Free lecture to celebrate Jewish songwriters’ contributions to Tin Pan Alley, Broadway and Hollywood

A celebration and remembrance of the contributions and influence of Jewish songwriters to popular music.

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (October 19, 2015) - From World War I through the Vietnam War, American musical taste was unified around the contributions of Jewish songwriters who worked on Tin Pan Alley and then on Broadway and in Hollywood. On Monday, November 2, 2015 at 7:30 p.m., this remarkable time in music will be celebrated by author and scholar Stephen J. Whitfield, Ph.D., in a free lecture at Fairfield University.

Open to the public, the talk - “Making America Harmonious: The Jewish Contribution to Popular Music” – will take place in the Dolan School of Business Dining Room.

“Never before and never again would a certain style of music be so universally popular,” said Dr. Whitfield, the Max Richter Professor of American Civilization at Brandeis University. “How it came to bear the signature of certain talented Jews, and how their own origins might be connected to their artistic success, will be analyzed and appreciated in this talk.” George Gershwin and Irving Berlin are among the iconic composers who will be discussed. The event is sponsored by Fairfield University’s Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies.

Dr. Whitfield is the author of over 50 articles and encyclopedia articles, and eight books, including In Search of American Jewish Culture. He is currently working on a political history of Brandeis University. In 2010, he received the Samuel Proctor Award for Distinguished Scholarship from the Southern Jewish Historical Society. Dr. Whitfield earned a Ph.D. from Brandeis, a master’s degree from Yale University, and a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University.

Reservations requested. Email or call (203) 254-4000, ext. 2066. For more information about the Bennett Center for Judaic Studies, visit

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Posted on October 23, 2015

Vol. 48, No. 37

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