The American Midwest, its land and people, inspired generations of songwriters during the first half of the 20th century.
Michael Lasser explores Kansas City in Popular Song on Sunday, October 21, 2012, at
2 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
Popular songs with a Kansas City connection were a staple on Broadway. Think "Everything's Up To Date in Kansas City" from the musical Oklahoma! And then of course there's the Lieber and Stoller rock classic "Kansas City" with its "pretty little women."
That particular composition has been recorded by hundreds of performers, from Wilbert Harrison (who made the definitive 1959 version) to the Beatles, Bill Haney & the Comets, Peggy Lee, Brenda Lee, James Brown, Albert King, Sammy Davis Jr., Muddy Waters, the Everly Brothers, and Trini Lopez.
Michael Lasser has been called "a walking encyclopedia of American song" and is the author of America's Songs: The Stories Behind the Songs of Broadway, Hollywood, and Tin Pan Alley. His weekly radio show, Fascinatin' Rhythm, originated in 1980, went into national syndication in 1989, and has been heard on as many as 110 stations. It has won the George Peabody Award, the most prestigious award in broadcasting, for its "celebration of American culture."
Admission is free. RSVP online  or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available at the Library District parking garage at 10th & Baltimore.
This presentation is part of the Missouri Valley Sundays series, a program of the Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Central Library. The series is made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.