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More Stories from the American Songbook

Songs of Love and Yearning

Afternoon Course

Thursday, January 20, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1K0196
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
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Clockwise: Nat King Cole, 1959; The original "South Pacific" playbill; Richard Rodgers seated at piano with Lorenz Hart on right (Library of Congress)

Save when you purchase the More Stories from the American Songbook winter series!

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.

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.

Session Information

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.

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