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.

Fascinatin' Rhythm Program 1706

I Do the Best I Can with What I've Got

The night stretches out but the years whiz by, and life happens to happen—parceled out in a hundred popular songs.

Fascinatin' Rhythm: Sob Songs - 1/28

Jan 22, 2017

Sob Songs

Program 1705 

Irving Berlin coined the term so here are the great “sob songs,” music and words by the master.  Berlin must have known that his audience needed more songs to help them feel better about crying so much!

Fascinatin' Rhythm: City Songs - 1/21

Jan 15, 2017

Program 1704: City songs aren’t about subject or setting, but rather about a defining sensibility that can only be called urban. 20th century American songwriters were answering the public's yearning to feel included in the hip, happening world of cities.

Program 1703: Not Your Everyday Rain Songs 

When you take a common image and make it sing, you’re turning the familiar into something fresh; it’s what songwriters do.  This week on Fascinatin' Rhythm, join us as we dive into the minds of songwriters and transform the ordinary into the extraordinary!

Fascinatin' Rhythm Program 1702 

WXXI Broadcast Date: 12/31/16

Popular music plays an essential role in The Great Gatsby. Here’s how.

Host Michael Lasser has a VIP pass to the hottest parties of the 1920s with Jay Gatsby and all the exciting music that fueled that swingin' time.

Fascinatin' Rhythm: Seven Remarkable Nights

Jan 4, 2017

Fascinatin' Rhythm Program 1653/1701

WXXI Broadcast: 1/7/17

A single week in 1925 when four major musicals opened on Broadway, one was Rose-Marie.

Fascinatin' Rhythm: Yip & Cole, An Unlikely Duo - 12/24

Dec 18, 2016

Program 1652

12/24    Yip & Cole, An Unlikely Duo – Cole Porter, apolitical, and Yip Harburg, a man of the left, joined together in a skeptical view of life inseparable from their defining wit.

Cole Porter and Yip Harburg are songwriting heroes individually, but their paths crossed many times during their careers.

Program 1651

12/17    Irving Berlin and “What’ll I Do?” – Irving Berlin's song "What'll I Do?" plunged him into stardom, but where did he go from there?  How Irving Berlin got to one of his greatest standards and where it took him next.

Fascinatin' Rhythm: Broadway Soliloquies - 12/10/16

Dec 4, 2016

Program 1650  - Broadway Soliloquies

12/10  – Rodgers and Hammerstein were some of the first storytellers to look into the mind of characters on Broadway.  With their new emphasis on character, soliloquies in song became central to telling the story in Broadway musicals.

Fascinatin' Rhythm: Three Decades of Ballard MacDonald

Nov 27, 2016

12/3 Classic American songwriter Ballard MacDonald made a name for himself everywhere he went, from Broadway to Hollywood. MacDonald moved successfully from Tin Pan Alley to Broadway to Hollywood, scattering hits along the way.