Archived Story

Lasser presents America popular song at ITOW

Published 11:40am Thursday, September 20, 2012

”All the Old Familiar Places” by Michael Lasser, will be presented at the ITOW Veterans Museum on Sunday, Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. This program about the popular songs of the Great Depression and World War II is free and open to the public thanks to a grant from the Lake Region Arts Council through a Minnesota State Legislative appropriation.

Popular music tries to reach the broadest possible audience by idealizing the world most of us recognize and inhabit. As a result, it opens a revealing and entertaining window on American attitudes. For 30 years, Michael Lasser has been speaking about popular music as social history – about songs and the America they reflect.

In this program he demonstrates how popular music is rooted in the everyday experiences of ordinary people and contrasts the styles of the two decades, the 30s and 40s, showing how and why songs written within ten years of one another, both during strikingly dark times, are so different from one another.

”All the Old Familiar Places” will be performed at the ITOW Veterans Museum in Perham as one of the public programs scheduled this Fall during display at ITOW of the traveling exhibit, ”Our Lives, Our Stories: America’s Greatest Generation.”

The National Endowment for the Humanities who funded this exhibit encouraged each host site to add programming to build on the ideas in the exhibition and add new dimensions to it.

Michael Lasser’s presentation is certain to do that by highlighting a familiar, but often unrecognized facet of American culture, Popular Song.

Michael Lasser is a writer, lecturer, broadcaster, critic and teacher and co-author of the book, America’s Songs: The Stories Behind the Songs of Broadway. Since 1980, Lasser has been the host of the nationally syndicated public radio show, Fascinatin’ Rhythm.

He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and holds an M.A. from Brooklyn College. In 2010, he was named a Thomas P. Johnson Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Rollins College.

The ITOW Veterans Museum is located at 805 West Main, Perham, Minnesota.

For more information call 218 346-7678 or visit or email

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