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Music Biographies

This catalog contains biographies for composers, conductors, educators, performers, and songwriters.

Most of these titles are available in digital cartridge format as indicated with a DBM prefix.

Any title may be ordered by contacting:
Music Section
The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20542
[email protected]



Bach, Johann Sebastian

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Bach
Download DBM 01656

Bartók, Bela

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Bartók
Download DBM 01662

Beethoven, Ludwig van

Beethoven the Incredible
Download DBM 00369
Fictionalized account of Beethoven’s life.

Beethoven, the Man
Download DBM 01513

Beethoven, the Man Who Set Music Free
Download DBM 00938
Biography of Beethoven and excerpts from his music.

Beethoven, Revolutionary Artist
Download DBM 01514

Ludwig von Beethoven
Download DBM 00084
Biography of the composer who believed that music was a branch of moral philosophy and that musical sounds were the very stuff and substance of political and religious life.

The Music of Beethoven

Outlines the career of the great German composer.

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Beethoven
Download DBM 01628

Berlioz, Hector

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Berlioz
Download DBM 01633

Bizet, Georges

Life and Music of Georges Bizet
Download DBM 00987
The life and work of Georges Bizet with excerpts from Carmen, his best known opera.

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Bizet
Download DBM 01644

Boulez, Pierre

Experiments in Electronics
Download DBM 00330
Composer-conductor Pierre Boulez discusses his search for a new musical language.

Brahms, Johannes

Download DBM 00627
Description of life and musical style of the great German composer, accompanied by the excerpts of his major works.

Johannes Brahms
Download DBM 00085
Biography of the composer.

The Music of Brahms
Download DBM 00164
Describes the life and work of the composer, a leading figure in the German romantic movement. Includes selections from his compositions.

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Brahms
Download DBM 01642

Britten, Benjamin

Benjamin Britten, the Early Years
Download DBM 01518

Buxtehude, Dietrich

Lübeck, the Abendmusiken concerts established by Dietrich Buxtehude
Download DBM 00389
Discussion of Buxtehude’s fame as an organist, influence as a composer, and role in establishing the Abendmusiken, a series of concerts held on the five Sundays preceding Christmas. Includes a performance of Buxtehude’s sacred solo cantata, Laudate Dominum.

Chopin, Frédéric

Frédéric François Chopin
Download DBM 00102
Biography of the composer.

Poet of the Piano-Chopin

Fictionalized biography of Frédéric Chopin, illustrated with orchestral versions of his piano music.

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Chopin
Download DBM 01635

Copland, Aaron

An Aaron Copland Portrait
Download DBM 00134
Interview with Aaron Copland, who discusses the use of folk material in his opera The Tender Land, and a performance by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Copland, of two suites from the opera.

Copland, Gershwin, and Piston
Download DBM 00025
A discussion of three contemporary American composers who have achieved international prominence.

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Copland
Download DBM 01666

Corelli, Arcangelo

Corelli and Vivaldi: Their Lives and Their Music
Download DBM 01292
Narrated by Ward Botsford

Debussy, Claude

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Debussy
Download DBM 01655

Dohnanyi, Ernst von

Ernst von Dohnanyi
Download DBM 00149
Dohnanyi plays his compositions and talks about his musical career.

Ernst von Dohnanyi in Concert
Download DBM 00148
Dohnanyi tells of his early concert days.

Donizetti, Gaetano

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Donizetti
Download DBM 01632

Dvorák, Antonín

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Dvorák
Download DBM 01647

Ellington, Duke

Duke Ellington
Download DBM 00933
Mike Whorf interviews friends and relatives of the pianist, bandleader, and composer of more than one thousand pieces.

Falla, Manuel de

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: de Falla
Download DBM 01661

Faure, Gabriel

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Faure
Download DBM 01650

Foster, Stephen Collins

Beautiful Dreamer
Download DBM 00930
Biography and music of the American songwriter Stephen C. Foster.

The Foster Nobody Knows
Download DBM 00988
Biography of Stephen Foster and a glimpse into the legacy of his naturally beautiful melodies, which have been enjoyed for generations.

Franck, César

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Franck
Download DBM 01640

Gershwin, George

Copland, Gershwin, and Piston
Download DBM 00025
A discussion of three contemporary American composers who have achieved international prominence.

George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue
Download DBM 00891
The story behind writing this composition and performing it with Paul Whiteman in New York. Gershwin cut the piano roll used for this performance.

Download DBM 00709
Description of life and musical style of Gershwin, accompanied by several excerpts of his major works and numerous popular songs.

The Gershwin Years
Download DBM 00614
Overview of Gershwin’s life, with several songs from stage musicals, including “Yankee Doodle Blues,” “Somebody Loves Me,” “Clap Yo’ Hands,” and “Bess, You Is My Woman.”

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Gershwin
Download DBM 01665

Gluck, Christoph

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Gluck
Download DBM 01625

Gottschalk, Louis Moreaux

America’s First Superstar
Download DBM 00951
Biography of Louis Moreaux Gottschalk, who used American folk music in his compositions. Selections heard are “Bamboula” and “A Night in the Tropics.”

Grieg, Edvard

Download DBM 00998
Biography and music of the Norwegian born composer who wove the folk melodies and rhythms of his homeland into his works.

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Grieg

Handel, George Frideric

The Music of Handel
Download DBM 00140
Details Handel’s career as a composer.

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Handel
Download DBM 01624

Haydn, Franz Joseph

Franz Josef Haydn
Download DBM 00104
Introduction to the composer’s life.

Download DBM 00706
Description of life and musical style of the great Austrian composer, accompanied by the excerpts of his major famous works.

Josef Haydn
Download DBM 00671
Biography plus musical examples.

The Music of Haydn
Download DBM 00165
Describes the finer points of Haydn’s music as seen in his Symphony no. 94 and his Concerto for trumpet and orchestra.

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Haydn
Download DBM 01626

Henze, Hans Werner

Spotlight on Hans Werner Henze
Download DBM 00290
A contemporary German composer discusses the successful opera.

Herbert, Victor

The Legend of Victor Herbert
Download DBM 00612
Focus on Victor Herbert, one of the founders of ASCAP, covering his varied career as composer of the operetta Babes in Toyland, bandmaster of New York’s Twenty-Second Regiment Band, and conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Victor Herbert
Download DBM 00585
Biography. Herbert’s failure at composing serious pieces for the opera and violoncello resulted in the operetta Naughty Marietta, a forerunner of musical comedy. Includes selections from Victor Herbert’s musical comedies.

Hoddinott, Alun

Moelwyn Merchant Talks with Composer Alun Hoddinott
Download DBM 00321
The composer talks about his and other composers’ work. Includes excerpts from Hoddinott’s works.

Ives, Charles

Charles Ives: Fascination with What Is Difficult; Erik Satie: Man in the Grey Velvet Suit

Gilbert Highet discusses the lives of two composers, Charles Ives and Erik Satie. He explores the influences that shaped their compositions.

Janácek, Leoš

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Janácek
Download DBM 01654

Johnson, James P.
(James Price)

James P. Johnson
Download DBM 00858
The composer of “Charleston” and “If I Could Be with You” ranked along with Scott Joplin and Jelly Roll Morton as the “father” of the eastern Harlem stride style.

Liszt, Franz

Franz Liszt
Download DBM 00673
Biography plus musical examples.

Download DBM 00708
Description of music and musical style of the great Hungarian composer and pianist, accompanied by the excerpts from his most important works.

