Thursday, August 9, 2012

Marvin Hamlisch: Thanks for Everything

Marvin Hamlisch died on Monday at the age of 68. His Broadway and movie music was the music I grew up on. I will give you a view of some of his wonderful work in a moment, but first, I want to spend a moment on the state of art education in the public school system.
Mr. Hamlisch in recent years, has been a crusader for art education in the schools, touring the United States and performing and talking at schools across the country. To quote from Mr. Hamlisch:
“I don’t think the American government gets it,” he said during an interview at the Orange County High School of the Arts in Santa Ana, Calif. “I don’t think they understand it’s as important as math and science. It rounds you out as a person. I think it gives you a love of certain things. You don’t have to become the next great composer. It’s just nice to have heard certain things or to have seen certain things. It’s part of being a human being.”
At P.S. 216 George J Ryan Junior High School, in Flushing, my alma mater, we had periodic assemblies (I can't remember the frequency) where the entire grade was brought into the assembly hall, and we were given the words to various Broadway Shows, and we sang. I still know almost every word to songs like On the Street Where You Live and I Could Have Danced All Night, and sing them periodically to myself. I loved them then, and I love them now. 
In my last blog I mentioned how important math is to a well rounded education, well, just as Mr. Hamlisch said above, so are the arts.
Now let's enjoy some music....
This is a little diddy that Marvin wrote at age 21:

And, of course, that wonderful Newman/ Redford film, The Sting:

And, The Way We Were. Here's Barbra Streisand singing the theme song:

And, here's Caryl Simon singing the theme song to The Spy Who Loved Me (Nobody Does It Better):

And finally, from A Chorus Line

Well done!

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