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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful
More Stories from the American Songbook

3-Session Daytime Series

Thursday, January 20; February 3; and February 17, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET
Quick Tix Code: 1K0195
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$55 Package Non-Member
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Using a medley of filmed performances, documentary filmmaker and cultural historian Sara Lukinson traces how some of our favorite love songs from the American songbook came to be and how re-imaginings by different artists, unexpected arrangements, and changing times transformed them into something more.

Please Note: Individual sessions are available for individual purchase.

JAN 20 Songs of Love and Yearning: “My Funny Valentine” and “Someone to Watch Over Me”

Written for Broadway musicals in 1926 and 1940, these songs outlasted their shows, and hundreds of versions later—from the simple to the soaring, the delicate to the sensual—they are the ones that turn our yearnings for love into the words and music we dream to.

FEB 3 Songs of Remembered Love: “Autumn Leaves,” “Send in the Clowns,” and “This Nearly Was Mine”

How tenderly these songs give wings to our memories of love lost but never forgotten. They are the poignant echoes of what was or might have been, the music of the heart’s private chamber.

FEB 17 Songs with Wide Open Arms: “What a Wonderful World” and “Smile”

These are the songs that can lift your spirits, bring back a smile, or open your arms to the day. They can melt our blues and keep us company when we’re happy. A wide range of arrangements keep them living on and on, through times of joy and tears.

Lukinson, who has won three Emmys and seven Writer’s Guild Awards, now teaches at NYU and the 92nd Street Y. Her personal essays have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.

3 sessions

Photo caption (upper right): Clockwise: Nat King Cole, 1959; The original "South Pacific" playbill; Richard Rodgers seated at piano with Lorenz Hart on right (Library of Congress)

Patron Information

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This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.