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American Songbook Preservation Society

The period from 1920 to 1960 represents the apex of American popular music, that produced a treasure trove of talented musicians the likes of which the world has never known before or since. From vocalists like Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald and composers/lyricists such as George and Ira Gershwin and Irving Berlin, America gifted the world with music of a higher caliber, but today that music has all but disappeared from the cultural landscape. The Great American Songbook is a body of music that is lauded the world over for representing the zenith of American culture and songwriting at its best. And it has never before been so important to take action to preserve and restore this vital cultural resource and access to it.

With vinyl and compact disc recordings quickly becoming a distant memory, record stores disappearing and live performance dwindling, there is a very real danger that this music will be lost to future generations. Perhaps Tony Bennett put it best when he said, "This is America's classical music." American Songbook Preservation Society (ASPS) has launched an Indiegogo funding effort to attract an army of volunteers that will assist in developing a wiki to catalog existing Internet resources about the Great American Songbook. ASPS is also developing its own resources including digitized text, photos, sound and film to keep this truly American musical legacy in front of the public for the next 100 years and beyond.

ASPS looks forward to disseminating information and educational materials free to the public as a destination on the world wide web. American Songbook Preservation Society is a performance organization whose purpose since 2003 has been to continue the legacy of the Great American Songbook by presenting this music to public at home and abroad as Ambassadors of Song. The organization features highly accomplished musicians and singers performing these works for public benefit and educational purposes. To participate in this effort, please click on the link below.
For further information about American Songbook Preservation Society, please visit


Ettore Stratta, Music Producer and Conductor, Dies at 82

Mr. Stratta conducted and produced albums devoted to symphonic adaptations of different musical forms, including “Symphonic Tango” and “Symphonic Boleros.” His “Symphonic Elvis” was recorded, appropriately, by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra in 1996. Stratta has recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Fantasy Strings, among other groups, and showed no signs of slowing down following the turn of the millennium. Ettore Stratta, who produced records by stars like Barbra Streisand and Tony Bennett and conducted symphonic arrangements of everything from bossa nova to the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, died on July 9 in Manhattan. He was 82. NYTimes Bio

RIP Omar Sharif: Dr Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia star dies aged 83

10 April 1932 – 10 July 2015



Omar Sharif, also credited as Omar Cherif and Omar el-Sherif, was an Egyptian actor. His films included Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago. He was nominated for an Academy Award and won three Golden Globe Awards and a César Award. Maurice Jarre composed the music for these two memorable films.


James Last, Bandleader Dies at 86

James Last (also known as "Hansi", born Hans Last; 17 April 1929 – 9 June 2015) was a German composer and big band leader. His "happy music" made His numerous albums best-sellers in Germany and the United Kingdom. His composition "Happy Heart" became an international success in interpretations by Andy Williams and Petula Clark. According to British Hit Singles & Albums (2006), he is reported to have sold over 100 million albums worldwide. Last's trademark sound employed big band arrangements of well-known tunes with a jaunty dance beat, often heavy on bass and brass

VIDEO: James Last, his orchestra & singers perform live at the BBC TV Studios, London on 15th October 1976.


Harry Rabinowitz MBE (born March 26, 1916 in Johannesburg, South Africa) is a British conductor and composer of film and television music.

Harry Rabinowitz is the son of Israel Rabinowitz and Eva, née Kirkel. He was educated at the University of the Witwatersrand and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Rabinowitz' musical career began as a six-week stint playing sheet music for potential customers in a Johannesburg department store. His first job conducting an orchestra was for a show called “Strike a New Note” in 1945, using a rolled-up newspaper for a baton. Rabinowitz left Johannesburg for England in 1946 to study conducting. He was conductor of the BBC Revue Orchestra (1953–1960), music director for BBC Television Light Entertainment (1960–1968), and head of music for London Weekend Television (1968–1977). He has conducted at the Hollywood Bowl (1983-1984) and the Boston Pops Orchestra (1985-1992). He has conducted the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He was the conductor at the Orchestra of St. Luke's Ismail Merchant and James Ivory 35th anniversary celebration at Carnegie Hall on September 17, 1996. WIKIPEDIA

 VIDEO: Harry Rabinowitz - City Slicker (1956)

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