Great Dames


A Vintage Sheet Music Gallery Of Storied Ladies-Shady, Pure And Otherwise…

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The “infinite variety” ascribed by Shakespeare to Cleopatra is a fitting description of Girls´ & Women´s prominence in American Popular Song. This Lecture-in-Song draws entirely upon the fabled female characters who have populated sheet music´s fantasy world right from the start.

Saints, sinners, party girls, girls-next-door, soiled doves, pedestaled virgins, vixens, vamps, sirens, sickly Victorian spinsters, faithful wives, all-embracing mothers, dutiful Gal Fridays, kid sisters, strippers, hausfraus, flat-footed workhorses, floozies, career women, connivers, a boy´s best friend, a man´s worst nightmare, confidantes, teases, pals, homewreckers, the answer to every dream…all present and colorfully accounted for.

Their names? The Lees, Annabel and Aura, Mammy, Mame, Mandy, Rosemarie [“…an angel´s breath beneath your sighs…a little devil in your eyes…”], Second Hand Rose, Lida Rose, Delilah [“…she´ll do you no good…”], Cleopatterer, Clementine, Lulu, Gigi, Eadie [“…class with a capital K…”], Adeline [“…the flower of my heart…”], Dolly, Chloe [“…I´ve got to go where you are!”], Mona Lisa, Emily, Laura, Hannah, Mary, Marie, Maria, Margie, Mimi, Madeline, Nancy, Stella, Susie, Liza, Linda, Lola, Jenny [“…inclined always to make up her mind…”], Katie, Lili Marlene, Sadie, Georgia, Lydia…to identify but a few.

Here is one half of the human equation providing nearly 100% of the inspiration for Popular Song. After all, what is Life without Love and Romance including all its headaches, heartaches and perilous pitfalls? GREAT DAMES is an entire universe containing every imaginable stripe and attitude, as fascinating, full and varied as humanity itself. If humor, wise insight and fun are the goals, American Popular Song with its glorious gallery of GREAT DAMES delivers, as always, right on cue.

If you would like to engage Fred Miller for one of his Lectures-in-Song, please contact him directly at any time. For a full listing of all Lectures, click here.

Fred Miller’s Lectures-In-Song comprise a series of solo programs, each an historical, anecdotal and musical profile of some great personality or important aspect of American Popular Song. These Lectures are delivered by singer/pianist/narrator Miller at the piano, and each reflects his lifetime passion and appreciation for great music. He studied classical piano in his hometown of Albuquerque from ages 7-15 but early on gave up any notion of music as a profession. At that time, Fred assumed a musical career was either one devoted to the rigid discipline of classical music or being a freewheeling rock star, and he accurately decided he had no aptitude for either. However, at age 22, upon hearing Ella Fitzgerald sing Cole Porter, he found his calling and life’s mission.

Through the Seventies and Eighties, Miller studied and absorbed in minute detail the life and times and songs of nearly all the great American composers and lyricists who thrived during Broadway & Hollywood’s Golden Age between the two World Wars. In 1987, he founded Silver Dollar Productions in order to produce operettas, dramas, musicals and small cabarets. Silver Dollar Productions required ensemble casts, props, costumes and, most significantly, the challenges of publicity and selling tickets, and for a dozen busy years, the company presented an unbroken string of varied and highly lauded performances.

In 1999, Miller was simultaneously underwritten by both his local Hunterdon County Library and the Art Alliance of Philadelphia to present a series of six solo Lectures-In-Song, each devoted to one of the premiere Broadway/Hollywood songwriters: George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers, Jerome Kern, and Harold Arlen.

In presenting history, biography and psychology while sitting at a piano singing the superlative songs of his heroes, Miller has found a single performing medium that utilizes most of his intellectual and musical passions.The list of Lectures-In-Song that began with six in 1999 is now more than seventy(and growing!), a joyful tribute to the boundlessly rich field of American Popular Song.