Next Door Neighbors: New Beginnings

NPT Visits Our Next Door Neighbors From Rwanda, Haiti and Burma

NDN NewBeginnings title72 copy

 

NEXT DOOR NEIGHBORS: NEW BEGINNINGS, the newest episode of NPT’s Next Door Neighbors series, premieres Friday, November 7 at 7:00 p.m. on NPT. For the past eight years, episodes have highlighted Nashville’s Kurdish, Somali, Hispanic, Bhutanese and Sudanese communities (now available for viewing at ndn.wnpt.org/documentaries), and this time viewers will meet Nashville’s neighbors from Rwanda, Haiti and Burma. These three small countries hold big challenges for their residents. Following the premiere, NPT will also broadcast last year’s installment in the NEXT DOOR NEIGHBORS series, “Community.”

 

Refugee resettlement to the United States is often the last option displaced people have for a permanent home. The opportunity is available to less than one percent of the world’s refugees. Once in the U.S., in cities like Nashville, refugees are expected to build new lives. But what if a chance to go back to their homeland finally arrives? Which home will they choose? In three segments during the 30-minute documentary, host Danielle Colburn Allen explores why these neighbors of ours left their native countries behind and set out to make a new beginning in Nashville.

 

NDN-NBeg_Gatebuke_kids

The Gatebuke family survived the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. They now live in Nashville and work to help others from the troubled African region. Alice Gatebuke is a columnist for the Huff Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alice-gatebuke/the-peace-that-wasnt-rwan_b_5183850.html

 

NDN-NBeg_Leveque_Phidomese

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phidomise Leveque is president of Tennessee Haitian Voice, a group that works to promote education, recreation and cultural experiences that will benefit Haitians and all cultural groups living in the Nashville area and helps eliminate disparities among Haitian families living in Tennessee with respect and love. She also hosts a weekly Haitian radio show on WFSK 88.1fm called Planet Creole.  “Phiphi” shares the plight of the Haitian people and the Nashville Haitian community’s efforts to help the poverty-stricken nation. http://www.tnhv.org/

 

NDN-NBeg_Alvarez_LamarExecutive Chef Lamartine Alvarez, whose mother taught culinary school, has always enjoyed cooking. Now the  Owner/Operator of Chez Lama Catering, he prepares delicious Haitian cuisine for weddings, church gatherings and other Nashville-area events. http://www.chezlama.com/Home.html

 

 

 

NDN-NBeg_Pierre_Regine

 

Regine Pierre, RN, BSN, was crowned Miss Port-au-Prince in 2013 and is now Miss Haiti International 2014. She uses her position to help Haiti eradicate cholera, especially after the 2010 earthquake that devastated the small island nation. https://www.facebook.com/missportauprinceformisshaitiintl2014

 

 

 

NDN-NBeg_Father_Randy

 

The Karen population from Burma saved a Smyrna church from closing its doors. This heartwarming story includes interviews with Father Randy Hoover-Dempsey and other members of All Saints Episcopal church. https://www.facebook.com/pages/All-Saints-Smyrna/100570823333593

 

 

 

 

NPT’s award-winning NEXT DOOR NEIGHBORS series looks at Nashville’s status as a destination city for refugees and immigrants and explores the rich diversity of people now calling Nashville home. Across the United States, mid-sized cities like Nashville are experiencing unprecedented growth in their international populations. Together these communities are redefining the traditional international city on a smaller local scale.

NEXT DOOR NEIGHBORS is much more than the documentary series – it also includes in-depth web content, public community forums, a televised panel discussion after the premiere of each program and literacy outreach for children and parents of immigrant families.

This extensive effort has played a key role in sharing authentic stories of immigrants and helping build bridges between their communities and Middle Tennessee’s traditional culture. Through this project, NPT has helped grow a welcoming of diversity while focusing on the many ways that new immigrants are contributing to Nashville’s growing economy and vibrant cultural life.

NEXT DOOR NEIGHBORS: NEW BEGINNINGS is made possible by the financial support of The Nissan Foundation, The HCA Foundation on behalf of HCA and the TriStar Family of Hospitals, and a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. A partnership with the Vanderbilt University Center for Nashville Studies provided valuable research and community outreach.

