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The Songs of Hollywood
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The Songs of Hollywood

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by Philip Furia
 

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From "Over the Rainbow" to "Moon River" and from Al Jolson to Barbra Streisand, The Songs of Hollywood traces the fascinating history of song in film, both in musicals and in dramatic movies such as High Noon. Extremely well-illustrated with 200 film stills, this delightful book sheds much light on some of Hollywood's best known and loved

Overview

From "Over the Rainbow" to "Moon River" and from Al Jolson to Barbra Streisand, The Songs of Hollywood traces the fascinating history of song in film, both in musicals and in dramatic movies such as High Noon. Extremely well-illustrated with 200 film stills, this delightful book sheds much light on some of Hollywood's best known and loved repertoire, explaining how the film industry made certain songs memorable, and highlighting important moments of film history along the way. The book focuses on how the songs were presented in the movies, from early talkies where actors portrayed singers "performing" the songs, to the Golden Age in which characters burst into expressive, integral song—not as a "performance" but as a spontaneous outpouring of feeling. The book looks at song presentation in 1930s classics with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and in 1940s gems with Judy Garland and Gene Kelly. The authors also look at the decline of the genre since 1960, when most original musicals were replaced by film versions of Broadway hits such as My Fair Lady.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"With its critical investigation of the connections between Broadway and Hollywood, the intertwining of music publishers and studios, as well as the marketing strategies behind hits, it's clear that this book is not only a careful investigation of musical films up to the 21st century, but also an insightful means of taking stock of film musicals in Hollywood cinema writ large, which gives rise to yet further consideration about the integration of music into the realistic medium of film." —Lied und populäre Kultur [Song and Popular Culture]

"The Songs of Hollywood is a brilliantly researched, highly entertaining cornucopia of facts, tracing and defining the evolution of the use of songs in film. It's a fascinating read, bursting with information about the great songwriters, performers, producers and directors who transformed a novelty gimmick into an art form."-Richard M. Sherman, Composer / Lyricist of Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Jungle Book.

"If you love attractive songs and movies that sing and dance, this book is a must. But be prepared to rent all the films you missed or will want to see again after reading the authors' appetizing descriptions!" —Sheldon Harnick, Lyricist

"Good reading—and great history—this book offers a fresh examination of the way songs were integrated into Hollywood movies from the silent era through the glory years of musicals. Furia and Patterson write with equal parts knowledge and enthusiasm. I thought I knew this territory pretty well, but they linger over details to create a rich context for their raw material."—Leonard Maltin

"They discuss great examples of all kinds of singing in the movies so perspicaciously that this is a book that lovers of warbling on celluloid will utterly treasure."-Booklist Starred Review

"Considerable insight. A book that can be used to advantage in serious film study or read for pure enjoyment."-California Literary Review

"The Songs of Hollywood benefits from Philip Furia's previous wok on the American popular song...The selection of key works to illustrate the main themes is done with a purpose; focused not filleted, this is a good, readable history." —Times Literary Supplement

"A good, readable history." —Times Literary Supplement

"A remarkably well constructed, comprehensive overview of the songs of Hollywood...[A] tremendously informative book." —Brad Hathaway - Theater Shelf

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195337082
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
04/07/2010
Pages:
270
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Philip Furia is a professor in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
Laurie Patterson is a professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

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