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America's Songs tells the "stories behind" the most beloved popular songs of the last century. We all have songs that have a special meaning in our lives; hearing them evokes a special time or place. Little wonder that these special songs have become enduring classics. Nothing brings the roarin '20s to life like "Tea for Two" or "I'm just Wild About Harry"; the Great Depression is evoked in all of its pain and misery in songs like "Brother Can You Spare a Dime?; "God Bless America" revives the powerful hope that American democracy promised to the world during the dark days of World War II; "Young at Heart" evokes the postwar optimism of the '50s. And then there are the countless songs of love, new romance, and heartbreak: "As Time Goes By," "Always," "Am I Blue"...the list is endless.
Along with telling the stories behind these songs, America's Songs suggests, simply and succinctly, what makes a song great. The book illuminates the way each great song melds words and music — sentiment and melody — into a seamless whole. America's Songs also traces the fascinating but mysterious process of collaboration, the give-and-take between two craftsmen, a composer and a lyricist, as they combined their talents to create a song.
For anyone interested in the history of the songs that America loves, America's Songs will make for fascinating reading.