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

In this photograph taken by AP Images for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Marvin Hamlisch is seen at the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Tuesday, November 8, 2011. (AP)
In this photograph taken by AP Images for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Marvin Hamlisch is seen at the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Tuesday, November 8, 2011. (AP)

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. Died this week at 68.

This hour, On Point: How did he do that? We’re deciphering the popular music of Marvin Hamlisch.
- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Maury Yeston, multiple Tony-award-winning Broadway composer and lyricist.  His credits include "Nine" and "Titanic."

Judith Clurman, music director and conductor.  Longtime friend and collaborator of Marvin Hamlisch.

From Tom's Reading List

L. A. Times "Producers said Tuesday that Hamlisch delivered a finished score. But some uncertainty lingers over the musical, specifically concerning the changes or tweaks to the show that could be required following its out-of-town tryout."

New York Times "Marvin Hamlisch, the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer who imbued his movie and Broadway scores with pizazz and panache and often found his songs in the upper reaches of the pop charts, died on Monday in Los Angeles. He was 68 and lived in New York."

Washington Post "At 6, Marvin Hamlisch became one of the youngest students ever admitted to the prestigious Juilliard music school in New York. He wrote his first pop hit at 16. He went on to write everything heard everywhere, or so it seemed in the 1970s and early 1980s when he established himself as a dominant force in Hollywood and on Broadway."

Video: Marvin Hamlisch Interview

Check out this interview from KCTS.

Video: Nobody Does It Better

Here, Marvin plays the song he wrote for Carly Simon.

This program aired on August 9, 2012.

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