 

About Nashville Public Television:

Nashville Public Television, Nashville’s PBS station, is available free and over-the-air to nearly 2.4 million people throughout the Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky viewing area, through its main NPT and secondary NPT2 channels, and to anyone in the world through its stable of NPT Digital services, including wnpt.org, YouTube and the PBS video app. The mission of NPT is to provide, through the power of traditional television and interactive digital communications, high quality educational, cultural and civic experiences that address issues and concerns of the people of the Nashville region, and which thereby help improve the lives of those we serve.

###

 

Posted in Uncategorized by Joe Pagetta. No Comments

Known Audio Issues For Some Charter Cable Subscribers

We have received calls from some Charter Cable subscribers who are hearing no audio or Spanish on certain NPT programs, starting about two weeks ago. It appears to be a problem with certain Charter Cable boxes. We have contacted Charter Cable Technical Support, and they recommend the following procedure to reset the audio on the affected boxes.

Charter

1>     On your Charter remote, press MENU twice to go to AUDIO SETUP

2>     Under AUDIO SETUP, go to AUDIO DEFAULT.

3>     This should indicate ENGLISH. Cycle through the selections to wind up on ENGLISH.

4>     Exit the MENU.

 

You should now be monitoring the main audio channel on NPT’s broadcast.

‘Tennessee Crossroads’ Turns Lens on 20th Anniversary of ‘Eyes on LaFollette’

EOL - Photo by Andy Ashby, 1997

Photo by Andy Ashby, 1997.

Two graduates of program return to document its impact; segment coincides with new exhibit at Tennessee State Museum

Tennessee Crossroads will focus on Eyes on LaFallotte in an upcoming episode.

In the segment, premiering on NPT on Thursday, September 25 at 7 p.m. and ETPTV on Saturday, September 27 at 6:30 p.m., NPT videographer Matt Emigh and producer Will Pedigo follow a group of photojournalism students from the University of Tennessee as they make their annual trip to document life in LaFollette, Tennessee.

The Eyes on LaFollete project, now celebrating more than 20 years, is a collaboration between the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and the LaFollette Press.  One weekend each year, advanced photojournalism students head into town and attempt to capture their best images in hopes that they will be selected for publication in a special edition of the paper.  For many students, it’s their first real world assignment. This was the case for both Emigh and Pedigo, who were themselves participants in the 1999 edition of Eyes on LaFollette as students of UT Professor Rob Heller.

Will Pedigo, Rob Heller and Matt Emigh (Courtesy of Karen Cumorich, LaFollette Press)

Will Pedigo, Rob Heller and Matt Emigh (Courtesy of Karen Cumorich, LaFollette Press)

“I knew going back to LaFollette was going to be special, but didn’t realize I would feel like I was getting to do the project all over again” said Pedigo, who has gone on to produce numerous Emmy Award winning NPT documentaries like Beautiful Tennessee: Our Scenic Waterways, Next Door Neighbors and Children’s Health Crisis. “I have to say, seeing our professor Rob Heller made me a little nervous. We wanted to do the project justice.”

This year, the Eyes on LaFollete project will also be transformed from pictures printed on newspaper, to the walls of the Tennessee State Museum. Eyes on LaFollette: UT Student Photojournalism Project Marks 20 Years, running from October 3 to November 30 at the Museum, will include select photographs culled from 17 editions, tens of thousands of images, and the work of more than 250 students, Emigh has more than a few that will be featured in the exhibit. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information, visit tnmuseum.org.

“To see the culmination of two decades of work from so many brilliant UT student photographers is such an exciting opportunity,” said Emigh, an Emmy Award winning NPT videographer. “I can’t wait to see this exhibition— it’s going to be a real treat!”

The Eyes on LaFollette segment will re-air on Tennessee Crossroads on NPT on Sunday September 28 at 10 a.m. on NPT. It will also be available on the Tennessee Crossroads website, www.tennesseecrossroads.org by searching for “Eyes on LaFollette.”

