Marvin Hamlisch, Music, and Arts Education
Composer Marvin Hamlisch, whose popular songs for stage and screen were a vibrant part the 1970s, has gone to the great piano bar in the sky. He scored The Sting,adapting the music of Scott Joplin, and was responsible for the music in groundbreaking A Chorus Line which is so iconic it is part of the dancing waters show at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. The Spy Who Loved Me and Leslie Gore’s Sunshine Lollipops and Rainbows were also among his hits, and he recently finished the score for Behind the Candelabra, the HBO Liberace biopic which will star Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as his lover Scott Thorson.
Hamlisch also traveled to promote music in the schools, and criticized cuts in arts education:
I don’t think the American government gets it. I don’t think they understand it’s as important as math and science. It rounds you out as a person. I think it gives you a love of certain things. You don’t have to become the next great composer. It’s just nice to have heard certain things or to have seen certain things. It’s part of being a human being.
Do Hamlisch’s songs bring up any memories for you?