Like so much of the rest of OFAM 2003, the subject for this summer's installment of Music Throu; The Eye has been inspired by guest artist William Zinsser's engaging study of the American popular song, Easy To Remember. Well into the book, sandwiched between chapters on African-American lyricist Any Razaf and Midwest composer-lyricist Cole Porter, Zinsser tucks in a juicy little essay on, of all things, the art on sheet music covers! "I loved all the information on those covers," he writes, "who starred in the musical; who wrote the music and the lyrics and the book; who directed and choreographed the show; who designed the costumes and the sets, and best of all, what other songs were in the score... But mainly I enjoyed the sheet music covers as art; commercial art of a surprisingly high order..."
In the course of designing the program books for over 20 of Steve Stone's superb Jazz Kings concerts during these past 7 years, I've had the opportunity to pore over hundreds of sheet music covers from Steve's huge private collection, and have grown to love them as much as he and Bill Zinsser obviously do. I've even begun to collect the things myself, and have developed my own, latter-day "memory" of an age I never knew through some of what it left behind. This chapter touched me, therefore, especially and it gave Ginevra and me the idea of dedicating the OFAM 2003 art poster to sheet music. This we have done, and doing that necessarily calls for a Music Throu' The Eye presentation on "sheet music art". From who other that Mr. William Zinsser, we asked?
-- Jim Ralph, OFAM President & CEO