Iowa PBS Presents Meredith Willson: America’s Music Man

Meredith Willson walking in a parade

Dive deeper into the life and legacy of the renowned Iowan in the Iowa PBS documentary, Meredith Willson: America’s Music Man. He performed under Sousa and Toscanini. He scored films for the likes of Chaplin and wrote popular songs performed by Sinatra and The Beatles. And when the River City boys band marched on Broadway, Meredith Willson caught the whole world’s ear.

Meredith Willson: America’s Music Man will premiere Tuesday, February 28 at 6:30 p.m. on statewide Iowa PBS. It will be rebroadcast Sunday, March 5 at 12:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 11 at 5:30 p.m. In addition to the broadcasts, Meredith Willson: America’s Music Man will be available to stream on and the PBS App.

“With this film, I’m most excited to see this narrative on the screen, with photos to know Willson, to understand him a little bit better, to hear his music,” said Iowa PBS Senior Producer and Director Tyler Brinegar. “I think this format is a great way to learn about Meredith Willson. Film is perhaps even more informative than the printed word, because he was, after all, a musician.”

Meredith Willson: America’s Music Man will be narrated by Sutton Foster, a singer, dancer and actress best known for her work on Broadway. Her talents have earned her two Tony Awards for Best Actress in a Musical. She recently ended her run playing Marian Paroo in Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” on Broadway.

This documentary will premiere as part of Festival 2023, taking place February 18–19, February 24–March 6 and March 11–12. Learn more at