‘NPT Presents: Community Cinema’ Announces 2014-15 Season | Return to Nashville Public Library

Community Cinema, presented by Nashville Public Television, celebrates its seventh year in Nashville with a return to the main branch of the Nashville Public Library and six new documentaries culled from the upcoming Emmy and Peabody Award-winning PBS and NPT series Independent Lens.

The screenings and post-film discussions will take place from October to May and begin on October 18, 2014 at 2 p.m. with a special presentation of “Makers: Women in Hollywood,” producers Rory Kennedy and Linda Goldstein Knowlton’s showcase of the women of showbiz, from the earliest pioneers to present-day power players, as they influence the creation of one of the country’s biggest commodities: entertainment.

Sallie Mayne, former executive director of the Nashville Film Festival (NaFF), will coordinate the screenings.

“I’ve been a supporter of the Community Cinema series from its early days in Nashville partnering with NaFF, and I’m thrilled to once again be working with NPT,” said Mayne. “Fans of the series will welcome the return to the beautiful confines of the downtown Library and its state-of-the-art theatre. And then there are the films. This year’s strong slate of films is sure to engage the Nashville audience.”

Presented in partnership with ITVS, local public television stations and leading community organizations, Community Cinema holds preview screenings and discussion in over 90 cities across the country, making a real contribution on a range of current social issues by connecting communities with organizations, information, and the opportunity to get involved. NPT Presents: Community Cinema began in Nashville in 2008, and except for the 2013-14 season at NPT’s Studio A, has been held at the Nashville Public Library. It is presented locally in partnership with ITVS, the Nashville Public Library and the Nashville Film Festival.

A complete list of this year’s films and dates follows (click here for a link to view the 2014-15 season trailer):

NPT Presents: Community Cinema 2014-15.

MAKERS: Women in Hollywood

MAKERS: Women in Hollywood

MAKERS: WOMEN IN HOLLYWOOD
by Rory Kennedy with Producer/Director Linda Goldstein Knowlton
Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 2 p.m.
Nashville Public Library, Main Branch

MAKERS: Women in Hollywood showcases the women of showbiz, from the earliest pioneers to present-day power players, as they influence the creation of one of the country’s biggest commodities: entertainment. Audiences hear from actress-producer-activist Jane Fonda; television powerhouse Shonda Rhimes, who created Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal; screenwriter Linda Woolverton, who re-imagined the traditional Disney princess by making Belle (Beauty and the Beast) a self-possessed, strong-willed young woman; director Ava DuVernay, who was the first African-American to win best director at Sundance for her film, Middle of Nowhere; writer-director-actress Lena Dunham; and Academy Award-winner Geena Davis. Narrated by Julia Roberts.  Nashville Women in Film and Television is a partner with NPT for this screening and panel discussion.  http://wiftnashville.org.

wiflogo

EVOLUTION OF A CRIMINAL
by Darius Clark Monroe
Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 2 p.m.
Nashville Public Library, Main Branch

In this gripping blend of documentary, true-crime, and personal essay, a filmmaker confronts his past, dissecting the circumstances that led him to commit a bank robbery as a young man, and his journey since that act.  Project Return is a partner with NPT for this screening and panel discussion: http://www.projectreturninc.org.

PRI logo (white bkgnd)

A Path Appears

A Path Appears

A PATH APPEARS: FROM THE CREATORS OF HALF THE SKY
by Maro Chermayeff
Saturday, January 24, 2015 at 2 p.m.
Nashville Public Library, Main Branch

A Path Appears goes to Chicago, Nashville, Boston, Colombia, Haiti, and Kenya to reveal the incredible adversity faced every day by millions of women and girls, while also presenting glimpses of hope and change. From the team that brought you the groundbreaking Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.

American Denial

American Denial

AMERICAN DENIAL
by Llewellyn Smith, Christine Herbes-Sommers, and Kelly Thomson
Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 2 p.m.
Nashville Public Library, Main Branch

Using the story of Gunnar Myrdal’s 1944 investigation of Jim Crow racism as a springboard, American Denial explores the power of unconscious biases and how ideals of liberty, equality, and justice still impact notions of race and class today.

