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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
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
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’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 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 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
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
S2 Ep8
Unanswered Prayers: The Life and Times of Truman Capote
Truman Capote
Throughout his career, Truman Capote remained one of America’s most controversial and colorful authors, combining literary genius with a penchant for the glittering world of high society. Though he wrote only a handful of books, his prose styling was impeccable, and his insight into the psychology of human desire was extraordinary.
Premiered: 9/21/1987
S9 Ep3
Placido Domingo: A Musical Life
Plácido Domingo is one of the most loved and listened to opera singers of the 20th- century. He was born in 1941, into a musical family in the Barrio de Salamanca section of Madrid. His parents were both singers, and when he was five they moved to Mexico with a traveling musical company.
Premiered: 2/15/1995
S13 Ep3
Paul Robeson: Here I Stand
Paul Robeson 1942
Paul Robeson was the epitome of the 20th-century Renaissance man. He was an exceptional athlete, actor, singer, cultural scholar, author, and political activist. His talents made him a revered man of his time, yet his radical political beliefs all but erased him from popular history. Today, more than one hundred years after his birth, Robeson is just beginning to receive the credit he is due.
Premiered: 2/24/1999


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