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Liszt
Download DBM 01637

Mahler, Gustav

Recollections of Mahler
Download DBM 00108
Musicians, acquaintances, and Mahler’s daughter describe their experiences with this composer and discuss his personal and professional life.

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Mahler
Download DBM 01652

Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix

Felix Mendelssohn
Download DBM 00161
Discusses the life and music of Felix Mendelssohn.

Felix Mendelssohn
Download DBM 00674
Biography plus musical examples.

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Mendelssohn
Download DBM 01634

Monteverdi, Claudio

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Monteverdi
Download DBM 01619

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus

The Music of Mozart
Download DBM 00027
The third movements from Mozart’s Piano Concerto no. 26 in D major and his Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat major illustrate Mozart’s musical development.

Profile: Mozart
Download DBM 00962
The universal genius and unique style of Mozart are discussed along with his personal life. Excerpts from his music are performed.

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Mozart
Download DBM 01627

Mussorgsky, Modest

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Mussorgsky
Download DBM 01645

Offenbach, Jacques

Death in A Major
Download DBM 00970
The story of Offenbach’s near lifelong quest of a haunting melody, his famous “Barcarolle.”

Palestrina, Giovanni

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Palestrina
Download DBM 01618

Piston, Walter

Copland, Gershwin, and Piston
Download DBM 00025
A discussion of three contemporary American composers who have achieved international prominence.

Prokofiev, Sergei

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Prokofiev
Download DBM 01664

Puccini, Giacomo

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Puccini
Download DBM 01651

Purcell, Henry

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Purcell
Download DBM 01620

Rachmaninoff, Sergi

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Rachmaninoff
Download DBM 01658

Rameau, Jean Philippe

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Rameau
Download DBM 01622

Ravel, Maurice

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Ravel
Download DBM 01660

Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolay

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Rimsky-Korsakov
Download DBM 01649

Rossini, Gioacchino

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Rossini
Download DBM 01631

Saint-Saëns, Camille

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Saint-Saëns

Satie, Eric
See entry under Ives, Charles

Schoenberg, Arnold
Download DBM 01659
The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Schoenberg

Schubert, Peter Franz

Franz Schubert
Download DBM 00672
Biography plus musical examples.

Peter Franz Schubert
Download DBM 00101
Story of the composer who sank so low into poverty that he couldn’t afford to rent a piano to do his writing. Most of his works were not performed until years after his early death at thirty-one.

Download DBM 00707
Description of life and musical style of the great Austrian composer, accompanied by numerous excerpts from his works.

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Schubert
Download DBM 01629

Schuman, William

Close-up on William Schuman
Download DBM 00286
Reminiscences of the educational administrator, president of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and composer.

Schumann, Robert

Robert Schumann
Download DBM 00014
David Randolph discusses the life of the composer who set out to become the world’s greatest pianist, but lost the use of his hand and died impoverished. Illustrated with numerous examples of Schumann’s compositions for piano, orchestra, instrumental ensembles, and voices.

A Tribute to Schumann
Download DBM 00924
The life and work of Robert Schumann. Several of his piano works and songs are performed.

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Schumann
Download DBM 01636

Schutz, Heinrich

Download DBM 00384
Lecture on Heinrich Schutz, stressing Schutz’s importance in applying Italian polychoral style and dramatic monody to German church music; motets from Schutz’s Symphoniae Sacrae.

Shostakovich, Dmitri

Shostakovich and Stravinsky
Download DBM 00301
Lecture on the life and work of two leading Russian composers.

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Shostakovich
Download DBM 01667

Sibelius, Jean

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Sibelius
Download DBM 01656

Sousa, John Philip

John Philip Sousa
Download DBM 00297
Discussion concerning the great composer’s life, highlighted by comments of friends and associates.

Marching Along
Download DBM 00851
John Philip Sousa, born in Washington, D.C., in 1854, wrote over one hundred marches. His band performed from 1892 to 1931. Interviews with his daughter Helen and friend Meredith Willson, and examples of his music such as El Capitan.

The Sousa Nobody Knows
Download DBM 00971
Explores other compositions Sousa wrote besides his well-known marches. A tango called Gliding Girl, composed in 1912, is among the selections.

Strauss, Johann

Johann Strauss II
Download DBM 00710
Description of life and music of the Waltz King, with numerous excerpts from his famous works.

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: J. Strauss
Download DBM 01641

Strauss, Richard

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: R. Strauss
Download DBM 01653

Stravinsky, Igor
See also listing under Shostakovich

A Sound Portrait of Igor Stravinsky
Download DBM 00719
Biography of the composer whose ballet The Rite of Spring touched off a riot when it was first produced in Paris in 1913. Illustrated by writings from Stravinsky as well as Debussy and Rimsky-Korsakov and interviews with Elliot Carter and John Rosen. Selections from composer’s pieces for orchestra, conducted by Stravinsky.

Spotlight on Igor Stravinsky
Download DBM 00056
Igor Stravinsky invites the listener into his Hollywood studio to hear a conversation with conductor Robert Craft.

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Stravinsky
Download DBM 01663

Tchaikovsky, Peter

The Music of Tchaikovsky: Music by the Melancholy Russian
Download DBM 00023
Excerpts from The Nutcracker Suite, Sleeping Beauty, and Symphony no. 4, showing how Tchaikovsky’s music is rooted in Russian folk music.

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Download DBM 00194

David Randolph introduces many of Tchaikovsky’s compositions.

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Tchaikovsky
Download DBM 01646

Tippett, Michael

Sir Michael Tippett

Biography and discussion of the composer’s life. Includes interview with Tippett and others, and extensive musical extracts.

Vaughan Williams, Ralph

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Vaughan Williams
Download DBM 01657

Verdi, Giuseppe

A General Lecture on Verdi
Download DBM 01336
This composer, born into abject poverty, was to become one of the greatest opera composers of all time. There is also a comparison of Il Trovatore and Aida, two of his greatest works.

The History Makers: Giuseppe Verdi

Narrated by John Green

The Master of Melody-Verdi
Download DBM 00948
Biography of the renowned opera composer, his tragedy and triumphs. Excerpts from his operas are heard.

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Verdi
Download DBM 01619

Vivaldi, Antonio

Corelli and Vivaldi: Their Lives and Their Music
Download DBM 01292
Narrated by Ward Botsford

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Vivaldi
Download DBM 01621

Wagner, Richard

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: Wagner
Download DBM 01638

Walton, William

Sir William Walton
Download DBM 01520
Biography and discussion of the composer. Includes interview with Walton and others and extracts from his works.

Weber, Karl Maria von
Download DBM 01630
The World’s 50 Greatest Composers: von Weber

Weill, Kurt

The Musical Maverick
Download DBM 00611
Covers the varied career of Kurt Weill, composer of such operas as Threepenny Opera and Mahagonny and such popular songs as “Mack the Knife” and “September Song.” His collaborators Ira Gershwin, Langston Hughes, and Ogden Nash tell their stories about his work in America.