THE HOMESTRETCH
by Anne de Mare and Kirsten Kelly
Saturday, April 18, 2015 (time TBA)
Nashville Film Festival at Regal Green Hills 16

Three homeless teens brave Chicago winters, high school pressures, and life on the streets to build a brighter future. Against all odds, they recover from a life of abandonment to create new, surprising definitions of home.

LIMITED PARTNERSHIP
by Thomas Miller and Kirk Marcolina
Saturday, May 23, 2015 at 2 p.m.
Nashville Public Library, Main Branch

Decades before The Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, one gay couple, a Filipino American and an Australian, fell in love and over the course of 40 years took on the U.S. government to fight for marriage and immigration equality.

CCPartnerLogos

Veterans Coming Home: Courage Beyond

Zachary Bell and his children

Zachary Bell and his children

As we announced in August, NPT is part of a new nationwide project called Veterans Coming Home.  The project includes a new digital series and broadcast spots, community discussions,  a dedicated website at Veterans.wnpt.org and a social media campaign at veterans.wnpt.org/welcomewall.

We released our first video on August 18, “What War Feels Like.” Today, we release our second. In “Courage Beyond,” veteran Zachary Bell shares his experience getting out of the military and adjusting to civilian life.

Producer Will Pedigo shared these thoughts:

Veterans Coming Home is showing us that there are many challenges veterans face as they transition to civilian life.  Some challenges are related to the isolation veterans experience as they lose touch with their fellow soldiers; others struggle to find a new purpose and career outside of the world where they thrived.  Zachary Bell talked honestly about both of these issues in his interview.  In this piece, he shares how a moment of loss motivated him to find a job working with veterans and families like his own.  It’s a good thing that we have folks like Zachary Bell out there making a difference for those that have served all of us.

Today, Bell is an Outreach Specialist for Courage Beyond, part of Centerstone of America. Courage Beyond provides confidential, no-cost or low-cost programs and services to warriors and their loved ones facing post-traumatic stress disorder and other invisible wounds of military service. Learn more at couragebeyond.org or if you need support now, call 866.781.8010.

Watch Now:

Visit Phillips Toy Mart to enter NPT’s Thomas the Train Coloring Contest and Giveaway

LogoWStars

Thomas Basket - This Could Be Your Child's!

This Could Be Your Child’s!

 

NPT is excited to partner with Phillips Toy Mart in a Thomas the Train Coloring Contest.  Any child between the age of 2 and 6 can be entered to win a Thomas and Friends gift basket (Pictured above) valued at more than $50. All you need to do is to stop by Phillips Toy Mart and have your Thomas fan color in a Thomas & Friends coloring sheet.  While you are there, you can check out Phillips Toy Mart’s huge selection of toys for children of all ages. Arts and crafts, educational toys, electronics, puzzles, games, costumes and accessories and so much more. Contest ends Saturday, September 13, so full steam ahead to Phillips Toy Mart!

PHILLIPS TOY MART

5207 Harding Pike

Nashville, TN 37205

(615) 352-5363

Hours:  Monday through Saturday

9:00AM til 5:30PM

Official rules available at Phillips Toy Mart or click here.

 

NPT to Continue Work as `American Graduate` Station | Titan Moise Fokou Joins as Spokesperson

NPT to is proud to announce our continuing work as an “American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen” Grantee and station, and to welcome Tennessee Titan Moise Fokou as our spokesperson this year. Here is the full release:

 

amgrad_logo

Nashville Public Television Awarded American Graduate Community Service Grant to Help Nashville Improve Youth Outcomes

NPT to Work with Community Partners to Reach Low Income Families and Vulnerable Young Men and Women; Will Share Stories of Middle Tennessee Leaders Who Are “American Graduate Champions”  


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (August 27, 2014) — Nashville Public Television (NPT) has been awarded an American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen community service grant from The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to continue its work in Middle Tennessee to improve youth outcomes for all students from preschool through college and onto careers. It will focus especially on those susceptible to the “graduation gap” – students of different races, ethnicities, family incomes and disabilities and those with limited English proficiency. In addition, NPT has also received a grant from Newman’s Own Foundation to increase philanthropic support to support the station’s local education service and sustain the American Graduate initiative.

