Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook is a celebration of some of the finest music and most talented entertainers throughout the years. This is a significant musical reference collection which should suit all ages. Michael’s talents as a five-time Grammy®-nominated vocalist and ability to compile this “Musical Masterpiece” was evidenced in his American Songbook. Michael not only chose the early classic music of the 20′, 30’s, and 40’s, he added sequences of the 50’s and 60’s to top it off.
There are some sentimental songs about love, comic interludes, and all type of music. One segment, “Strictly GI, Command Performance USA”, was dedicated to W.W.II, as seen through the eyes of the performers who worked so hard to entertain the troops. The original footage is unbelievable watching Bob Hope performing his comedy routine and singing “Thanks for the Memory”, Judy Garland with “Somewhere over the Rainbow”, Lena Horne- “The Man I Love”, and many others.
Young people can learn about America’s musical heritage while people of all ages can enjoy the memories dear to them, or you can use the American Songbook as a “Musical Museum” of the music and the stories behind the songs.
Moving through all of the different eras was so enjoyable even though I did not recognize many of the earlier celebrities but have heard of them.
Michael Feinstein’s DVD runs 3 hours on Disc 1 and 2 hours on Disc 2 with plenty of bonus material. Just imagine all of the research, the hours and hours of putting everything together for this magna-musical. This does not only trace the music but you can watch the culture changes of America.
We have a chance to see Michael Feinstein singing the “Lady is a Tramp”, “Come Fly with me”, “Let’s fly away,” “My Romance”, as well as his humorous duet with David Hyde Pierce (“Frazier”).
Michael Feinstein’s American Songbookcharts the musician’s cross-country quest to find and preserve the rare treasures of classic American music. Viewers accompany Michael onstage, backstage and offstage, learn how the American Songbook developed as it did, and join Michael’s often extreme quest to find and preserve the treasures of classic American music – everything from rare sheet music and once-in-a-lifetime recordings to some of the craziest instruments you’ve ever seen. Guest appearances include Broadway and TV star Cheyenne Jackson (“Glee,” “30 Rock”), legendary composer Marvin Hamlisch, ’40s and ’50s songstress Margaret Whiting, actor David Hyde Pierce (“Frazier”), and more.
Michael chose rare appearances, re-recordings, soundtracks, Broadway cast recordings, home recordings, demos, and radio performances along with videos from studio shorts and features, television appearances, newly discovered home movies, Soundies, and even military films. It covers the gamut of singers, dancers, and performers who sang the songs in burlesque, vaudeville, the Broadway stage, on radio and television, in films, and on records.
The Great American Songbook Archive began when Michael Feinstein was a boy. He discovered the music of George and Ira Gershwin and began collecting; and for more than 30 years, he has amassed a collection, and encyclopedic knowledge about its contents, that is considered among the most extensive in existence.
The quality of the early footage seems as though they had just been produced. www.shoppbs.org www.michaelfeinsteinsamericansongbook.com
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