Cultural Influences on American Popular Music: Jazz, Pop, Rock a

OSH 591 / Non Credit
Course taught in: English

Course Description:

In this class, we will explore the contribution of Jews as songwriters, producers, performers and record label owners since the 19th century, and the fascinating connection between two minorities, the Jews and the African Americans.  Their contributions shaped the music, the entertainment industry, and American popular culture. 

Week 1 Jazz Beats, Willie “The Lion” Smith, Ben Pollack, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Buddy Rich, Mel Tormé, Jewish Music, African American Music, Jazz Standards.

Week 2 Record Labels, Producers: Stan Getz, Herbie Mann, Lee Konitz; The small details and Jazz protectors: Randy and Michael Brecker; The Jazz Clubs: Joshua Redman, Bill Frisell, Larry Adler and many more.

Week 3 Rock and Pop: Leiber and Stoller, Doc Pomus, Jerry Wexler; The Brill Building; The folk singers and songwriters: Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed, Al Kooper.

Week 4 Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Barry Manilow, 70s Rock, Kyss and more; Punk Rock, Heavy Metal, 80s to present - Rock and Pop.

Week 5 Popular culture: Rolling Stone’s 500 greatest lists; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; Producers, Composers; Some more songs.

Week 6 Record labels, past and present, Talent agencies, Artists’ managers, Those who cannot be left out. Conclusions.


Instructor: Mr. Emanuel Abramovits


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This course is available as part of the following:

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Courses
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic all OLLI at UM fall courses will be taught remotely, via Zoom.

OLLI 2020-2021 Membership is required to take this course and will be added to your cart upon enrollment. If you already have purchased a membership, you will not be charged for this membership.
OLLI 2020-2021 Membership Added to cart upon enrollment.
Starts: 8/1/2020 Ends: 7/31/2021