As an American Graduate station, NPT has already produced a significant number of original public affairs documentaries and short videos, among them, “Translating the Dream,” and “Graduation by the Numbers,” and two in-studio town halls, “Teacher Town Hall” and “Community Town Hall on Education.” All are available for free streaming at http://wnpt.org/amgrad.

Moise Fokou

Moise Fokou

The grant will allow NPT to continue its work over the next two years to increase understanding about the challenges for at-risk youth, particularly immigrant and refugee students, and work with a network of community partners to help develop and illuminate long term solutions. It will emphasize the importance of a strong foundation in early education and the need for consistent caring adults by highlighting “American Graduate Champions,” everyday heroes in a child’s life who are committed to improving education outcomes, and local leaders who are helping communities increase graduation rates. Tennessee Titans linebacker Moise Fokou, who with his own Root 53 Foundation works to encourage students in under-served areas of Middle Tennessee to live healthy and active lifestyles and excel at school, will serve as a spokesman for NPT.

“We’re proud of the work we accomplished in the last two years working with teachers and community partners and looking forward to the next two,” said Beth Curley, NPT president and CEO. “Our Town Halls and documentaries and been successful in convening teachers, community leaders and stakeholders and bringing attention to drop out rates and the needs of the underserved in our Nashville community. We are excited to bring in new partners, including the Root 53 Foundation and Moise Fokou, who carries with him a fresh voice for change and the need to excel.”

NPT is part of the national American Graduate initiative in partnership with 33 other public media stations around the country. The initiative will feature new locally produced content alongside national productions and classroom resources – including PBS NewsHour’s new education desk, American Graduate Day, 180 Days: Hartsville, and the youth-driven spoken word contest RAISE UP!, along with PBS Learning Media and PBS Kids assets.

“Education is at the core of public media’s mission. Through American Graduate stations’ partnerships with over 1000 local organizations, we are proud of public media’s content and on the ground engagement that has raised awareness to achieve 80% graduation rates nationally and helped America see the potential in every student,”said Pat Harrison, CPB President and CEO. “By strengthening our focus on solutions, starting with our youngest learners, and highlighting local leaders who are creating sustainable change, together, we can set kids – and our country – on a path for long term success.”

NPT’s community partners for American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen for the last two years have included, One Nashville, Alignment Nashville, America’s Promise, Metro Nashville Public School District (MNPS), Nashville International Center for Empowerment, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Conexion Americas, SCORE (State Collaborative on Reforming Education), Office of the Mayor Karl Dean, Glencliff HS/Cameron MS, YMCA of Middle TN, Vanderbilt University, Tennessee State University, Nashville Public Library, TN Dept. of Education, Nashville Symphony, The Frist Center for Visual Arts, Book ‘em and the Pencil Foundation.

About Nashville Public Television:
Nashville Public Television, Nashville’s PBS station, is available free and over-the-air to nearly 2.4 million people throughout the Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky viewing area, through its main NPT and secondary NPT2 channels, and to anyone in the world through its stable of NPT Digital services, including wnpt.org, YouTube and the PBS video app. The mission of NPT is to provide, through the power of traditional television and interactive digital communications, high quality educational, cultural and civic experiences that address issues and concerns of the people of the Nashville region, and which thereby help improve the lives of those we serve.

About CPB

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,300 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.

About American Graduate

American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen was launched in 2011 with 25 public media stations in high need communities to spotlight the high school dropout crisis and focus on middle and high school student interventions.  Today, more than 80 public radio and television stations in over 30 states have partnered with over 1000 community organizations and schools, as well as Alma and Colin Powell’s America’s Promise Alliance, Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, Alliance for Excellent Education, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation to help the nation achieve a 90% graduation by 2020.

With primetime and children’s programming that educates, informs, and inspires public radio and television stations — locally owned and operated — are important resources in helping to address critical issues facing today’s communities. According to a report from the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, American Graduate stations have told the story about the dropout crisis in a way that empowered citizens to get involved, and helped community organizations break down silos to work more effectively together.

