Sunday, October 8, 2006

Fascinatin' Rhythm

If you like music of the twenties, thirties and forties - you'll want to check out a weekly one hour radio show called "Fascinatin' Rhythm," which airs on National Public Radio. (The show can also be heard on NPR stations over the internet.)  I have been a fan of this program for some time. And everytime I hear it I learn to love some new music or singer. The last program I heard, for example, reminded me how much I like Annette Hanshaw - a wonderful singer from the 1930's.

More about "Fascinatin' Rhythm" can be found on this webpage. The upcoming October 26th episode - featuring "songs about underwear, pajamas, and the onset of nudity.  An hour of precaution and of throwing caution to the wind" sounds like its gonna be fun. Check your local NPR listings to see if "Fascinatin' Rhythm" is broadcast in your area.
Fascinatin' Rhythm explores the history and themes of American popular music from Stephen Foster to Stephen Sondheim. These weekly "radio essays," illustrated by recordings, won the 1994 George Foster Peabody Award for letting "our treasury of popular tunes speak (and sing) for itself with sparkling commentary tracing the contributions of the composers and performers to American society." The Peabody citation called Fascinatin' Rhythm "a celebration of American culture." The program originates from WXXI-Classical 91.5. and is nationally syndicated.

Each program features a theme - a particular kind of stage or movie musical, a single composer or lyricist, a distinctive performer, or defining image or idea. Fascinatin' Rhythm blends education and entertainment, as it also shows how songs from the Golden Age of American popular music (1920-1960) anticipate today's popular music. Heard nationally from Orlando to San Francisco and Honolulu, Fascinatin' Rhythm reveals America to America through popular songs.

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