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Public Radio Host to Present Songs of the Time of Eastman Johnson

For Immediate Release

April 08, 2004

Michael Lasser, host of the Peabody-Award-winning public radio program Fascinatin' Rhythm, will appear at the Clark Art Institute on Sunday, April 18, at 2:00 p.m. Lasser will present "Till It Echoes Through Our Nation: Popular Music from the Time of Eastman Johnson." He will play and discuss recordings of American music of the 1850s through the 1870s. Admission is free.

The title of the presentation comes from the song, "The Old Granite State," a Civil War-era song that proclaims, "Yes we're friends of Emancipation/And we'll sing the Proclamation/ Till it echoes through our nation/From the Old Granite State." Lasser will feature songs about a variety of aspects of 19th-century American life, from the temperance tune "Father's a Drunkard and Mother is Dead" to the anti-slavery song "No More Auction Block" to the train song "Crossing the Grand Sierras."

Michael Lasser has been host of Fascinatin' Rhythm, broadcast on public radio stations nationwide, since 1980. The show won a Peabody Award in 1994 for letting "our treasury of popular tunes speak (and sing) for itself with sparkling commentary, tracing the contributions of the composers and performers to American society." A popular lecturer at museums and universities across the United States, Lasser is former theater critic for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. He is currently working on the forthcoming book America's Songs: The Stories Behind the Songs of Broadway, Hollywood, and Tin Pan Alley.

"Till It Echoes Through Our Nation" is offered in connection with the Clark's current exhibition Sugaring Off: The Maple Sugar Paintings of Eastman Johnson, on view at the Clark through April 18.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday. 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Gallery admission is free through June 26, 2004. For more information call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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