All of us who enjoy compositions from the body of music known as the American Songbook owe Michael Feinstein a big debt of thanks. He isn’t merely keeping the repertoire alive and in front of the public, he’s expanding it.
By his own admission, Feinstein has always admired the American Songbook. Using his success first as a nightclub entertainer and then as an international headliner, Feinstein is making it his life’s work to discover and preserve recordings, arrangements and tunes that until his efforts were largely considered forgotten. That is some seriously important work.
Feinstein doesn’t have a great voice, but he doesn’t need one. He’s a superb musician, an energetic performer and, by now, a knowledgeable musicologist. He knows genre and style as well as anyone, and this comes through in his busy performing schedule.
Here’s a link to his wonderful website, Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook.
This site is a treasure trove of information, recordings, video and more. You can see and here Feinstein performing many prominent hits from the American Songbook, including Cole Porter’s jaunty “Anything Goes,” Lena Horne giving sultry passion to “Can’t Help Loving That Man,” and Bing Crosby’s easy-breazy rendition of “Don’t Fence Me In,” just to name a few. The site is easy to navigate, has a great collection of imagery, and even has clips from the PBS series documenting Feinstein’s lifelong project.
Take a peak when you get a chance. You’ll love it. And you can be sure that several of those magnificent songs are part of my American Songbook Gold show.