America in the 1920s: Wall Street was on the rise, cops were on the take, jazz was in the air, and alcohol had been banished—but it certainly hadn’t vanished.
Jazz writer Dan Morgenstern and historian Michael McGerr join us to talk Louis Armstrong and bebop, pop ballads, the Cold War and more.
Cafe Society was New York City's first integrated nightclub and a cultural flashpoint for artists, jazz musicians, intellectuals, and activists of the 1940s.
The Beatles’ explosive arrival on the American music scene in 1964 shook up the jazz world just as much as it did the rest of America—perhaps even more so.
Ellington kept his orchestra together in a changing economic landscape, continuing to create memorable music and expanding his compositional horizons.
We'll hear music from Louis Jordan, Kitty Kallen with Jimmy Dorsey, Sam Donahue's Navy band, and much more.
In honor of the holiday weekend, we're posting both parts of last year's "American Popular Song and World War II".
Bix is jazz’s Number One Saint,” critic Benny Green once wrote of cornet player Bix Beiderbecke (1903-1931).
Historian and Indiana University professor Michael McGerr is a man whose scholarly knowledge and personal enthusiasms are infectiously wedded. In Part 2 of this Night Lights interview, Michael talks about the influence of Duke Ellington’s ambitious Black, Brown and Beige suite and the civil-rights movement on later composers who undertook extended black musical histories as well. Michael is a guest on this week’s show, Suite History: Duke Ellington, Oliver Nelson, John Carter, and the African-American Odyssey…
Our guest on this week’s Night Lights program Suite History is Michael McGerr, a historian and professor at Indiana University in Bloomington. Michael, author of the book A Fierce Discontent: The Rise and Fall of the Progressive Movement in America, 1870-1920, frequently teaches a course at IU on American popular music in the 20th century. He has a particular passion and expertise for Duke Ellington, one of the three composers whose music is featured in Suite History, and he can be heard in two previous WFIU documentaries…