The World’s 50 Greatest Composers

Johann Sebastian Bach
Download DBM 01623

Béla Bartók
Download DBM 01662

Ludwig van Beethoven
Download DBM 01628

Hector Berlioz
Download DBM 01633

Georges Bizet
Download DBM 01644

Johannes Brahms
Download DBM 01642

Frédéric Chopin
Download DBM 01635

Aaron Copland
Download DBM 01666

Claude Debussy
Download DBM 01655

Gaetano Donizetti
Download DBM 01632

Antonín Dvorák
Download DBM 01647

Manuel de Falla
Download DBM 01661

Gabriel Faur‚
Download DBM 01650

Cesar Franck
Download DBM 01640

George Gershwin
Download DBM 01665

Christoph Gluck
Download DBM 01625

George Frideric Handel
Download DBM 01624

Franz Joseph Haydn
Download DBM 01626

Franz Liszt
Download DBM 01637

Gustav Mahler
Download DBM 01652

Felix Mendelssohn
Download DBM 01634

Claudio Monteverdi
Download DBM 01619

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Download DBM 01627

Modest Mussorgsky
Download DBM 01645

Giovanni da Palestrina
Download DBM 01618

Sergei Prokofiev

Henry Purcell
Download DBM 01620

Giacomo Puccini
Download DBM 01651

Sergi Rachmaninoff
Download DBM 01658

Jean-Philippe Rameau
Download DBM 01622

Maurice Ravel
Download DBM 01660

Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov
Download DBM 01649

Gioacchino Rossini
Download DBM 01631

Arnold Schoenberg
Download DBM 01659

Franz Schubert
Download DBM 01629

Robert Schumann
Download DBM 01636

Dmitri Shostakovich
Download DBM 01667

Jean Sibelius

Johann Strauss
Download DBM 01641

Richard Strauss
Download DBM 01653

Igor Stravinsky
Download DBM 01663

Peter Tchaikovsky
Download DBM 01646

Ralph Vaughan Williams

Giuseppe Verdi
Download DBM 01639

Antonio Vivaldi

Richard Wagner
Download DBM 01638

Karl Maria von Weber
Download DBM 01630


Ormandy, Eugene

Spotlight on Eugene Ormandy
Download DBM 00265
The conductor reminisces about his boyhood, Vienna, and other musicians.

Stokowski, Leopold

A Leopold Stokowski Profile
Download DBM 00162
Autobiographical account of Stokowski’s unusual range of musical activity.

Szell, George

Maestro George Szell
Download DBM 00472
A great conductor demonstrates his artistry in these rehearsals and concerts.

Toscanini, Arturo

Maestro Arturo Toscanini
Download DBM 00270
This tribute to the famed maestro includes a discussion of his life and work as a conductor, composer, and teacher.

The Man and the Legend-Arturo Toscanini
Download DBM 00913
Called saint and demon, tyrant and democrat, it was an epic experience to play under this great musician of the world. Music by Beethoven is heard.


Boulanger, Nadia

Focus on Nadia Boulanger
Download DBM 00296
Nadia Boulanger, distinguished teacher of Aaron Copland and numerous other successful composers, discusses her teaching philosophy and comments on success in the world of music.

The Influence of Nadia Boulanger
Download DBM 00173
Nadia Boulanger explains how she develops her students’ creative abilities and musical artistry.

Music for Children
Download DBM 00263

Interviews with Doreen Hall, a leading exponent of the Orff system of music education; Donald Himes, a teacher of eurhythmics; and Derek Healey, a composer.


Astaire, Fred

The Legend of Fred S. Astaire
Download DBM 00819
Biography of Fred Astaire, dance master of the stage and screen. Music such as “Dancing Cheek to Cheek” is featured.

Austin, Gene

The Legend of Gene Austin
Download DBM 00826
Describes Austin as a kind and generous human being, whose legacy can be summed up by the dictum to embrace the present. “My Blue Heaven,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Lonesome Road,” and “Melancholy Baby” are heard.

Baez, Joan

The Singer as Activist
Download DBM 00113
Interview with folk singer Joan Baez and her family and friends. Discusses her career and her involvement with the Monterey Institute for the Study of Nonviolence.

Beiderbecke, Bix

Bix Beiderbecke

Belafonte, Harry

Spotlight on Harry Belafonte
Download DBM 00287
A prominent black singer and entertainer discusses his life on stage.

Benny, Jack

Jack Benny
Download DBM 00881
Biography of the much loved entertainer who never aged beyond thirty-nine years, played the violin, and personified a vain and miserly character.

Blake, Eubie

Eubie Blake

Memories of Eubie
Download DBM 00728
The ninety-six-year-old ragtime musician reminisces about his many years in show business. He also plays “Charleston Rag,” “Memories of You,” and “If You’ve Never Been Vamped by a Brownskin.”

Borge, Victor

Clown Prince of Denmark
Download DBM 01002

Biography, music, and comedy of Victor Borge. Includes the story of a Mozart opera and phonetic punctuation.

Brice, Fanny

Download DBM 00925
A legend in her time, Fanny Brice began her stage career at age fourteen and was a show stopper from her first performance. Original excerpts from her performances are heard.

Britto, Carol

Carol Britto
Download DBM 01245
For two decades she delighted Toronto jazz fans. Carol Britto has returned to her native country, making waves on the New York music scene with her impressive piano skills. Britto discusses her career.

Burton, Gary

Gary Burton
Download DBM 01249
Although his main instrument is the vibraphone, he has taught piano at the Berklee College of Music for many years. Gary Burton performs “Turn Out the Stars.” Marian McPartland interviews Burton and the two blend talents on a duet of “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes.”

Cage, John

John Cage and Burl Ives

Calloway, Paul
See entry under Duncan, Paul

Cantor, Eddie

Gerald Marks on Eddie Cantor
Download DBM 00876
Interview with composer and historian of Tin Pan Alley, Gerald Marks, and his recollections of the “saucer-eyed” entertainer, Eddie Cantor. Songs heard briefly are “Ma,” “Makin’ Whoopee,” and “Ida.”

Caruso, Enrico

Hall of Fame: Enrico Caruso
Download DBM 00989
Biography of the world-famous tenor who was among the first of leading musicians to recognize the value of the phonograph.

Casals, Pablo

Spotlight on Pablo Casals
Download DBM 00293
The renowned cellist discusses his music and ideals.

Chaplin, Charlie

The Comedian: Charlie Chaplin
Download DBM 00986
Biography of the world famous comedian, Charlie Chaplin. Includes his childhood and early stage appearances. Timely and humorous music interspersed throughout.

Chevalier, Maurice
Close-up on Maurice Chevalier
Download DBM 00320
An entertainer recalls his love affairs with Parisian and American audiences.

Colianni, John

John Colianni
Download DBM 01235
At fifteen he demonstrates his abilities with a composition of his own, “Slow Blues.” A powerful duet of “Get Happy” concludes a session with Marian McPartland.

Columbo, Russ

The Legend of Russ Columbo
Download DBM 00833
A crooner of the 1930s who reflects on the slowdown in musical style after the stock market crash. “Time on My Hands,” “Sweet and Lovely,” and “All of Me” are among the songs included.

Copeland, Johnny

Johnny Copeland
Download DBM 01232
The singer and guitarist explains the difference between Texas country blues and Texas city blues and why his music is often considered the quintessence of just plain Texas blues.

Corea, Chick

Chick Corea
Download DBM 01250
The multitalented musician plays selections from a variety of musical genres- from big band to jazz-rock fusion. In “Piano Jazz,” recorded at Corea’s own California studio, the prolific composer joins Marian McPartland for a dazzling mix of talk, improvisations, and musical portraits.

Crosby, Bing

Close-up on Bing Crosby
Download DBM 00284
A giant in show business tells the story of his life and work with the easy style that was his trademark for two generations.