In early 2014, CPB and PBS KIDS committed an additional $20 million for the “American Graduate PBS KIDS Fund” to also help communities connect the importance of early learning as part of a student’s long term success. In addition to station grants for local engagement, the Fund will support the creation of children’s content and tools to help parents, particularly those from low income communities,better prepare their young children for long term success. Fourteen American Graduate station grantees have also been awarded CPB early education grants to reach children ages 2-8 with programming and services developed through the Ready to Learn Initiative, a project funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

 

# # #

New PBS Kids and Daytime Schedule Starts September 1

pbskids

Our PBS Kids schedule and Saturday and Sunday daytime schedules get a reworking on September 1. Among the changes are more back-to-back episodes of your favorite shows, and the introduction of Sesame Street Shorts, a new 1/2 hour version of the show. Here’s the complete lineup for weekdays and weekends.

Weekday Daytime Schedule

5:00 am Classical Stretch
5:30 Body Electric
6:00 Wild Kratts
6:30 Wild Kratts
7:00 Curious George
7:30 Curious George
8:00 Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
8:30 Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
9:00 Sesame Street
10:00 Dinosaur Train
10:30 Super Why!
11:00 Peg + Cat
11:30 Sid the Science Kid
12:00 Caillou
12:30 pm Thomas & Friends
1:00 Sesame Street Shorts
1:30 The Cat in the Hat
2:00 Clifford the Big Red Dog
2:30 Curious George
3:00 Arthur
3:30 Arthur
4:00 Wild Kratts
4:30 Wild Kratts
5:00 Martha Speaks
5:30 WordGirl
6:00 pm PBS NewsHour

Weekend Schedule
Saturday
5:00am Martha Speaks
5:30 Angelina Ballerina
6:00 Curious George
6:30 Curious George
7:00 Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
7:30 Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
8:00 Sesame Street Shorts
8:30 Dinosaur Train
9:00 Sewing with Nancy
9:30 Sew It All
10:00 Garden Smart
10:30 P. Allen Smith
11:00 Simply Ming
11:30 Cook’s Country
12:00noon America’s Test Kitchen
12:30 Victory Garden’s Edible Feast
1:00 Sara’s Weeknight Meals
1:30 Martha’s Bakes
2:00 Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting
2:30 Best of Joy of Painting
3:00 Woodsmith Shop
3:30 The Woodwright’s Shop
4:00 Rough Cut with Tommy Mac
4:30 This Old House
5:00 Ask This Old House
5:30 Hometime
6:00 PBS NewsHour Weekend
6:30pm Tennessee’s Wild Side

Sunday
5:00am Sid the Science Kid
5:30 Peg + Cat
6:00 Curious George
6:30 Curious George
7:00 Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
7:30 Word World
8:00 Sesame Street Shorts
8:30 Dinosaur Train
9:00 Tennessee’s Wild Side
9:30 Volunteer Gardener
10:00 Tennessee Crossroads
10:30 A Word on Words
11:00 Nature
12:00noon To the Contrary
12:30 The McLaughlin Group
1:00 Moyers & Company
1:30 Washington Week with Gwen Ifill
2:00 Globe Trekker
3:00 California’s Gold
3:30 Ecosense For Living
4:00 America’s Heartland
4:30 Rick Steves’ Europe
5:00 Antiques Roadshow
6:00 PBS NewsHour Weekend
6:30pm Charlie Rose: The Week

Sinatra and Crosby, Singers of Van Heusen Songs, on Picking and Singing Great Songs

Composer Jimmy Van Heusen, right, with frequent collaborator Frank Sinatra, in the 1950s.

Composer Jimmy Van Heusen, right, with frequent collaborator Frank Sinatra, in the 1950s.

NPT and public television fans found much to love in the special membership drive broadcast of Jimmy Van Heusen: Swingin’ with Frank & Bing. The show celebrates the four-time Oscar®-winning composer who created dozens of classics for the American Songbook. His career spanned five decades and his close association with two of the greatest entertainment icons of the last hundred years — Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby — resulted in numerous hit songs for both. Sinatra recorded over 80 songs by Van Heusen — more than any other composer — including “Come Fly With Me,” “Here’s That Rainy Day,” “The Second Time Around” and “The Tender Trap.”  The 1950s were particularly fruitful for the two, as Van Heusen teamed with lyricist Sammy Cahn to produce such all-time hits as “Love & Marriage,” “All The Way” and “High Hopes.”

