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Marvin Hamlisch

Remembering one singular sensation, Marvin Hamlisch.  From “The Sting” to “A Chorus Line,” how did he come up with all that music?

In this photograph taken by AP Images for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Marvin Hamlisch is seen at the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Tuesday, November 8, 2011. (AP)

In this photograph taken by AP Images for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Marvin Hamlisch is seen at the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Tuesday, November 8, 2011. (AP)

You may not have known the name Marvin Hamlisch, but if you stuck a toe in 20th century America, you knew his music.

The desperate longing of A Chorus Line. The irresistible kitsch of The Way We Were. The Joplin rag of The Sting. The James Bond cool of Nobody Does It Better. And so much more it’s unbelievable. He wrote the soundtrack of an era. Died this week at 68.

This hour, On Point: How did he do that? We’re deciphering the popular music of Marvin Hamlisch.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Maury Yeston, multiple Tony-award-winning Broadway composer and lyricist.  His credits include “Nine” and “Titanic.”

Judith Clurman, music director and conductor.  Longtime friend and collaborator of Marvin Hamlisch.

From Tom’s Reading List

L. A. Times “Producers said Tuesday that Hamlisch delivered a finished score. But some uncertainty lingers over the musical, specifically concerning the changes or tweaks to the show that could be required following its out-of-town tryout.”

New York TimesMarvin Hamlisch, the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer who imbued his movie and Broadway scores with pizazz and panache and often found his songs in the upper reaches of the pop charts, died on Monday in Los Angeles. He was 68 and lived in New York.”

Washington Post “At 6, Marvin Hamlisch became one of the youngest students ever admitted to the prestigious Juilliard music school in New York. He wrote his first pop hit at 16. He went on to write everything heard everywhere, or so it seemed in the 1970s and early 1980s when he established himself as a dominant force in Hollywood and on Broadway.”

Video: Marvin Hamlisch Interview

Check out this interview from KCTS.

Video: Nobody Does It Better

Here, Marvin plays the song he wrote for Carly Simon.

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  • AnAdmirer

    Marvin Hamlisch was brilliant.  Seeing him appear at the South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset, MA ages ago he asked the audience for a word around which he could create a song.  Several words were forthcoming but nothing seemed to work.  perhaps they were all too easy for him.  Then someone shares the word ‘Assinippi.’  This is more of an intersection than a section of Hanover, MA.  This is not a common word and certainly not easy to blendor weave into a song.  Still he did it.  My regret is that YouTube was not around to capture that moment of brilliance.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Very sad loss to the artistic world. WAY too young. He had a lot more to give.

    • http://twitter.com/TFRX TF RX

      And there’s something to his having grown up when Broadway was what regular adults attended, rather than today where a parvenu like me passes for a theater geek in suburbia.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1827847464 Jocelyn R. Knepler

    We recently went to a preview of Jerry Lewis’s production of “The Nutty Professor, The Musical” in Nashville.  Marvin Hamlisch wrote the music, and it was immediately engaging and seemed somehow familiar.  That is Hamlisch’s magic!  If this show makes it to broadway, don’t miss it!

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    The fact that Mr. Hamlish “went back” to music like Joplin’s has to be responsible for many, MANY people learning of music styles and artists they would have never known. 

  • FamilyT

    Where do we click on this page to listen to today’s On Point program about MH?

    • http://onpoint.wbur.org/about-on-point/sam-gale-rosen Sam Gale Rosen

      There will be a link up on top soon, it takes a little while to be ready.

      • Eliezer Pennywhistler

         Too late now, but that is how you hear the podcast.

        The listen live feature is on the home page.

  • Pingback: Theatre Music Directors | Remembering Marvin Hamlisch, A Singular Sensation

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