Dapogny, James

James Dapogny
Download DBM 01254
A specialist on piano music from the turn of the century to World War II tells his favorite tales of the legendary Jelly Roll Morton and plays tunes by Morton and Gershwin.

Disney, Walt

Walt Disney’s Dream Factory
Download DBM 00846
Biography and excerpts of music from Disney’s movies such as “Chim Chim Cher-ee” sung by Dick Van Dyke, “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf,” and “Alice in Wonderland.”

Duchin, Peter

Peter Duchin
Download DBM 01257
He began studying music at five and went on to lead his own orchestra. This demonstration features Duchin in a solo of Gershwin’s “Someone to Watch Over Me.”

Duncan, Todd

Todd Duncan and Paul Calloway
Download DBM 00083
Todd Duncan, the original Porgy in Porgy and Bess, and Paul Calloway, the Washington Cathedral’s director of music, discuss their difficulties in achieving success.

Durante, Jimmy

The Legend of Jimmy Durante
Download DBM 00828
“The Great Durante” began his career as a ragtime pianist in 1913. Reminiscences of his radio days include portions of broadcasts and songs he played and sang.

Eldridge, Roy

Roy Eldridge
Download DBM 01238
In this demonstration the great jazz trumpet stylist displays his piano abilities by playing several of his own works and a composition penned by both Marian McPartland and Eldridge, the “M and R Blues.”

Ellington, Duke

Duke Ellington
Download DBM 00933

Things Are Just like They Used to Be
Download DBM 00980
Anecdotes and facts about the man Duke Ellington and his big-band style of arranging. “Chattanooga Choo Choo” and “Perdido” are heard.

Elman, Mischa

The Art of Mischa Elman
Download DBM 00958
Biography of the pioneer of the “Russian School” of violin playing. Some familiar tunes are played in this highly romantic style.

Fields, Gracie

Gracie Fields Forever
Download DBM 00868
Through recordings and recorded interviews, the life of this famous English music hall queen is traced. Beginning as a professional singer at the age of sixteen, she made her last appearances at age seventy. Introduced by Stanley Holloway.

Gilmore, P. S.

Super Salesman of Music
Download DBM 00943
Biography of the extraordinary band master of the 1800s who traveled the country producing musical events. Choral and orchestra music are performed.

Gluck, Alma

The Legend of Alma Gluck
Download DBM 00829
Alma Gluck, operatic soprano born in Romania in 1884, came to New York as a child. She sang for Toscanini in 1909. They became lifelong friends. Featured songs are from her operatic roles.

Gould, Glenn

Glenn Gould on the Moog Synthesizer
Download DBM 00244
Glenn Gould talks about the Moog synthesizer used in the production of the recording Switched-on Bach. Includes interviews with synthesizer performer Wendy Carlos and Canadian poet Jean Le Moyne.

Grillo, Frank “Machito”

Download DBM 01190
Pays tribute to the late Cuban musician Frank “Machito” Grillo, universally acclaimed as the first musician to blend jazz with Latin American sound. Includes interviews with Machito, as well as with those who knew him. (This tape contains material on one side only.)

Guthrie, Woody

Legend of a Balladeer
Download DBM 00912
Biography of Woody Guthrie, who traveled the land and wrote songs about American life. “This Land Is Your Land” and “Roll on, Columbia” are among the musical selections.

Hancock, Herbie

Herbie Hancock
Download DBM 01229
His mastery of both acoustic piano jazz and electronic jazz-rock-funk has propelled him to stardom. Herbie Hancock discusses his role in the film Round Midnight, plays “Chan’s Song,” written especially for the film, and joins Marian McPartland for their own version of “That Old Black Magic.”

Hawkins, Coleman

Spotlight on Coleman Hawkins
Download DBM 00264
Friends and colleagues reminisce about the jazz musician’s career. Includes a recording of his last performance.

Heifetz, Jascha

The World’s Greatest Violinist
Download DBM 00203
Interview with renowned violinist Jascha Heifetz. Includes performances.

Hines, Earl

Fatha Hines Groove
Download DBM 00054
Traces the development of Hines’s unique jazz piano style throughout the long span of his career.

Holiday, Billie

Billie Holiday
Download DBM 00822
Biography of the blues singer. Examples of her sensitive style include both upbeat and blues songs. Some backings are played by Teddy Wilson and Lester Young.

Holly, Buddy

Buddy Holly
Download DBM 00900
Buddy Holly’s legacy of rock and roll music influenced such performers as Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, and the Beatles. “Well, That’ll Be the Day” is heard.

Hopkins, Lightnin’

Focus on Lightnin’ Hopkins
Download DBM 00292
In this documentary, the blues singer and guitarist reminisces about the early days of his career and performs many of his songs.

Jackson, Mahalia

Mahalia Jackson Discusses “Movin’ on Up”
Download DBM 00231
Interview with the great black singer, who describes her strong faith and the hymns and spirituals she sings that reinforce her faith.

Jarvis, Jane

Jane Jarvis
Download DBM 01258
An executive for Muzak, former organist with the New York Mets, and now a headliner in premier jazz clubs, Jarvis plays a solo version of “The Bounder.” A duet of “J and M Blues” concludes this interview by Marian McPartland.

Jessel, Georgie

The Legend of Georgie Jessel
Download DBM 00816
Old radio broadcasts illustrate his wit along with songs and comments about his life and career.

Jolson, Al

I’d Rather Please You than Anyone
Download DBM 00815
Jessel eulogizes Al Jolson whose popularity spanned the 1920s to 1950s. This in-depth biography of the great entertainer includes the song “My Mammy.”

The Legend of Al Jolson
Download DBM 00824
Famous for his black face, white gloves, and bended knee, the minstrel man became a legend in his own time. Born in 1886, he went from vaudeville to Broadway. Includes “My Mammy,” his memorable specialty.

Jones, Oliver

Oliver Jones
Download DBM 01247
His renditions of “Street of Dreams” and “Straight, No Chaser” have earned this Montreal native international recognition. The endearing Oliver Jones talks about his career and tells stories of his childhood friend Oscar Peterson.

Joplin, Janis

Janis Joplin
Download DBM 00899
Biography of the electrifying performer born in Port Arthur, Texas, who died at age twenty-seven of a heroin overdose. Includes several of her emotionally charged songs.

Keene, Constance

Constance Keene
Download DBM 00726
Constance Keene discusses her performances at the Menuhin Festival in Stadt, Switzerland, and her teaching experiences at the Manhattan School of Music. She believes that music schools are admitting too many unprepared and untalented students.

Khan, Bismillah

Spotlight on Bismillah Khan
Download DBM 00313
Discusses the art, daily life, and music of Bismillah Khan, exponent of India’s subtle and complex music played on the shannai, a double reed instrument.

Kirkland, Kenny

Kenny Kirkland
Download DBM 01239
While still in his twenties, he has already made thirty recordings and worked with an impressive range of artists-from Wynton Marsalis to Sting. Kenny Kirkland talks with Marian McPartland and performs a two-piano version of “Billy’s Bounce” with her.

Kitt, Eartha

Eartha Kitt
Download DBM 00726
A candid interview with the singer-dancer. She talks about her life as a poor orphan growing up in the South and her rise to international stardom and self-acceptance.

Kreisler, Fritz

The Legend of Fritz Kreisler
Download DBM 01196
This famed violinist was born in Vienna in 1875. He toured the United States in 1888 before making his debut in Berlin. Two featured selections are “Rondino” based on a theme by Beethoven and “Caprice” by Kreisler.

