David Lehman, the author of seven volumes of poetry, examines what is Jewish about American popular song, and how Jewish songwriters “were reinventing themselves as American and changing America itself at the same time,” in A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs (Nextbook/Schocken).
Inspired by both African-American blues and jazz and Jewish liturgical music, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen et al., along with lyricists such as Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers and Ira Gershwin, created a song track for generations of lovers, as they “were conducting a passionate romance with America,” writes Lehman.
Here’s the Nextbook trailer for A Fine Romance:
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