Episode 7: The Ghosts of Tin Pan Alley

Season #1

Episode 7 is a ghost tale!

The mystery of a name that was only known to paper… and a woman who wrote hundreds of Tin Pan Alley tunes in the shadow of a pseudonym. Host Katie Harman unfolds the story of composer Irene Higginbotham, and how she - along with three other legendary women of Tin Pan Alley - helped shape American popular music in the 1930s-1950s. The episode also features a portion of Katie’s interview with Broadway and cabaret star Natalie Douglas, as she shares her thoughts on the influence of Irene Higginbotham. Catch their full conversation in Virtuosa Society Podcast’s companion series “Between the Bio” which dives deeper into Natalie’s fascinating life and career, including the challenges, triumphs and lessons learned between the highlights in her bio.

Research referenced throughout the episode:

The Jazz Standards, by Ted Gioia

Lady Sings the Blues, by Billie Holiday with William Dufty

“Good Morning Heartache,” by David "Chet" Williamson Sneade https://worcestersongs.blogspot.com/2012/12/good-morning-heartache.html

“Recording Studios: A History Of The Most Legendary Studios In Music,” by Martin Chilton https://www.udiscovermusic.com/in-depth-features/history-of-recording-studios/

“The History of Tin Pan Alley” by Nate Wooley https://soundamerican.org/issues/big-band/history-tin-pan-alley

“The Harlem Renaissance: What Was It, and Why Does It Matter?" by Cary D. Wintz https://www.humanitiestexas.org/news/articles/harlem-renaissance-what-was-it-and-why-does-it-matter

“Glenn Gibson Biography” by Eugene Chadbourne https://www.allmusic.com/artist/glenn-gibson-mn0001331660#biography

Producer: Katie Harman @katieharmanebner

Audio Engineer: Will Cowser @williamcowser

Title Song: “Reflection of the Sun” by Anna Landström


Follow @virtuossociety on Instagram, Facebook and Threads