Spotlight on Fritz Kreisler
Download DBM 00288
Fritz Kreisler comments on music in general, his successful career, his collection of violins, and his family. Selections from performances are included.

Laine, Jack

Pappa Jack the Patriarch
Download DBM 00279
On his ninetieth birthday, Pappa Jack Laine reflects on his role in the development of jazz.

Landowska, Wanda

Focus on Wanda Landowska
Download DBM 00160
Wanda Landowska describes her affinity for the harpsichord and her thoughts about music, her career, and life in general.

Lanza, Mario

Mario Lanza
Download DBM 00896
Koussevitzky was instrumental in giving the Philadelphia-born legendary tenor his beginning. Excerpts from operas and “Granada.”

Lauder, Harry

Harry Lauder Special
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Scotsman who created a character of fact and fancy toured the United States extensively for twenty-five years beginning in 1907. He sings several Scottish songs.

Ledford, Lily May

The Life and Music of Lily May Ledford
Download DBM 00778
Appalachian musician Lily May Ledford plays her fiddle and banjo, and describes efforts to preserve old-time Appalachian music traditions.

Lewis, Ted

The Legend of Ted Lewis
Download DBM 00827
His trademarks-a top hat, cane, and clarinet-gave him his distinction. He performed for nine presidents during his career.

MacDonald, Jeanette

Queen of the Sentimental Love Song
Download DBM 00341
Summarizes the film career of Jeanette McDonald, the twenty years from 1929 to 1949. Gives the background of her films, costars, and songs.

Marley, Bob

The Music and Marley
Download DBM 00717
An interview with Bob Marley, who, until his death in 1981, was considered the living symbol of Jamaica and its Reggae music.

Marsalis, Ellis

Ellis Marsalis
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He is the father of two popular American jazz artists: Wynton and Branford Marsalis. This teacher, performer, and recording artist, credited with instilling a love for music in all his children, talks about and plays his own compositions and combines talent with Marian McPartland for their version of “Blue in Boogie.”

McCormack, John

The Irish Nightingale
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John McCormack, contemporary of Caruso, had a way with words which made him a leading singer of his day. “Where the River Shannon Flows” and a 1916 recording of “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” are heard.

McKeller, Kenneth

Troubadour in Tartan
Download DBM 00923
The Scottish singer Kenneth McKeller sings in much the same style as John McCormack. Among the musical selections are “Danny Boy” and “I Hear You Calling Me.”

Menuhin, Yehudi

Menuhin and Ayrton
Download DBM 00374
Michael Ayrton, noted sculptor, painter, and writer, discusses the responsibilities of gifted musicians and artists with Yehudi Menuhin, well-known violinist.

Yehudi Menuhin, Man and Musician
Download DBM 00069
The renowned violinist whose musical career began before the age of three discusses his experiences as a child prodigy and as a mature musician.

Miller, Kid

Focus on Kid “Punch” Miller
Download DBM 00291
Tribute to black trumpet player “Punch” Miller, known in the New Orleans of the 1920s and 1930s as “King of the Blues.”

Miller, Mulgrew

Mulgrew Miller
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In an interview with Marian McPartland, Miller and McPartland take turns on Art Tatum tunes, and the two combine forces on Cole Porter’s “What Is This Thing Called Love?”

Mingus, Charlie

Charlie Mingus Speaks Out
Download DBM 00183
Charlie Mingus talks about life, love, education, religion, children, women, men, and injustice, from the black perspective.

Morgan, Helen

The Legend of Helen Morgan
Download DBM 00182
Songs and the story of Helen Morgan’s life and theatrical career. Vocal samples include “Bill,” “Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man of Mine,” and “Give Me a Heart to Sing.”

Mulligan, Gerry

Gerry Mulligan
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Best known as a baritone saxophonist and big-band performer, Gerry Mulligan has begun to write and perform symphonic music. During this interview he turns to the piano to play “Ontet” and a duet of “Blue Angst.”

Munsel, Patrice

The Story of Patrice Munsel
Download DBM 00033
Story of a small-town girl who made it to the Metropolitan Opera.

Novak, Larry

Larry Novak
Download DBM 01255
A teacher, director, arranger, and composer from Chicago considers himself “one of the last generalists” and proves it by offering an impressive variety of piano jazz during this interview with Marian McPartland.

Peerce, Jan

Jan Peerce
Download DBM 00823
Versatile performer on radio, TV, stage, and in opera. “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” “Blue Bird of Happiness,” and Schubert songs are heard.

Pepper, Art

Musical Ideas of Art Pepper
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The artist discusses how he puts a jazz piece together. Starting with a promising tune, he works out rhythmic and melodic outlines, then allows emotions to take over with individual solos.

Petrucciani, Michel

Michel Petrucciani
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“I’m never letting anything stop me from doing what I want to do,” proclaims the twenty-one-year-old Petrucciani during this discussion and demonstration of his own composition style.

Powell, Maud

Child Prodigy of the Violin
Download DBM 00115
Discusses the life of Maud Powell, the American violin virtuoso who was not considered seriously until she was invited to play for Queen Victoria.

Presley, Elvis

Portrait of Elvis Presley
Download DBM 00814
Biography and music of the country singer turned rock star. Discusses the views and expectations of his fans.

Puente, Tito

Tito Puente, the King of Salsa
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Biography and music of the popular Latin musician.

Ritter, Tex

Tex Ritter
Download DBM 00878
Biography of the Texas-born country-western singer and Hollywood cowboy. “High Noon,” “Old Shortie,” and “Lord, Can a Drunk Get into Heaven” are among the songs heard.

Roberts, Judy

Judy Roberts
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In a conversation with Marian McPartland that hits topics from sexism to Cole Porter, Judy Roberts shows that her independence and talent make her one of the most versatile singers and pianists of her age.

Robeson, Paul

Paul Robeson
Download DBM 00957
Biography of Paul Robeson, the controversial singer who was the first performer to do concerts consisting solely of spirituals.

Rodgers, Jimmie

Portrait of Jimmie Rodgers
Download DBM 00882
Biography of the country-western singer of the 1920s and 1930s. “Birmingham Jail” and “Lookin’ for a New Mamma” are among the songs heard.

Rubinstein, Artur

He Loved Life from Miracle to Miracle
Download DBM 00969
This great pianist, considered by many to be the world’s reigning artist in Chopin performance, attracted a wider following and performed more concerts than any other concert artist of his day. Works by Brahms, DeFalla, and Beethoven are performed.

Rushen, Patrice

Patrice Rushen
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Her talents range from jazz and soul to rhythm and blues. The popular vocalist, songwriter, arranger, and master keyboardist Patrice Rushen discusses her career and demonstrates her many abilities, including her rendition of “Spirit Song.”

Seals, Son

Son Seals
Download DBM 01230
The Chicago blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist traces the blues’s move up the Mississippi into Memphis and Chicago, and explains how his own Arkansas roots influence his music.

Seeger, Pete

The Incompleat Folksinger
Download DBM 00294
Folksinger Pete Seeger sings some of his favorite ballads and discusses his controversial life and his book.

Protests of Pete Seeger
Download DBM 00057
The folksinger who was branded an outcast and banned from radio, television, and concert halls discusses the origins of his radicalism.

Segovia, Andres

Spotlight on Andres Segovia
Download DBM 00289
A master guitarist discusses his involvement with music, his search for and ultimate discovery of the perfect guitar, and his most memorable concerts.

