skip to main content

Listen

Read

Watch

Schedules

Programs

Events

Give

Account

Donation Heart Ribbon

Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook: Putting On The Tail Fins

Airs Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Michael Feinstein in concert

This three-part series coming to PBS in October, 2010 is a dynamic, documentary-style road trip and cultural primer, with Michael Feinstein as the leader of an expedition through the glorious history of American popular song.

Viewers follow him both on stage and back stage, hear him interpret great standards, listen in on personal stories about the songwriters and entertainers he’s known and worked with over three decades, and accompany him on his quest to find and preserve the rare treasures of classic American music Rare archival audio and film footage combine to reveal the social and historical forces behind the music that helped shape the style, attitude, and self-image of America for more than a century.

Filled with generous portions of live performance, this series offers both an intimate portrait of a unique entertainer, and a history of 20th Century pop culture.

Episode one, "Putting On The Tailfins," focuses on the 1950s and ‘60s, when the Great American Songbook was in competition with new forms like rock ‘n’ roll, and rhythm & blues.

As Feinstein crisscrosses the country performing with big bands, symphony orchestras and jazz combos, viewers learn how iconic singers like Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Rosemary Clooney kept the Songbook alive by reinventing pop standards of the 1930s and ‘40s.

Episode Two "Best Band in the Land (1940s)" airs Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 8 p.m

Episode Three "A New Step Every Day (1920s–1930s)" airs Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 8 p.m.

Video

Interview with Michael Feinstein

Above: The three part series is a dynamic, documentary-style road trip and cultural primer, with Michael Feinstein as the leader of an expedition through the glorious history of American popular song. Viewers follow him both on stage and back stage, hear him interpret great standards, listen in on personal stories about the songwriters and entertainers he's known and worked with over three decades, and accompany him on his quest to find and preserve the treasures of classic American popular music.