A Young Brit Takes On The American Songbook | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

A Young Brit Takes On The American Songbook

Play associated audio

The so-called "Great American Songbook" is made up of popular songs that made your grandparents and parents dance. They were written for movies and Broadway musicals by composers like Rodgers and Hart, Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin, and others.

The singers who discover this music now often make it their own. That's the case with a 29-year-old British jazz and pop singer named Anthony Strong.

"I think I learned very early on that 'dance' [British inflection] and 'romance' don't rhyme," he says. "For me that was always a problem. I sing a lot of American music — American music is really my inspiration. So early on in my career, I decided that kind of 'mid-Atlantic' sound works for me."

Strong recently released a new album called Stepping Out, which also features his original songwriting and piano. He spoke with NPR special correspondent Susan Stamberg about standards, the late British jazz icon Marian McPartland and how he went from studio musician to starring act.

"It should've been [scary], but for me, I kind of felt like it was time," he says. "I'd been doing the session thing for a few years, and I'd been writing for many years. And I kind of just decided that now is the right time. I didn't want to go out at 21 and record a jazz album that wasn't authentic."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Oct. 23

You can see a play and hear music made famous by film.

NPR

Bring Home A Taste Of Paris The Easy Way With French Bistro Brisket

Chef Steven Raichlen says slow cooking can transform beef brisket from a dry, tough cut of meat into something "incredibly rich and soulful."
NPR

In North Carolina, Latino Voters Could Decide Tight Senate Race

Latinos make up 9 percent of the state's population and 2 percent of registered voters, and a new poll shows many are undecided. In Charlotte, Michel Martin learns more about their growing influence.
NPR

Please Do Not Leave A Message: Why Millennials Hate Voice Mail

"When it comes to voice mail, they're just over it," says Jane Buckingham, a trend expert. But it's still important at work, so younger generations will have to learn what to do after the beep.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.