Updated Tue, Feb 7, 2012 4:06 pm
Michael Feinstein's American Songbook: Saloon Singer
Friday, Feb. 17, 9:30 p.m.
This episode examines the allure of musical nightlife, from Mississippi juke joints, where Feinstein dazzles the crowd with some impromptu boogie-woogie blues, to the neon of Las Vegas, where he gets a private tour of the now-closed Liberace Museum — and gets to play one of the rhinestone encrusted pianos.
While keeping up his own busy schedule of live performances, Feinstein delves into the history of nightclub entertainment, from the Cotton Club in Harlem to Sinatra’s Rat Pack, and talks to some pioneers of the form, such as Rose Marie (she “opened” Las Vegas in the 1940s) and the poet and author Maya Angelou, who once made her living doing a calypso club act in San Francisco.