Shearing, George

George Shearing
Download DBM 01242
This legendary blind jazz figure describes his early start in music as a teenager and plays some of his favorite pieces.

Shuur, Diane

Diane Shuur
Download DBM 01236
This vocalist and pianist first performed at age nine to begin a career that has taken her to the White House and the Monterey Jazz Festival. Diane Shuur reflects on her life and does a solo of “I Can’t Believe You Are in Love with Me.”

Sills, Beverly

From Soap Opera to Grand Opera
Download DBM 00973
Insight into Beverly Sills’s life. Her role as Cleopatra in the opera Julius Caesar brought her universal popularity.

Smith, Leonard Bingley

Three Cheers for the Red, White, and Blue
Download DBM 01013
Trumpeter and conductor Leonard Smith plays “Carnival of Venice” and reminisces about his career and other performers such as Sousa. The Detroit Concert Band is also heard.

Spanier, Muggsy

Musical Ideas of Muggsy Spanier
Download DBM 00022
A legendary jazz trumpeter discusses his art and idols.

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal
Download DBM 01191
An interview with the black musician who is called a “blues man,” but who insists that his music is of many types of people.

Taylor, Cecil

Cecil Taylor
Download DBM 01241
A jazz artist with a classical background, Cecil Taylor has garnered such honors as a Guggenheim Fellowship and an honorary doctorate from the New England Conservatory of Music. Here he offers his tribute to Jimmy Lyons and joins Marian McPartland in a duet of “Get Out of Town.”

Taylor, Koko

Koko Taylor
Download DBM 01231
Born in the great blues town of Memphis, Taylor talks about her singing and the importance of female blues singers like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith.

Temple, Shirley

The Legend of Shirley Temple
Download DBM 00817
Her career began when she was seven years old and spanned 1935-1938. “The Good Ship Lollipop” and “Goodnight My Love” are featured.

Thompson, Butch

Butch Thompson
Download DBM 01244
Best known for his popular appearance on public radio’s “Prairie Home Companion,” Butch Thompson performs opera as well as folk music and jazz. This cassette begins with “Ecuadorian Memories” and ends with a rousing version of “Rosette.”

Torm‚ Mel

Musical Ideas of Mel Torm‚
Download DBM 00150
Insights into jazz. Torm‚ discusses his vocal style and the vocal trademarks of other singers.

von Trapp

Von Trapp Family Singers
Download DBM 00967
A retelling of the Sound of Music story along with other real-life adventures of the von Trapp family of singers, who perform folk songs and other selections from concerts.

The Wonderful World of the Trapp Family
Download DBM 00356
How Maria von Trapp and her singing family found a way to preserve and share the culture and beauty of their beloved Austria. Many musical examples.

Tureck, Rosalyn

First Lady of Bach
Download DBM 00110
In this interview, Rosalyn Tureck describes her life as child prodigy, gifted student, conductor, concert artist, and music scholar.

Vallee, Rudy L

The Legend of Rudy L. Vallee
Download DBM 00821
Biography of the singing idol, band leader, and actor who hosted a radio show which had such entertaining personalities as Edgar Bergen and Sophie Tucker as guests. Includes “I’m Just a Vagabond Lover” among other songs.

Verrett, Shirley

Focus on Shirley Verrett
Download DBM 00268
Shirley Verrett, a black opera singer, discusses her career and sings excerpts from Carmen, Il Trovatore, Samson and Delilah, Aida, and Orfeo.

Waters, Ethel

The Legend of Ethel Waters
Download DBM 00818
Ethel Waters made her way from poverty to stardom in vaudeville. Among her best known songs, “Dinah” (1925) and “Am I Blue” (1929) are heard.

Williams, Hank

Down That Long Lost Highway
Download DBM 00813
Biography and music of Hank Williams, who died at age twenty-nine. His career, during which he wrote “Your Cheatin’ Heart” and “Your Cold, Cold Heart,” lasted only three years. Several of his friends are interviewed.

Winter, Paul

Musical Ideas of Paul Winter
Download DBM 00017
A jazz artist discusses his State Department tour of Latin America, his meeting with jazz musicians in cosmopolitan cities, and his experiences in the bush where natives had never heard of jazz.

Zeitlin, Denny

Denny Zeitlin
Download DBM 01246
A practicing psychiatrist as well as an accomplished pianist who has toured with the Paul Winter Consort, Denny Zeitlin discusses his music and plays several tunes from his first album.

Ziegfeld, Florenz

Father of the Follies
Download DBM 00353
Biography of the great Florenz Ziegfeld, producer in the grand manner. Music selections include “I’m an Indian” (1921) sung by Fanny Brice and “When the Moon Shines on the Moonshine” by Bert Williams.


Alter, Louis

Music in My Heart
Download DBM 00551
Story of Lou Alter, the composer of the melody “Manhattan Serenade” as well as four other instrumental pieces inspired by New York City: “Manhattan Moonlight,” “Manhattan Masquerade,” “Metropolitan Nocturne,” and “Side Street in Gotham.”

Arlen, Harold

The Man Who Gave the World a Rainbow
Download DBM 00568
Interview with Harold Arlen, composer of the score to The Wizard of Oz and of songs written for stage and screen. Selections from his work include “Over the Rainbow,” “Stormy Weather,” and “Blues in the Night.”

The Beatles

The Beatles
Download DBM 00065
Interview with John Lennon and Paul McCartney, former Beatles, about wealth, fame, and world issues.

John and Yoko
Download DBM 00578
John Lennon and Yoko Ono discuss fame, money, and drugs.

Benjamin, Bennie

The Man Who Set the World on Fire
Download DBM 00567
Bennie Benjamin talks about his collaboration with lyricist George Weiss. Songs include “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire” and “I Don’t See Me in Your Eyes Anymore.”

Berlin, Irving

The Bard of Tin Pan Alley
Download DBM 00945
Biography of the extraordinary songwriter who recorded our history in song. “Always,” “The Girl on the Magazine Cover,” and “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” are among the featured songs.

Tribute to Mr. America
Download DBM 01011
Biography of the songwriter who gave us a wonderful legacy of the spirit of America with such songs as “God Bless America” and “Alexander’s Ragtime Band.”

Boggs, Jesse

Sessions with Jesse Boggs
Download DBM 00734
Singer-songwriter Jesse Boggs pokes fun at American society by recreating a recording session. The musicians, intent upon making a hit album, reduce music to its most salable elements: music and satire.

Brewster, W. Herbert

Rev. Brewster, Gospel Music
Download DBM 00776
Gospel music composer W. Herbert Brewster is interviewed on National Public Radio’s Horizons series. His most famous song, “Move On Up a Little Higher,” helped launch the career of Mahalia Jackson.

Brown, Oscar, Jr.

Oscar Brown, Jr.
Download DBM 00727
The singer-songwriter and social activist talks about his life, his music, and his strong identification with Scott Joplin.

Caesar, Irving

If You Have to Learn, Don’t Start
Download DBM 00571
Reminiscences by Irving Caesar, leading lyricist for George Gershwin and lyricist of such songs as “Tea for Two,” “Swannee,” “Sometimes I’m Happy,” and “Yankee Doodle Blues.”

Cahn, Sammy

I’ve Heard That Song Before
Download DBM 00559
Story of Sammy Cahn, prolific lyricist for composers Jule Styne, Jimmy Van Heusen, and Saul Kaplan.

