Fascinatin' Rhythm

Program Schedule

KPBX 91.1
Saturday 1pm - 2pm

Fascinatin' Rhythm
explores the history and themes of American popular music from Stephen Foster to Stephen Sondheim. These weekly "radio essays," illustrated by recordings, won the 1994 George Foster Peabody Award for letting "our treasury of popular tunes speak (and sing) for itself with sparkling commentary tracing the contributions of the composers and performers to American society." The Peabody citation called Fascinatin' Rhythm "a celebration of American culture." The program originates from WXXI-Classical 91.5.

About the host:
Michael Lasser, a theater critic and writer, is host and producer, and Andrew Croucher is the technical director for the hour-long, nationally-syndicated program.

Program Listings:
April 5, 2014
Hurry on Down to My House

Home may be where the heart is, but it isn’t necessary what you think it is. House and Home don’t always sort out neatly.

April 12, 2014
Jerome Kern’s Other Lyricists

Although he collaborated most often with Oscar Hammerstein and Dorothy Fields, Jerome Kern never had a steady lyricist. He worked with the unknown to the famous, from M.E. Rourke to Johnny Mercer.

April 19, 2014
This Must Be Illegal

Tributes to what may just be the most delightful form of sin.

April 26, 2014
The Waltz and the Polka

Once the upper crust tamed the waltz and polka, we had a chance to discover how wide-ranging these two popular dance forms really were.

May 3, 2014
Born in 1896

By accident of biology, more important songwriters were born in 1896 than any other year. A hour to take advantage of a lucky accident.

May 10, 2014

When the middle class embraced the values of domesticity and propriety before the 20th century swept them away, popular songs recorded their point of view.

May 17, 2014
Making Eyes

Expressiveness leads to flirting, and then you’re on your own.

May 24, 2014
Hurry, It’s Lovely Up Here

Songs for being up on the rooftops, from penthouses to tenements, from summer heat to pouring rain.

May 31, 2014
Yip Hated To Say “I Love You”

Yip Harburg wrote love songs but used his own irreverent way of playing with words to avoid the obvious.

June 7, 2014
Ragtime Songs About Ragtime Songs

Ragtime songs had a habit of singing about themselves – in syncopation, naturally.

June 14, 2014

With a banjo and a ukulele, too, no sad songs allowed. Guitars and mandolins are a different story.

June 21, 2014
Neely and the Paragon

Don Neely and the Paragon Orchestra keep the alive by recreating the sound with good spirits, good humor, and good musicianship.

June 28, 2014
Mark Twain’s America

The music Huck and Tom might have heard on their way along the Mississippi.

Link to Website

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