Bucks County’s Musical Links to Broadway & Hollywood
THE BUCKS/BROADWAY CONNECTION was originally commissioned by the Bucks County (PA) Historical Society as a program focusing on those Bucks County residents famous for their work on Broadway and in Hollywood. In assembling the program, Fred Miller discovered that, through their collaborations with Bucks residents Oscar Hammerstein II, Moss Hart, George S. Kaufman, Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Schwartz and others, every major composer of Broadway & Hollywood’s Golden Age has a “Bucks Connection.”
This roster of Bucks-connected composers is a virtual A-List of American songwriting: George & Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Jule Styne, Kurt Weill, Sigmund Romberg, Rudolf Friml, Frank Loesser among others…not to mention all the stellar performers with their own collaborative links.
And the Broadway classics connected directly to Bucks County? OKLAHOMA, GYPSY, WEST SIDE STORY, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, OF THEE I SING, GUYS AND DOLLS, SHOW BOAT, MY FAIR LADY…and then some.
Singing, playing and narrating from the piano, Fred Miller offers THE BUCKS/BROADWAY CONNECTION, celebrating the Golden Age of American Song…and our region´s direct involvement and contribution to a remarkable era of entertainment.
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.