Van Heusen’s collaborations with Crosby included the creation of songs for six of the seven Crosby-Bob Hope “Road Pictures,” as well as for the all-time Hollywood classics Going My Way and The Bells of St. Mary’s.

Van Heusen was undoubtedly an outstanding composer. But great composers of great songs also need great singers, and Sinatra and Crosby were the best. But what made them the best? Tucked inside songwriter and radio columnist Nick Kenny’s 1946 advice book, How to Write, Sing and Sell Popular Songs (Hermitage Press), they offer some insight into their craft. A good portion of what they discuss is about selecting the right songs.

Taking a page from Brain Pickings, which does such an excellent job of excavating advice and wisdom from sometimes forgotten books, we thought singers of today might enjoy what Crosby and Sinatra had to say, some 68 years ago. Much of it is timeless, and emphasizes the integral relationship between singer and song.

From PART II of the book, “How to Sing.”

sell_songsBING CROSBY SAYS

MY ADVICE to the newcomer who wants to sing for radio, records and television is : create a singing style that is different from any other that the pop singers may be using at the time. Too many vocalists are satisfied to be a carbon copy of the current singing favorite. Auditioning directors spot this before the wouldbe artist has gone through eight bars of a song.

Another natural mistake made by most new singers is their rush to sing new songs. Ask any control man. If the pop song of the moment is “I’m Looking Forward To Looking Backward On Tonight,” every second singer on the audition lists sings it—thereby hurting their chances for a real good analysis of their singability. Always pick a song with which you are familiar and one that shows off your voice—not some publishers latest creation. And sing clean songs.

Don’t overlook the importance of phrasing. Learn to throw away a musical line that you would ordinarily punch and vice-versa. Don’t let your singing audience be a few notes ahead of you regarding shading and timing. They like to be surprised. A song is like a bucking bronco. You’ve got to break it in—sing it a hundred times in different ways. Then, after you have memorized the story line of it—tell it in song as if you were enjoying it for the first time. Well there you arc kids . . . spread it among you! . . .

FRANK SINATRA’S ADVICE FOR YOUNG SINGERS

There is no question in my mind that the choice of songs certainly has a great deal to do with the success of a singer. As a matter of fact, very often just one song can give a singer a tremendous boost toward a successful career. “Night and Day,” I think served this purpose for me, and for that reason, it will always be one of my favorites. Back in the early days, it never failed to come through and inevitably got me the job whenever I auditioned with it.

The best advice I can give anyone intent upon a singing career is that they choose their songs carefully. Be sure it is the type of song that particularly suits your style and voice.

I have, personally, always considered the lyric of any song, especially the popular ballad, of number one importance, and I always read the lyric to a new song before I even attempt to hear the music. If it is a ballad, then the words must be believable. They must tell a story. The music is the backdrop or dressing that makes the story pleasant and listenable.

Of course, I don’t mean that every lyric must at all times make sense. It’s certainly not necessary in the case of comedy or novelty songs. Tunes like “Pistol Packin’ Mama” or “Mairzy Doats” have been smash hits, but that’s because they had humor and were farcical enough to catch the ear of the nation.

If you have chosen a song because you really like it and believe it, then you’ve won half the battle towards making others believe it when you sing it.”

How to Write, Sing and Sell Popular Songs is out of print and not available at the Nashville Public Library last we checked, but it’s quite wonderful if you can track it down at a used store.  In addition to advice from Sinatra and Crosby, there are contributions from Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers, Cole Porter, Cab Calloway, Perry Como and the Andrews Sisters, among others, and sections such as “Ten Commandments for Auditions” and “Let’s Tackle Some Problems.”

And then there’s this from Songwriters Hall of Famer Irving Ceasar, composer of Swanee,” “Sometimes I’m Happy,” “Crazy Rhythm,” and “Tea for Two:

“Most important: Keep writing-writing-writing. One swallow doesn’t make a summer, one song doesn’t make a songwriter. Great writers like Irving Berlin write a hundred or more songs a year, out of which perhaps two or three may become successful. Don’t get the idea that you are better than best and expect sure-fire success from each little bit of writing effort you expend.  KEEP ON WRITING.”

