Great Performances: Season 31, Episode 11

The Great American Songbook (11 Mar. 2003)

TV Episode  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 54 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

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Episode credited cast:
Himself - Host
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert Alda ...
Himself (archive footage)
Herself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Themselves (archive footage)
Harold Arlen ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Herself (archive footage)
Anne Brown ...
Herself (archive footage)
Herself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Ben Carter ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)


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Release Date:

11 March 2003 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Vernon Duke, the Russian-born songwriter mentioned in the film, studied music at the St. Petersburg Conservatory under his original name, Vladimir Dukelsky. One of his classmates was Sergei Prokofieff, who became a major classical composer: the two were lifelong friends and regularly wrote letters to each other until Prokofieff's death in 1953. (The letters were an important source for Harlow Robinson's biography of Prokofieff.) See more »


The narration describes Al Jolson as one of America's leading vaudevillians. Jolson never played vaudeville; he went directly from performing in minstrel shows to appearing in Broadway musicals. See more »


Features Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) See more »

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User Reviews

Good, But should have been better!
25 February 2006 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

I have this program on the DVD release, and although I agree with the previous critic about the poor showing of Doris Day, I think the same thing about the lack of clips on Bing Crosby, again prominently featured on the cover, apart from being seen in the background in 'Anything Goes'[1936] whilst Ethel Merman sings a couple of songs, the only Bing performance is his 'True Love' duet with Grace Kelly! Come on Michael, I've heard you state on Australian Television that Bing Crosby was your favorite male singer, this is the guy who literally invented 20th. Century 'Pop' music, and blazed the trail for ALL who were to follow, I would have thought he rated more than a passing mention in a program like this. Enjoyable, but for me, disappointing as well.

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