the “father of soul.” With perfect pitch and an expressive voice, he combines worlds as diverse as jazz, country, rhythm and blues, and gospel to break your heart or make you dance. His name is Ray Charles, and if you turn your radio to any station you will hear the influence of his ground-breaking music.
Premiered: 1/3/1992
S20 Ep2
Nat King Cole: The World of Nat Kind Cole
Nat King Cole: The World of Nat Kind Cole
Nat King Cole crowns a very short list of the most identifiable and memorable voices in American music. This ground breaking American icon’s impact continues to cross the world’s cultural and political boundaries. The story of his life is a study in success in the face of adversity and the triumph of talent over the ignorance of prejudice.
Premiered: 5/17/2006
S17 Ep7
Robert Capa: In Love and War
Robert Capa: In Love and War
Robert Capa was a Hungarian war photographer and photojournalist as well as the companion and professional partner of photographer Gerda Taro. He is considered by some to be the greatest combat and adventure photographer in history.
Premiered: 5/28/2003
S13 Ep4
Robert Rauschenberg: Inventive Genius
Robert Rauschenberg
Born in Port Arthur, Texas in 1925, Robert Rauschenberg imagined himself first as a minister and later as a pharmacist. It wasn’t until 1947, while in the U.S. Marines that he discovered his aptitude for drawing and his interest in the artistic representation of everyday objects and people.
Premiered: 4/7/1999
S20 Ep5
Walter Cronkite: Witness to History
Walter Cronkite
He was the man who told us that President Kennedy had been shot, the man who told us that we had put a man on the moon, and the man who told us that we couldn’t win the war in Vietnam. During the 20 years he anchored the evening news on CBS, Walter Cronkite became a daily presence in the American home. Building on the legacy of Edward R. Murrow, he brought CBS to the pinnacle of prestige.
Premiered: 7/26/2006
S16 Ep6
Merce Cunningham: A Lifetime of Dance
Merce Cunningham: A Lifetime of Dance
The title of Charles Atlas’ new documentary on Merce Cunningham may be taken quite literally: his mother described his dancing down the aisle of the church the family attended in Centralia, Washington, at the age of four. At 82, Cunningham is still making new work for the dance company he formed at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, in the summer of 1953.
Premiered: 12/16/2001