Jimmy Van Heusen: Swingin’ with Frank and Bing is no longer airing this membership drive, and unfortunately, not available as a thank you gift, but we have several DVDs and CDs of his collaborations to choose from when you donate to NPT. A preview is below:

NPT Part of New Nationwide Veterans Coming Home Project

vch_logo

Nashville Public Television (NPT) will contribute this fall to a new nationwide project titled Veterans Coming Home. Funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and led by Wisconsin Public Television, Veterans Coming Home harnesses public media’s strengths and reach to address the needs of veterans in local communities. Building on compelling national content, NPT and other local public television and radio stations will conduct their own local efforts that will communicate veterans’ stories through video journalism and online contentNPT will be collaborating with local organizations and community partners to better coordinate and publicize local services, facilitate dialogue, and acknowledge the service and sacrifice made by veterans and their families.

“In the next 18 months, as the US begins to withdraw from Afghanistan, Middle Tennessee’s population of veterans is expected to explode,” said NPT president and CEO Beth Curley. “This will create a pressing need to raise awareness about the issues that veterans face reentering civilian life. We hope to build a bridge between veterans and the civilians they served.”

Middle Tennessee is home to one of the nation’s largest army bases, Ft. Campbell, a massive military installation that housing the fifth largest active duty population in the army and the seventh largest in the Department of Defense.  The 101st Airborne Division, one of the most deployed divisions in the U.S. Army and currently serving in Afghanistan today, is based at Ft. Campbell. As a result, Tennessee today is home to over 525,000 veterans, the largest percentage of which are veterans of the Vietnam War and the Gulf War.

VIDEO SERIES

In partnership with a coalition of veterans service organizations, NPT will produce a series of broadcast spots, and a more extensive online series, all available at Veterans.wnpt.org and our YouTube channel at YouTube.com/TnVeteransComingHome, that will drive veterans to existing community resources while educating the general population about issues facing veterans. The goal of the spots will be to normalize the idea of seeking help, while letting veterans know where to find resources in the community.  They will also raise awareness in the community about difficulties many veterans experience when transitioning to civilian life, while acknowledging their service to the country.  Community awareness engendered as an outcome of these spots will prepare citizens of Middle Tennessee to better welcome veterans home from Iraq and Afghanistan and connect them with vital resources.

The first one, available now at http://youtu.be/hSjliRkpxaw and pasted above, is “What War Feels Like.” Using a screening at the Belcourt Theatre of Sebastian Junger’s film, Korengal, as its framework, the segment focuses on the role that film plays in helping civilians understand the experiences of veterans, and in turn, how that attempt at understanding helps veterans.

Shorter segments will also be broadcast on-air on NPT.

WEB SITE / SOCIAL MEDIA / TN VETERANS COMING HOME WELCOME WALL

Veterans.wnpt.org, in addition to the videos and connections to local resources, will also include the Tennessee Veterans Coming Home Welcome Wall. We’ll be asking Middle Tennesseans  to use Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to leave messages or photos of welcome, share stories, exchange resources and needs and more.  By using the hashtags  #TNVeteransComingHome or #TNVCH, on any of the three social media platforms, we’ll be able to aggregate them at veterans.wnpt.org/welcomewall.

employment_lg

Veterans ComingHome is made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

About Nashville Public Television:
Nashville Public Television, Nashville’s PBS station, is available free and over-the-air to nearly 2.4 million people throughout the Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky viewing area, through its main NPT and secondary NPT2 channels, and to anyone in the world through its stable of NPT Digital services, including wnpt.org, YouTube and the PBS video app. The mission of NPT is to provide, through the power of traditional television and interactive digital communications, high quality educational, cultural and civic experiences that address issues and concerns of the people of the Nashville region, and which thereby help improve the lives of those we serve.

About CPB
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations  nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services

Veterans Coming Home is made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

About CPB
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations  nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services

Veterans ComingHome is made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.