Deciphering the popular music of Marvin Hamlisch (Part 2)

  “He was a kid with a box of crayons – not five crayons- but one of those big boxes with like eighty-seven crayons, all with different colors…” Judith Clurman

  “Marvin Hamlisch is the quintessential product of his musical generation; there has never been a generation like it, because Marvin was born in 1944 and by the time he had come of age – which for him was seven — the LP had been invented…That meant that during the 50s and the 60s he could listen to every note of music that ever was…” Maury Yeston



Tom Ashbrook: Tom’s career in journalism spans twenty years as a foreign correspondent, newspaper editor, and author.


Judith Clurman: She is conducting the recording for Hamlisch’s upcoming children’s book : Marvin Makes Music to be released shortly. She is a music director and conductor. Longtime friend and collaborator of Marvin Hamlisch.

Maury Yeston: Multiple Tony-award-winning Broadway composer and lyricist. His credits include “Nine” and “Titanic.”


You may not have known the name Marvin Hamlisch, but if you stuck a toe in 20th century America, you knew his music.

The desperate longing of A Chorus Line. The irresistible kitsch of The Way We Were. The Joplin rag of The Sting. The James Bond cool of Nobody Does It Better. And so much more it’s unbelievable. He wrote the soundtrack of an era.

Tom Ashbrook:

Who takes this baton for this “national music” bed?

Maury Yeston:

Right now we are in this great post-modern era, the internet era where you can download or get into any music at anytime and the young writers today are thrilling. There is just no end to it. What is great about this form of American Musical Theater, American Popular Song, Jazz, Film Scoring, is that it is the growing green shoot of American Culture that keeps on growing and keeps on evolving and developing. It is a living, active, developing form. Ragtime evolved into all kinds of Jazz, thirties Jazz,  fusion Jazz, Rap…and tomorrow it will be something else. It is this irrepressible combination of the American Melting pot of musical styles from all over the world that have come here and created this dominant vernacular of which Marvin is such a great contributor.”


LISTEN to radio interview:

Remembering one singular sensation, Marvin Hamlisch. From “The Sting” to “A Chorus Line,” how did he come up with all that music?

Remembering Marvin Hamlisch B 2120x1192

LISTEN to radio interview: Remembering one singular sensation, Marvin Hamlisch. From “The Sting” to “A Chorus Line,” how did he come up with all that music?

Related content:

Deciphering the Popular Music of Marvin Hamlisch — Part 1

Source: Team Marvin Hamlisch / The Music of Marvin Hamlisch



  1. I knew Marvin in the 1970’s, during the time I was working with Howard Liebling. Marvin was always generous of time and spirit, with an amazing personality, filled with warmth and joy. He was an incredible talent, and he has given the world a wealth of great music.

  2. Old school moment …
    ♪♫•*¨*•.¸ Memories, light the corners of my mind, misty water color memories, of the way we were¸¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪♪♫ R.I.P. MARVIN HAMLISCH your music lives on! Shalom

  3. I am deeply saddened and very sorry to hear this news. I am close friends with Jean Sawyer Hayes and her family and they took me to see Marvin perform in Louisville, Ky years ago. We got to visit with him backstage. My wife and I moved to San Antonio in 1991 and saw him again at the Majestic Theatre. Incredibly talented and leaves us with many treasures. You will be missed Marvin, rest in God’s arms my friend. Wally Rich