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A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs (1910-1965)

December 23, 2020

Virtual Exhibit: A Fine Romance. Jewish Songwriters, American Music.

A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songbook, 1910-1965 uses text and imagery from Broadway musicals, classic films, posters and personal collections to tell the stories of great composers and lyricists. The featured artists include Harold Arlen ("Over the Rainbow," "Stormy Weather"), Irving Berlin ("God Bless America," "White Christmas"), George Gershwin ("Rhapsody in Blue," An American in Paris), Jerome Kern (Showboat, "All the Things You Are"), and the stage musical team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein (The Sound of Music, South Pacific, Oklahoma!).

All came from families that immigrated to America in the 1800s or fled persecution in Europe at the turn of the 20th century. Their popularity was fueled by the advent of the radio receiver, the broadcasting microphone, the talking movie, the long-playing record and other inventions that brought music to mass audiences.


Featuring text from "A Fine Romance" traveling exhibit curated by David Lehman, and developed by Nextbook Inc. and the American Library Association Public Programs Office.


Explore Jewish Songwriters of

the Great American Songbook


Irving Berlin's America S'wonderful! 'S Marvelous! George Gershwin


I hear my father singing. Harold Arlen.


Everybody's favorite composer, Jerome Kern.


Rodgers and Heart. Rodgers and Hammerstein.


Jewish Songwriters' Role in American Music

  A fine romance with Dorothy Field sitting at piano


     That's entertainment. Irving Berlin at the piano with singers holding "Alexander's Ragtime Band" sheet music.



Visit more online Exhibits from

The Great American Songbook Foundation