Classical 91.5

Fascinatin' Rhythm with Michael Lasser

Saturdays at 11:00am-12:00pm on WXXI-FM 91.5, WXXI-FM/HD 91.5-1 and online at wxxi

WXXI's Fascinatin' Rhythm presents of popular American music from Stephen Foster to Stephen Sondheim, in the context of their relationship to American history. Every week, host Michael Lasser offers a rich mix of singers, songwriters and songs to explore the history and themes of American popular music.  LISTEN to this past week's show below.

Playlists for Fascinatin' Rhythm are located here.


Program # 1724

6/10      That Toddlin’ Town  New York gets most of the attention in songs because it’s the home of Tin Pan Alley and Broadway, but Chicago, as usual, is The Second City.

Chicago was a popular song written by Fred Fisher and published in 1922. It has been recorded by many artists, the most well-known is by Frank Sinatra.

iz Quotes

Program # 1723

6/3       Matchmaker: The Love Songs of Sheldon Harnick  A major Broadway lyricist found that the hardest thing of all to write was a love song.

Fascinatin' Rhythm: Life Is Like a Train, 5/27/17

May 21, 2017

Program # 1722

Even if it isn’t, follow along for a century of songs about riding the rails, from the suburbs to the other end of the continent.

Fascinatin' Rhythm: In the Kitchen Songs Set, 5/20/17

May 14, 2017

Program # 1721

In the living room? Sure. The bedroom? Definitely. But the kitchen, too? You bet.

Fascinatin' Rhythm Program #1720

Even though George Gershwin had a discernible sound, the evolution of his style over a mere twenty years is striking.

Fascinatin' Rhythm: The Eleven O’Clock Number, 5/6/17

May 8, 2017

Program #1719

By the middle of the second act, audiences can grow drowsy. Here’s how shows wake them up in time for the finale.

Fascinatin' Rhythm Program 1718

From the Irish to the Jews in Tin Pan Alley, a musical history about discrimination and acceptance.

Fascinatin' Rhythm: How Duke Ellington Wrote, 4/22/17

Apr 17, 2017

Program # 1717  

American composer, pianist and bandleader Duke Ellington was an originator of big-band jazz.  Ellington composed thousands of scores over his 50-year career.  Fascinatin' Rhythm with Michael Lasser features this historical and influential jazz composer's unique writing style.  He played piano but when he composed, his instrument of choice was his entire band.  No one else worked that way.

Fascinatin' Rhythm: Spirituals and Minstrel Songs, 4/15/17

Apr 10, 2017

Program # 1716

African-American music in the 19th century, from the sacred to the profane, the exalted to the demeaning.

Fascinatin' Rhythm: Maceo Pinkard, 4/8/17

Mar 26, 2017

Program # 1715

Maceo Pinkard was the first African American composer to work with many white lyricists.