Since the age of five, Michael Feinstein—acclaimed musician, five-time Grammy®-nominated vocalist, and prolific performer—has been on a mission to collect, preserve and share the Great American Songbook.
Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook, airing
Wednesdays Oct.6-20 from 7-8 p.m., follows the meticulous musician as he rummages though cluttered basements and dusty attics, sifts through piles in cluttered storage lockers, and unearths obscure items in flea markets in his Indiana Jones-esque quest to keep the lyrics and melodies of songwriters like George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, and Rodgers and Hart alive.
In addition to footage that documents Feinstein’s fabulous but exhausting life on the road, the series uses prized archival audio and film footage to tell its story. The clips, narrated and contextualized by Feinstein, reveal the social and historical forces behind the music, which helped to shape the style, attitude and self-image of America and its popular culture for more than a century. Filled with generous portions of live performance past and present, the series digs deep into the artistry of performers like Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney, Nat King Cole, Ethel Waters, and Margaret Whiting, illuminating what makes them so iconic and timeless—while also offering an intimate portrait of Feinstein himself.