A Fine Romance

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Poet, editor, and cultural critic David Lehman looks at the origins of the American songbook—jazz standards, iconic love songs, and famous movie sound tracks. In his book A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs, explores the fact that the majority of this music was written exclusively by Jews.

Event: David Lehman will be speaking and he’ll be joined by pianist Jonathan Breit and vocalists Thomas Dolan, Hannah Oberman-Breindel, and Megan Stern
Tuesday, November 10th, at 8:15 pm
The 92nd Street Y
1395 Lexington Avenue, at 92nd Street
Tickets $27. More information and tickets here. Or call 212-415-5500.


David Lehman

Comments [9]

Joe Adams from Bergen County, New Jersey

This is after the rerun on New Years Day. There was Jewish influence in the UK music scene. The greatest pop music interpreter was Ambrose; Jewish. He influenced the great Dame Vera Lynn who began her career as his vocalist Listen to her wonderful recording of "I Love You Much Too Much" where you can hear the Jewish influences. I wonder if Mr. Lehman knew that the composer of "Silent Night" was Jewish.

Jan. 01 2010 08:37 AM
john from office

Ask him about the influence of Hip Hop and the jewish producers, like Rubin.

Nov. 10 2009 12:56 PM
John from NYC

Just FYI,

"You'll never walk alone" is the anthem for two big Soccer clubs LiverpoolFC in English Premiership and Glasgow CelticsFC in Scottish Premiership.

The whole stadium sings the song before and after the game.

It is a big soccer anthem.

Nov. 10 2009 12:55 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

"You'll never walk alone" is the semi - official song of Liverpool Football Club as its hopelessly optimistic.

Nov. 10 2009 12:54 PM
Amy from Manhattan

To bridge the 1st 2 segments today, I have to tell you about a Jewish parody of "Man of Constant Sorrow," called--what else?--"Man of Constant Tsuris." The backup singers are subversive & the instrumentalists play it 100% straight. It's on a CD (probably available as an MP3 by now) called "Now That Sounds Kosher," which takes you from Mickey Katz's "Duvid Crockett, King of Delancey Street" to Weird Al Yankovic's "Pretty Fly for a Rabbi" & beyond!

Nov. 10 2009 12:49 PM
Dave from Long Island City

Just a note: The notion of Jews having their names forcibly changed at Ellis Island has been debunked repeatedly. Jews who had their names changed - did so of their own volition - as a means of becoming less Jewish - and more "American".

Nov. 10 2009 12:48 PM
john from office

The reason Jews did well in music and in New York in general is because they are the first multiculturist. That is why New York is dynamic and Boston for example is stagnant. Jew let non jews into the tent.

Nov. 10 2009 12:45 PM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Leonard, don't forget to mention that today is the centennial anniversary of one of the great "goys" of the American Songbook, Johnny Mercer.

Also, another book, "The House That George Built", in this case, George being Mr. Gershwin.

Nov. 10 2009 12:40 PM
Elaine from Baltimore

I hope this doesn't trespass you guest's work, but a wonderful audio is available on this topic called WHITE CHRISTMAS:The Story of the Jews who Created Tin Pan Alley & Hollywood PART 1 & OVER THE RAINBOW:The Story of the Jews who Created Tin Pan Alley & Hollywood PART 2 at this webite:

I believe I heard it broadcast on NPR.

Nov. 10 2009 12:12 PM

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