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A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs

Contributed by Peter Silberman on 09/10/19 

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 The Ithaca College Jewish Studies Program will sponsor a talk by author David Lehman entitled "A Fine Romance:  Jewish Songwriters, American Songs," which will take place on Monday, 9/16, at 7:30 pm in Textor 101.  The lecture is free and open to the public.

Author David Lehman will present a lively and entertaining talk on the Jewish songwriters who created America’s popular and Broadway music from the 1920s to the 1960s, known as the “Great American Songbook.”  Many jazz standards and probably a majority of the songs in the Great American Songbook were written by Jewish composers and lyricists. They, or their parents, escaped persecution in Eastern Europe, emigrated to the United States, and wrote musical odes to love, romance, show biz, and the American dream. In this talk Mr. Lehman will raise and address such questions as these: What is "Jewish" about the songs written by Berlin, the Gershwins, Leonard Bernstein, and many others? Who were they and what are their chief contributions? What did the Jewish songwriters borrow from - and lend to -- African-American musicians as well as Italian-American crooners?

 David Lehman is the author of A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs, which won the Deems Taylor Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in 2010. Lehman's other nonfiction books include Sinatra's Century: One Hundred Notes on the Man and His World and One Hundred Autobiographies: A Memoir, which Cornell University Press is publishing in October 2019. A poet, Lehman has published ten books of poetry (most recently Playlist in April 2019). He is the editor of The Oxford Book of American Poetry and series editor of The Best American Poetry, the annual anthology he founded in 1988. 

 The lecture is sponsored by Ithaca College’s Jewish Studies Program and is free and open to the public.  Parking is free anywhere on the Ithaca College campus after 5 pm.  For more information, please contact Peter Silberman at (607) 274-1496,, or see our Facebook page:

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact him by email or phone. We ask that requests for accommodations be made as soon as possible.


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