The Jazz Age: Popular Music in the 1920s

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9780195038910: The Jazz Age: Popular Music in the 1920s

F. Scott Fitzgerald named it, Louis Armstrong launched it, Paul Whiteman and Fletcher Henderson orchestrated it, and now Arnold Shaw chronicles this fabulous era in The Jazz Age. Spicing his account with lively anecdotes and inside stories, he describes the astonishing outpouring of significant musical innovations that emerged during the "Roaring Twenties"--including blues, jazz, band music, torch ballads, operettas and musicals--and sets them against the background of the Prohibition world of the Flapper.
The jazz age set the sound of popular music into the 1950s. It included the flowering of improvised music by such artists as Armstrong, Bix Benderbecke, and Duke Ellington; the maturation and Americanization of the Broadway musical theatre; the explosion of the arts celebrated in the Harlem Renaissance; the rise of the classical blues singers starting with Mamie Smith and climaxing with Bessie Smith; the evolution of ragtime into stride piano; the spread of "speakeasy" night life and the emergence of the Cabaret singers; the musical creativity of a whole range of composers and songwriters including Kern, Gershwin, Berlin, Youmans, Rodgers and Hart, and Cole Porter, whom Shaw calls Song Laureate of the Roaring 20s.
Here is a lively account of all these significant developments and personalities. A bibliography, detailed discography, and two informative lists--songs of the 20s in Variety's Golden 100 and films featuring singers and songwriters of the era--round out the book.

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About the Author:


About the Author:
Arnold Shaw, two time winner of the prestigious ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards, and author of such books as Honkers and Shouters, The Dictionary of Pop/Rock, Black Popular Music in America, and Fifty-Second Street, is Director of the Popular Music Research Center at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.

From Publishers Weekly:

According to popular music historian Shaw (Honkers and Shouters, the jazz age began in 1917, with the appearance at Reisenweber's in New York of the all-white Original Dixieland Jazz Band and their first recordings of "the new music." The years between then and the Wall Street crash of 1929often recalled as the roaring, torrid, frenzied '20swere a period seemingly dominated by flappers, gangsters and traffic in illegal booze but also, as Shaw demonstrates, by a fusion of black and white music and a plethora of revues, operettas and musical comedies created by "a flock of gemlike show composers." Drawing heavily on books by Gerald Boardman, David Ewen and Charles Hamm, and reprinting anecdotes from the lives of the people he catalogues, Shaw presents, in roughly chronological order, the achievements of Bix, Cole, Duke, Eubie, Flo, Hoagy, Jelly Roll, Satchmo, Vincent (Lopez and Youmans), Berlin, Gershwin, Kern, Rodgers, "Smack" Henderson, "Pops" Whiteman and many other song writers and pluggers, lyricists, publishers and literary wits. Discography, lists of bestselling songs and film biographies.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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