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Broadway & Hollywood Legends - The Songwriters Collection (Kander & Ebb / Alan Jay Lerner / E.Y. "Yip" Harburg / Sheldon Harnick / Burton Lane / Mitchell Parish / Arthur Schwartz / Charles Strouse)

John Kander , Fred Ebb  |  NR |  DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Kander, Fred Ebb, Alan Jay Lerner
  • Format: Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sunset Home Visual Entertainment (SHE) / Lance Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 1, 2004
  • Run Time: 402 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001JXPKC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #467,267 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • Songwriter biographies
  • Photo galleries from the personal collection of Fred Ebb, Sheldon Harnick, and Burton Lane
  • 12-page commemorative booklet

Editorial Reviews

Kander & Ebb / Alan Jay Lerner / E.Y. "Yip" Harburg / Sheldon Harnick / Burton Lane / Mitchell Parish / Arthur Schwartz / Charles Strouse

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than Nostalgia: This is History July 8, 2004
In the 1980's Producer Sonny Fox started taping sessions with the great Broadway composers & lyricists based on a series of lectures that were held at New York's 92nd Street Y. Now, after more than 2 decades, these are finally being released on DVD, and what a treasure they are. In addition to being among the musical greats of the 20th century, the artists in this set are also consummate performers who know how to tell a story. They are also wise enough to know that most of their songs should be sung by trained Broadway professionals (although "Yip" Harburg's "Last Night When We Were Young" will tear your heart out!)The strongest set is, arguably, Burton Lane's, although I might be prejudiced as I think Lane is the most under-rated Broadway composer ever. The weakest, and most fascinating, is lyricist Mitchell Parish's wherein he REFUSES to make ANY mention of the composers who wrote the melodies to which he set the words. This includes Hoagy Carmichael who penned a little item called "Stardust" (lyrics: Parrish). But I quibble. EVERY set is a masterful rememberance of a time when music & lyrics were meant to MEAN something. And we're there with the folks who made it all happen. It's Nirvana (and I don't mean the band!)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Words & Marvelous Music! June 25, 2005
By Richard
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is an amazing, emotional, entertaining and touching journey through a popular music songbook-and an era that will never exist again-in the company of these marvelous Music Men (and with fond memories of their talented collaborators)who, among them, created some of the best-loved and most-often sung American standards of all-time. Their carefully-crafted melodies and thoughtful, expressive lyrics both reflected and affected the times in which they were written, and this is a faithful-and irreplaceable-narrative of those times and tunes by men who have achieved musical immortality with their ability to touch our hearts and souls through their timeless songs. There are reminiscences, anecdotes, and engaging singing performances by the songwriters themselves, along with other able and personable interpretive soloists and backing musicians. It's all done on-stage in front of delighted and appreciative audiences, and it's almost like being in the front row yourself. For anyone who's interested in popular music or Broadway show tunes of the 20th century, this lively set is a truly outstanding collection, a one-of-a-kind treasure!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Glorious DVD Boxed Set April 13, 2008
A brilliant notion to interview some of america's songwriters before they shuffled off their mortal coils. Filmed in the early 1980's, this is a great record of the guys who brought wit and literacy to the craft of songwriting - something extinct in the music of today.
My personal highlights are the Alan Jay Lerner and Yip Harburg segments, which demonstrate the hard-work graft and sensitivity of talented song-writing.
A glorious dvd set!

They're Playing Our Song: Conversations With America's Classic Songwriters
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
As a teacher of college and Elderhostel courses on musical theater, I show my students clips from Hollywood versions of famous production. Most of the composers and lyricists who created the original scores, however, are no longer with us. In a remarkable series of programs presented at the YMHA in New York City, legends of the theater came to reveal their creative processes and provide first-hand insights into the musical theater productions of the 1920's, 30's and beyond. Particularly valuable were the sessions with Yip Harburg, friend of the Gershwins and lyricist for "Brother Can You Spare a Dime" and "Finians Rainbow," and other important music, and Arthur Schwartz, whose pioneering compositions for 1920's revues, such as "The Bandwagon," led to the the more sophisticated and complex musical scores that swung the American musical theater away from imitations of European operetta and into its own genre.
Alan Jay Lerner plays his own compositions, including some from "My Fair Lady" and "Camelot"
These personal insights, illustrated by performances of some of the most memorable songs, provide a personal and in-depth look at the business of show business - how music is written, how it is fit into productions, and how the artists work together to create a successful and memorable show.
If these sessions, presented in the 1970's had not been preserved on videotape, this fascinating window into living theater history would have been closed forever,
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