IN-PERSON: The Elderwise classroom at the Vineyard Church
Today, generations later, the popular songs of the 1930s and 1940s still elicit powerful memories and feelings – pleasure and despair, fulfilment and loss. We listened to and learned these songs through radio, movies, musical theatre, and live performances. Their lyrics and music stay with us, even now. They were the work of a productive, talented group of musical artists from varied backgrounds whose creativity flourished within a commercial framework that embraced popular culture. Among them, three of the greatest were Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, and Johnny Mercer (“I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “Over the Rainbow,” “That Old Black Magic”), and many more. In this class we will explore the lives and work of these artists who made American popular culture so distinctive. Michael Homel is Professor Emeritus of History at Eastern Michigan University. He specializes in 20th century American history and American urban history. Mike is the author of Unlocking City Hall: Exploring the History of Local Government and Politics, and other publications on urban politics and education.