Regarding the Motion Picture Academy Awards, musical archivist/author Stanley Green wrote in the 1980 that the category of Best Song has the “…least justification today. Apart from the impossibility of selecting a “best´ song, this particular award, initially prestigious because of the embarrassment of riches, has simply become an embarrassment.”
LOSERS…BUT WINNERS celebrates the embarrassment of riches that was popular film music in Hollywood´s halcyon days. Only one song each year could be “The Best,” so it´s not surprising how many great standards worthy of nomination did not win: “The Carioca,” “Lovely To Look At,” “Cheek To Cheek,” “Pennies From Heaven,” “That Old Feeling,” “They Can´t Take That Away From Me,” “Change Partners,” “Jeepers Creepers,” “Wishing”…and that´s only the 1930s. That leaves another four decades to explore fine songs that managed to get themselves nominated without garnering top prize. After 1980, underscoring Stanley Green´s observation, it appears movie songwriting took a permanent powder.
LOSERS…BUT WINNERS indeed. Yet another collection of superb, timeless songs to celebrate America´s Golden Age of Popular Music.
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.