Beginning in 1919, these two schoolboys turned Broadway and the entire world on its collective ear, cavalierly sweeping aside all dusty, lace-lined Edwardian sentiment for something that was eternally fresh, witty, poignant, heartbreaking, topical, romantic, sexy, brilliantly crafted, distinctively Rodgers & Hart.
A Rodgers & Hart tune sparkles and shines and lives like no other. To wit: “Manhattan,” “Mountain Greenery,” “Thou Swell,” “My Heart Stood Still,” “Blue Moon,” “With A Song In My Heart,” “My Romance,” “Mimi,” “Isn´t It Romantic?,” “This Can´t Be Love,” “Falling In Love With Love,” “My Funny Valentine,” “Where Or When,” “Lady Is A Tramp,” “Sing For Your Supper,” “I Could Write A Book,” “Bewitched” among a constellation of others.
This incomparable partnership ended with Hart´s premature death in 1943 which also marked the beginning of yet another phenomenal team: Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein. It was Rodgers & Hammerstein who brought the art of musical theatre to its zenith, but it was the team of Rodgers & Hart who made Broadway and popular American song grow up once and for all in the 1920s. Their songs of romance requited and otherwise will never go out of favor as long as human beings seek out love on this planet.
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.