In the news: Songbook Exhibit Gallery

2/27/2017 1:28:12 PM

Great American Songbook Foundation archivist Lisa Lobdell chats with WISH-TV reporter Dick Wolfsie about the current Songbook Exhibit Gallery installation, Ella Sings the Songbook.

'Ella' exhibit draws local, national notice

The Great American Songbook Foundation’s latest historical exhibit is making news locally and nationally.

Ella Sings the Songbook opened in January and continues through October at the Songbook Exhibit Gallery in the Palladium. The installation, which includes materials on loan from the L.A.-based Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, marks the 100th anniversary of the great vocalist’s birth and focuses on eight Verve Records albums she recorded in the ’50s and ’60s to celebrate the work of Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin and other legendary songwriters.

WISH-TV reporter Dick Wolfsie visited the gallery for interviews that aired Sunday morning during the station’s Daybreak news show. Songbook Foundation archivist Lisa Lobdell guides Wolfsie through the four segments, which total about 10 minutes. Watch them here.

The exhibit also is featured in this week’s episode of WFYI-FM’s The Art of the Matter, which aired Saturday morning and will repeat at 8 p.m. this coming Thursday evening. But you can listen to contributor Jill Ditmire's four-minute segment right now at this link, starting at the 21:45 mark.

Across the nation, many events are planned this year to celebrate Fitzgerald’s birth and her musical legacy. The Songbook Foundation’s exhibit, however, seems to be the very first – a fact that caught the attention of veteran broadcaster and classic pop aficionado Jonathan Schwartz of WNYC-FM, the nation’s largest public radio station. Read his take here.

The first alert observer to report on the exhibit, prior to its opening, was entertainment writer David Lindquist of the Indianapolis Star. Read his preview here.

Longtime local arts critic Jay Harvey attended the exhibit’s opening events, which included a lecture by internationally known author and music historian/critic Will Friedwald. Read Harvey’s perspective here.

Highlights from Ella Sings the Songbook are viewable here. The Songbook Foundation also has developed a portable, traveling version for use by local schools, libraries and other community organizations.

Admission is free to the Songbook Exhibit Gallery, which hosts several thousand visitors each year and is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays; one hour prior to Songbook and Jazz series concerts at the Palladium; and by appointment for groups and special requests. Learn more here or contact the Foundation at (317) 844-2251 or

Christel House Academy South charter school in Indianapolis incorporated the Ella Sings the Songbook traveling exhibit into a Black History Month event this week. The exhibit will be on display this weekend at Hilbert Circle Theatre in Indianapolis and later at Tipton High School.