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. Composer Jerry Bock and lyricist Sheldon Harnick host this edition, which examines the evolution and background of their musical, "Fiddler on the Roof," less than one month after its opening night on Broadway. Milton Greene, the show's conductor on Broadway, opens the program by conducting the CBS Orchestra in the overture of the musical. Bock and Harnick begin by discussing the following topics: how they chose the material for the show and what made them think it would make a successful subject; Sholom Aleichem's stories, which inspired the show, and his role in developing Yiddish into a literary language; the ease in finding backers for the musical; and the universality of their subject matter despite the play's setting in a particular time and place. Bock and Harnick then discuss the changes that occurred to the show as they worked on it and perform some of the original opening number, "We've Never Missed a Sabbath Yet," which was scrapped in favor of "Tradition," which currently opens the show and uses some of the original song's melodic lines. Next, they perform "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" and the only song in the entire show that never changed, "Sabbath Prayer." They then sing "Miracle of Miracles," which was added hastily while they were opening the show out of town in Washington, D.C. As an example of creating characters through song, they perform "Now I Have Everything." Next they sing the celebratory "To Life" accompanied by the orchestra, and the program closes -- as does the Broadway show -- with the orchestral version of "To Life."

Cataloging of this program was made possible by The Marc Haas and Helen Hotze Haas Foundation, 1998.


  • DATE: October 18, 1964 Sunday 11:30 AM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:28:43
  • COLOR/B&W: B&W
  • CATALOG ID: T:64032
  • GENRE: Music
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Music, popular (songs, etc.)
  • SERIES RUN: WCBS (New York, NY) - TV series, 1959-1965


    • Ned Cramer … Producer
    • Ethel Burns … Associate Producer
    • Wallace Weltman … Production (Misc.) , Production Supervisor
    • Bill Bryan … Director
    • Rowland Vance … Direction (Misc.), Assistant Director
    • Jerry Bock … Composer, For "Fiddler on the Roof"
    • Sheldon Harnick … Lyricist, For "Fiddler on the Roof"
    • Milton Greene … Conductor
    • CBS Orchestra, The … Music Group
    • Don Walker … Music (Misc. Credits), Arranger
    • Matilda Pincus … Music (Misc. Credits), Arranger
    • Jerry Bock … Host, Performer, Singer, Instrumentalist, Pianist
    • Sheldon Harnick … Host, Performer, Singer
    • Gaylord Avery … Announcer
    • Sholom Aleichem
    • Jerome Robbins
    • Joseph Stein