AMERICAN MUSICAL THEATRE {LEROY ANDERSON} (TV)

Summary

One in this educational public affairs series that traces the origins and development of the American musical theater and examines the careers and contributions of the creative artists who have made the musical a native American art form. In an informal workshop setting, New York City high-school students meet the composers, lyricists, and performers who have shaped the American musical and question them about their work. This program, hosted by Earl Wrightson, explores the music of composer Leroy Anderson. It opens as the CBS Orchestra plays his "Syncopated Clock," also known as the theme song for television's "The Late Show." Defined by Wrightson as America's foremost composer of light program music, Anderson explains that the song was not in fact written for that show at all. After reviewing his early musical training, Anderson describes the creation of his first piece of published music, "Jazz Pizzicato," and conducts its performance by the CBS Orchestra. In response to questions from the audience, Anderson defines his compositions as light concert music, or classical music with a popular touch, and attributes his work's popularity to the fact that it is not heavy or serious, but melodic and somewhat humorous. Following this, Anderson conducts the CBS Orchestra in his "Blue Tango" and then discusses the difference between instrumental compositions and those done for the human voice such as his work on the Broadway musical "Goldilocks." Citing his love of performing, Anderson then plays the piano solo of his "Forgotten Dreams." Next, he describes the process behind composing "The Typewriter," defines its humor as consisting of imitative descriptive sounds, and conducts its performance by the CBS Orchestra with soloists Milton Schlesinger and Spence Powell. He then closes the program with the first live performance of "Clarinet Candy" and a reprise of "The Syncopated Clock."

Cataloging of this program was made possible by a grant from the GRAMMY Foundation.

Details

  • NETWORK: WCBS-TV
  • DATE: February 23, 1963 Saturday 2:30 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:28:32
  • COLOR/B&W: B&W
  • CATALOG ID: T:56296
  • GENRE: Music
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Composers
  • SERIES RUN: WCBS (New York, NY) - TV series, 1959-1965
  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

    • Ned Cramer … Producer
    • Ethel Burns … Associate Producer
    • Anthony Farrar … Director
    • Leroy Anderson … Composer, Conductor
    • CBS Orchestra, The … Music Group
    • Earl Wrightson … Host
    • Leroy Anderson … Guest
    • Milton Schlesinger … Instrumentalist, Typewriter
    • Powell, Spence (audio i.d. only) … Instrumentalist, Bell