Join Village Preservation in partnership with Jefferson Market Library for an in-person discussion with musician, playwright, director, and composer Howard Fishman, about his new book To Anyone Who Ever Asks: The Life, Music, and Mystery of Connie Converse. Converse was a pioneer of what’s become known as the singer-songwriter era, making music in the predawn of a movement that had its roots in the Greenwich Village folk scene of the early 1960s. It was while living alone in a studio apartment at 23 Grove Street that Ms. Converse wrote almost all of her “guitar song” catalog. The book is a mysterious true story of a mid-century New York City songwriter, singer, and composer whose haunting music hasn’t found broad recognition–yet.

When musician and New Yorker contributor Howard Fishman first heard Connie Converse’s voice on a recording, he was convinced she could not be real. Her recordings were too good not to know, and too out of place for the 1950s to make sense—a singer who seemed to bridge the gap between traditional Americana (country, blues, folk, jazz, and gospel), the Great American Songbook, and the singer-songwriter movement that exploded a decade later with Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. Fishman expertly weaves a fascinating narrative of her life and music and ultimately places her in the canon as a significant outsider artist, a missing link between a now old-fashioned kind of American music and the reflective, complex, arresting music that transformed the 1960s and music forever.

Brittany Spanos, a senior writer at Rolling Stone, will be interviewing Howard Fishman. Since 2015, she has written numerous features, reviews, and essays on the history of popular music and current music topics. Outside of writing, she hosts two podcasts for the publication: Don’t Let This Flop and 500 Greatest Albums. Prior to taking on her role at Rolling Stone, Spanos worked as the Clubs Editor at Village Voice, handling concert listings for the paper while contributing interviews and reviews to its music blog.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023
6:00 pm

Wednesday, July 19, 2023


In person

Pre-registration required. Spaces limited. 


Location: Jefferson Market Library, first floor theater. 

Click here to see photos from this program.