Music: American Songbag

Anyone who has ever crooned in a shower will get a tingle out of Amazing Grace—America in Song, a 90-minute special that many PBS stations will telecast on Wednesday night, Oct. 27. Mixing sea chanteys, Victorian parlor songs and cowboy laments, swinging from gospel to Cole Porter to Charles Ives to Billie Holiday, Producer-Director Allan Miller has created a musical mosaic that reflects the variety and vitality of American song.

Miller and his production crew prospected for ballads in mountain cabins, railway boxcars and fancy supper clubs. They also unearthed some fascinating old...