Cannon, Hughie

Won’t You Come Home, Hugh Cannon?
Download DBM 00856
Biography of the ragtime pianist who wrote “Won’t You Come Home, Bill Bailey?”

Cohan, George M. (George Michael)

Cohan Is a Grand Old Name
Download DBM 00328
Story of the acting and song writing career of George M. Cohan, composer of “Give My Regards to Broadway,” “The Yankee Doodle Boy,” and “Over There,” the World War I song for which Cohan received a congressional gold medal.

Coleman, Cy

If My Friends Could See Me Now
Download DBM 00539

Cy Coleman, singer, pianist, conductor, and composer, surveys the contemporary music scene.

Comden, Betty

Betty Comden and Adolph Greene
Download DBM 00006
Two writers of such Broadway hits as The Bells Are Ringing and On the Town discuss musical theater and perform some of their own works.

Coots, J. Fred

The Santa Claus of Tin Pan Alley
Download DBM 00547
Story of musical comedy composer and popular songwriter J. Fred Coots, composer of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.”

Corea, Chick

Chick Corea
Download DBM 01250
The multi-talented musician plays selections from a variety of musical genres-from big band to jazz-rock fusion. In “Piano Jazz,” recorded at Corea’s own California studio, the prolific composer joins Marian McPartland for a dazzling mix of talk, improvisations, and musical portraits.

Coslow, Sam

Put Some Heart in a Song
Download DBM 00526
Sam Coslow discusses his experience in writing motion picture songs.

Darion, Joe

A Lot of Strings to Play
Download DBM 00561
Joe Darion, who wrote the lyrics to Man of La Mancha, expresses surprise at the popularity of his song “The Impossible Dream.”

Davis, Benny

The Lyrical Life of Benny Davis
Download DBM 00536
Benny Davis, lyricist of the World War I song “Goodbye Broadway, Hello France” and the popular song of the 1920s”Margie” tells of his long career as a songwriter.

Donaldson, Walter

When Walter Donaldson Ruled the Roost
Download DBM 00608
Gerald Marks tells anecdotes about fellow composer Walter Donaldson, whose songs include “Carolina in the Morning,” “MakingWhoopee,” “Back Home in Tennessee,” and “My Mammy.”

Drake, Ervin

A Lot of Meaning with the Music
Download DBM 00570
Ervin Drake discusses the thread of spirituality that runs through many of his songs, which include “I Believe,” “One God,” and “It Was a Very Good Year.”

Duning, George

For Whom Writing Music Is a Picnic
Download DBM 00556
Interview with George Duning, one of Hollywood’s most prolific writers of theme and background music.

The Early Days of Songwriting
Download DBM 00528
Survey of popular music written before the founding of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. Features songs of Stephen Foster, songs popular during the Civil War, songs by Henry Clay Work, and songs of the Gay Nineties. Part 1 presents popular music of 1800-1860. Part 2 presents popular music of 1860-1880.

Edwards, Sherman

American History Was Never like This
Download DBM 00528
Interview with Sherman Edwards, dropout history teacher who composed 1776, the Broadway musical based on the Revolutionary War and the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Eliscu, Edward

You’ve Given Us More than You Know
Download DBM 00563
Interview with Eddie Eliscu, author, playwright, actor, and lyricist of such songs as “Great Day” and “The Carioca,” the song made famous by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in their first film collaboration, Flying Down to Rio.

Fain, Sammy

He Gave Us a Thousand Beautiful Memories
Download DBM 00908
Interview and music by lyricist Sammy Fain, who bridges the gap between honky-tonk and modern ballads. “Secret Love” and “Love Is a Many Splendored Thing” won him two Academy Awards.

Fulson, Lowell

Lowell Fulson
Download DBM 01233
The man who wrote B.B. King’s first hit, “Three O’Clock Blues,” describes the creation and evolution of the mellow California blues sound.

Gilbert, L. Wolfe (Louis Wolfe)

“G” Is for the Great Songs You Gave Us
Download DBM 00606
Interview with Mrs. Gilbert, whose late husband, L. W. Gilbert, wrote “Waitin’ for the Robert E. Lee,” “My Mother’s Eyes,” “Down Yonder,” and “Ramona.”

Green, Bud

Evergreens from Bud
Download DBM 00550
Reminiscences by Bud Green, lyricist of the hit “Sentimental Journey” along with discussion about Sibelius’s Finlandia and Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever,” two pieces sealed in a time capsule at the New York World’s Fair of 1939.

Grusin, Dave

Dave Grusin
Download DBM 01251
Known primarily as the composer of the musical scores for “Tootsie” and “On Golden Pond,” Dave Grusin is also a successful producer and performer. During this interview he plays his own “Theme from St. Elsewhere,” and Marian McPartland joins in for a melodic duet of “I Remember April.”

Guthrie, Woody

The Folk Singer
Download DBM 00854
Detailed biography of Woody Guthrie, born in rural Oklahoma in 1912. He wrote one thousand songs which express the essence of grass roots America.

Legend of a Balladeer
Download DBM 00912
Biography of Woody Guthrie who traveled the land and wrote songs about American life. “This Land Is Your Land” and “Roll on, Columbia” are among the musical selections.

Woody Guthrie Remembered
Download DBM 00044
Interviews with friends of Woody Guthrie. Includes songs by Cisco Houston, Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie himself, and some children’s songs.

Handy, W.C. (William Christopher)

The Father of the Blues
Download DBM 00343
The late W.C. Handy sings and tells about writing such songs as “Memphis Blues,” “St. Louis Blues,” and “Beale Street Blues.”

Harbach, Bill

Bill Harbach
Download DBM 00926
Interview with Otto Harbach’s son, who reminisces about his father’s contribution to musical comedy. “Cuddle Up a Little Closer” and “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” are two of his well-known songs.

Harburg, E.Y. (Edgar Yipsel)

You’re a Builder Upper
Download DBM 00553
E.Y. Harburg, lyricist of Finian’s Rainbow and The Wizard of Oz, relates America’s history as a “melting pot” to the songwriting scene.

Herbert, Victor

The Legend of Victor Herbert
Download DBM 00612
Focus on Victor Herbert, one of the founders of ASCAP, covering his varied career as composer of the operetta Babes in Toyland, bandmaster of New York’s Twenty-Second Regiment Band, and conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Victor Herbert
Download DBM 00585
Biography. Herbert’s failure at composing serious pieces for the opera and violoncello resulted in the operetta Naughty Marietta, a forerunner of musical comedy. Includes selections from Victor Herbert’s musical comedies.

Herman, Jerry

The American Sampler
Download DBM 00910
Interview with songwriter-composer Jerry Herman, interspersed with his music. Among his credits are the Broadway shows Hello Dolly and Mame.

The Man Who Carried It Off
Download DBM 00525
Jerry Herman, composer and lyricist of Broadway shows Hello Dolly and Mame, discusses future plans for writing music.

Johnson, James P. (James Price)

James P. Johnson
Download DBM 00858
The composer of “Charleston” and “If I Could Be with You” ranked along with Scott Joplin and Jelly Roll Morton as the “father” of the eastern Harlem stride style.

Jones, Tom

A Lot More than Fantastic
Download DBM 00540
Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, the team that produced The Fantasticks, discuss past shows and present work in musical theater.

Kahn, Gus

We’re Still Singing “I’ll See You in My Dreams”
Download DBM 00575
Songs written by lyricist Gus Kahn and his many collaborators, with discussion of Kahn’s film biography.

