Elli Smerling

Elli grew up in Deerfield IL, listening to WBEZ and WFMT of Chicago. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin where she majored in Communication Arts and Jewish Studies. Elli began her radio career at WSUM college radio in Madison, WI. There she hosted a radio show on the Great American Songbook, her passion for which started with a discovery of Frank Sinatra and a love for Broadway musicals, passed down from generation to generation.

Following her studies, Elli moved to New York City to pursue a career in media, where in 2014 she began working part-time at Sirius XM in music programing. During that time, Elli volunteered at New York Public Radio working on The Jonathan Channel. In September 2015 she began working for NYPR full time, producing content for the Jonathan Channel and working in operations for WQXR and Operavore.

In her free time, Elli can be found listening to standards, attending Broadway musicals, exploring NYC by noshing – and always wearing sunscreen.

Elli Smerling appears in the following:

The Jews Who Wrote Christmas

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Host Julian Fleisher counts down his top ten Christmas songs written by Jews.

Comments [1]

Let's Talk about Miss Simone

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Singer, Songwriter, social activist. How does one even begin discussing Nina Simone? Luckily, we have a few friends to help us out in this Extra, dedicated to the High Priestess of Soul.

Makers of Melody

Monday, February 05, 2018

In April of 1929 Paramount Pictures filmed a 20 minute short in their studio in Queens, NY. The film featured two up-and-coming songwriters and their hit song!


Ella Fitzgerald's Centennial Celebrations Begins in an Unlikely Place

Thursday, January 26, 2017

April 25th marks Ella Fitzgerald's Centennial Birthday. Celebrations are popping up all over the country, including Carmel, Indiana.  

Comments [1]

When Gershwin and Schoenberg Played Tennis Together

Thursday, September 08, 2016

The U.S. Open tennis tournament wraps up this weekend in Queens and that has us thinking about the story of two famous composers who struck up a surprising friendship on the court.

Comments [8]

Camp Onota

Monday, June 20, 2016

With the help of Leonard Berstein's daughter Jamie, we are welcoming summer by returning to our adventure at Camp Onota. Listen to her take on the story and read on for more information!

Comments [2]

Broadway Swings into the Future

Monday, April 18, 2016

This past weekend, only a few blocks from the borders of Broadway's Theater District, the music of The Great White Way was honored in the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Comments [1]

From Moses to Mostel

Thursday, February 25, 2016

This Saturday, New York’s Town Hall pays tribute to Jewish history through the music of Broadway, Off-Broadway and Yiddish Theater.  


The Man that Got Away: Harold Arlen

Monday, February 15, 2016

Naked American Songbook host Julian Fleisher explores the life and career of composer Harold Arlen.


Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

May 2nd 1908, the U.S. Copyright Office received two copies of a new song titled "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." Explore this American song with The Jonathan Channel. 


Gershwin, The Tennis Partner

Sunday, September 13, 2015

In honor of the U.S. Open finals - we have a story for you about tennis, friendship and of course, composers!


Brant Lake Camp

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Our next camp adventure takes us to Brant Lake Camp in the Adirondacks, where Larry Hart wrote many camp songs including one familiar tune with Arthur Schwartz.

Comments [3]

Camp Paradox

Friday, September 04, 2015

Our next camp adventure takes us to Camp Paradox in the Adirondacks, where Larry Hart was known as "Shakespeare" and Richard Rodgers received one of his first paid gigs.

Comments [1]

Camp Fire Days at Camp Wigwam

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

We continue our week at summer camp at Camp Wigwam in Waterford, Maine. A place Richard Rodgers referred to as a “real boys camp,” and where Larry Hart said campers "never lag behind." 

Comments [3]

Camp Weingart

Monday, August 31, 2015

We begin our camp adventures with Richard Rodgers, Larry Hart and Oscar Hammerstein at the Weingart Institute in Highmount, New York.

Comments [1]

Wet Hot American Songwriters

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Before they became legends of the Great American Songbook, many songwriters spent their summers in short shorts, sipping on bug juice, and writing songs around the camp fire.

Comments [2]

The Greatest American Standard: Louis Armstrong

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Happy Birthday Louis Armstrong!

Comments [3]

The Weather in July is Frightful

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Jules Styne and Sammy Cahn didn't have AC in 1945. They had to cool off with their imaginations.

Comments [1]

Christmas in July

Monday, July 27, 2015

Too Darn Hot? Take a lesson on how to cool down this summer from songwriters Mel Tormé and Bob Wells.

Comments [5]

JD Souther: Man Behind the Music Steps Out Front

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Songwriter JD Souther has written songs for legendary artists including The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt and Bonnie Raitt. Recently, Souther stepped into the spotlight at Café Carlyle. 

Comments [1]