Whimsical Winter Reading

So, you’ve already read every Verdi and Wagner biography on the market in preparation for next summer – and a few out-of-print ones, too? Here are a few suggestions to set the mood for the fanciful and legendary side of … Continue reading

Irving Berlin: A Daughter’s Memoir

Irving Berlin got his songwriting start as a lyricist, not a tunesmith. (He quickly realized, however, that he wouldn’t have to share royalties if he also wrote his own melodies.) His extraordinary verbal facility was legendary–he solved  “impossible” rhymes for … Continue reading

What I’m Reading: American Popular Song

Not too many people know the name Alec Wilder today. Even in his own time, the eccentric, itinerant, self-educated scholar of American song (among other subjects) never quite caught on in the popular imagination. Perhaps he was too difficult to … Continue reading