Kalmar, Bert

A Couple of Crazy Guys/Three Little Words, Thirteen Little Letters
Download DBM 00623

Story of Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, successful songwriters who remained vaudeville comedians at heart.

Kern, Jerome

Jerome Kern, Man of Melody
Download DBM 00156
Friends discuss Jerome Kern’s legendary career.

Master of the Medium, the Man Who Found the Silver Lining
Download DBM 00613
Discusses Jerome Kern’s career as writer of show tunes. Includes performances of “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” from Roberta and “Make Believe” and “Ol’ Man River” from Showboat.

Lane, Burton

No Sad Songs for Me
Download DBM 00554
Burton Lane discusses his collaboration with E.Y. Harburg in writing the Broadway musical Finian’s Rainbow and its most famous song “How Are Things in Glocca Morra?”

Leigh, Carolyn

Young at Heart
Download DBM 00562
Lyricist Carolyn Leigh discusses the influences on her writing.

Lerner, Sammy

Makin’ Up a Song as I Go Along
Download DBM 00604
Sammy Lerner, lyricist for Hoagy Carmichael and Jay Gorney, tells of writing the song “Popeye the Sailor Man.”

Livingston, Jay

Give It All You’ve Got
Download DBM 00625
Anecdotes from Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, the team that wrote theme songs for the television series Bonanza and Mr. Ed, as well as award-winning songs like “Que Sera, Sera,” “Mona Lisa,” and “To Each His Own.”

Loesser, Frank

A Man and His Music
Download DBM 00573
An interview with the widow of Frank Loesser, a songwriter whose World War II songs include “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.”

Marks, Gerald

They Don’t Write ’em like That Anymore
Download DBM 00342
Gerald Marks, composer of the popular song “All of Me,” reminisces about the songs written by Irving Berlin, Victor Herbert, and others.

Marks, Johnny

Johnny Marks and His Celebrated Reindeer
Download DBM 00564
Johnny Marks, composer of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” talks about the varied sources of inspiration for his songs.

McHugh, Jimmy

Happy Songs from a Happy Man
Download DBM 00621
Life and music of Jimmy McHugh, composer of such cheerful songs as “The Sunny Side of the Street” and “It’s a Most Unusual Day.”

Mercer, Johnny

The Man Who Launched 1,000 Hits
Download DBM 00548
Life and songs of Johnny Mercer, who wrote the lyrics of “Moon River,” “Days of Wine and Roses,” and “Blues in the Night.”

Mizzy, Vic

The Whole World Is Singing My Song
Download DBM 00616
Songwriter Vic Mizzy tells anecdotes about his contemporaries and collaborators and gives opinions about current popular music.

Nyro, Laura

The Music of Laura Nyro
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Laura Nyro is interviewed by John Daly. Her diverse musical expressions are analyzed by Michael Thomas, Richard Goldstein, and Patrick O’Conner.

Oakland, Ben

You’re Not So Easy to Forget
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Story of the long career of Ben Oakland, who began playing classical music at an early age and went on to success as a vaudeville entertainer and as a songwriter for the Ziegfeld Follies and for Broadway musicals.

Olman, Abe

The Ship That Came In
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Abe Olman reminisces about his career as a music publisher and as a songwriter whose hits include “I’m Waiting for Ships That Never Come In” and “Down among the Sheltering Palms.”

Parish, Mitchell

The Sentimental Gentleman
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Interview with Mitchell Parish, a lyricist who teamed with composers Duke Ellington, Hoagy Carmichael, and Sammy Fain, and whose collaboration with Carmichael produced the hit “Stardust.”

Porter, Cole

Focus on Cole Porter
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Comprehensive collection of Cole Porter songs, with commentary tracing his career from 1937.

The Master of “From Major to Minor”
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Relates Cole Porter’s affluent background to the “plutocratic stylishness” of his songs. Plays songs from Porter’s years on Broadway, including “Night and Day,” “Anything Goes,” and “I Get a Kick out of You.”

Raksin, David

So You Want to Write for the Movies
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David Raksin, composer and conductor, discusses the process of writing music for films. Excerpts from Forever Amber.

Ramirez, Ram

Ram Ramirez
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He wrote Billie Holiday’s hit song “Lover Man” and enjoys continued popularity on the New York jazz scene. Roger “Ram” Ramirez converses with Marian McPartland and teams up with her for a duet of “Undecided.”

Rodgers, Richard

The Dynamics of Collaboration
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Musical-comedy composer Richard Rodgers reminisces about the forty- three years he spent in partnerships with lyricists Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein.

The Most Unforgettable Composer I Never Met
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Dorothy Rodgers, wife of composer Richard Rodgers, discusses her husband’s career in musical theater and his collaborations with lyricists Larry Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II. Includes well-known songs from Oklahoma!, The Sound of Music, and South Pacific, as well as less familiar songs and tells the story of the music publishing scene on Tin Pan Alley at the turn of the

Oklahoma! and Beyond
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Richard Rodgers, composer of the theatrical landmark Oklahoma!, reminisces about his collaboration with lyricist Oscar Hammerstein.

Romberg, Sigmund

The Last of the Giants
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Story of Sigmund Romberg, a composer who combined Viennese style with American idioms in such operettas as Blossom Time, The Student Prince, and My Romance.

Focus on Sigmund Romberg
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Oscar Hammerstein talks about Romberg’s life, plays, and greatest songs.

Rome, Harold

Seven Shows to Rome
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Anecdotes told by Harold Rome, composer of such Broadway musicals as Pins and Needles, Call Me Mister, and Wish You Were Here.

Ruby, Harry

A Couple of Crazy Guys/Three Little Words, Thirteen Little Letters
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Story of Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, successful songwriters who remained vaudeville comedians at heart.

Schwartz, Arthur

Something to Remember Him By
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Life and music of Arthur Schwartz, who gave up his law practice to write for musical theater. Songs include “Dancing in the Dark” and “You and the Night and the Music.”

Spina, Harold

Sing Me an Old-Fashioned Song
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Composer and conductor Harold Spina reminisces with Mike Whorf about his long songwriting career and about his music for “Annie Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” “It’s So Nice to Have a Man around the House,” and other songs for the movies.

Strouse, Charles

By Strouse
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Strouse, who composed the score of Bye, Bye Birdie, discusses the importance of a composer’s involvement in arranging and orchestrating melodies.

Styne, Jule

There Goes That Song Again
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Songs by Jule Styne, arranger and composer who collaborated with lyricist Sammy Cahn to write such hits as “I’ve Heard That Song Before” and “Let It Snow, Let It Snow.”

Tilzer, Harry von

Please Sing Me One More Chorus
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Life of prolific composer and music publisher Harry von Tilzer, writer of “Wait till the Sun Shines, Nellie” and “I Want a Girl Just like the Girl That Married Dear Old Dad.”

Tobias, Charles

As the Years Go By
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Interview with Edna Tobias, who tells of her late husband Charles’s varied career as a vaudeville entertainer and as a songwriter for musicals and motion pictures.

Van Heusen, Jimmy

Mister Music
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Career of Jimmy Van Heusen, whose songs, written with lyricist Johnny Burke, include “Imagination,” “Swinging on a Star,” and “Sunday, Monday, or Always.”

Youmans, Vincent

Through the Years
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Highlights of Vincent Youman’s career writing scores for such musicals as Great Day and No, No, Nanette.

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