Stomp and Swerve: American Music Gets Hot, 1843-1924 [NOOK Book]

Overview

The early decades of American popular music-Stephen Foster, Scott Joplin, John Philip Sousa, Enrico Caruso-are, for most listeners, the dark ages. It wasn't until the mid-1920s that the full spectrum of this music-black and white, urban and rural, sophisticated and crude-made it onto records for all to hear. This book brings a forgotten music, hot music, to life by describing how it became the dominant American music-how it outlasted sentimental waltzes and parlor ballads, symphonic marches and Tin Pan Alley ...
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Stomp and Swerve: American Music Gets Hot, 1843-1924

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Overview

The early decades of American popular music-Stephen Foster, Scott Joplin, John Philip Sousa, Enrico Caruso-are, for most listeners, the dark ages. It wasn't until the mid-1920s that the full spectrum of this music-black and white, urban and rural, sophisticated and crude-made it onto records for all to hear. This book brings a forgotten music, hot music, to life by describing how it became the dominant American music-how it outlasted sentimental waltzes and parlor ballads, symphonic marches and Tin Pan Alley novelty numbers-and how it became rock 'n' roll. It reveals that the young men and women of that bygone era had the same musical instincts as their desc<%END%>ants Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley, James Brown, Jimi H<%END%>rix, and even Ozzy Osbourne. In minstrelsy, ragtime, brass bands, early jazz and blues, fiddle music, and many other forms, there was as much stomping and swerving as can be found in the most exciting performances of hot jazz, funk, and rock. Along the way, it explains how the strange combination of African with Scotch and Irish influences made music in the United States vastly different from other African and Caribbean musics; shares terrific stories about minstrel shows, "coon" songs, whorehouses, knife fights, and other low-life phenomena; and showcases a motley collection of performers heretofore unknown to all but the most avid musicologists and collectors.

Author Biography: David Wondrich is the author of Esquire Drinks and writes about music and cocktails for The New York Times, Esquire, and The Village Voice. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
Provides good guidance as the music gets hotter.
Chicago Reader
Appealingly irreverent
Discoveries
A cool book . . . bringing alive the deepest roots of American rock, R&B and rap.
Downbeat
[Wondrich] never lets his knowledge of historical minutiae get in the way of a good story.
Esquire
A lovingly written account.
Seattle Weekly
A hot book about hot music . . . with a rare ear for its subject.
Library Journal
Something happened to African music as it developed in North America that didn't happen anywhere else, including Africa, Wondrich observes. In other countries where the seeds of African music were sown, the result was "a loping, lilting sense of rhythm" that is quite different from North America's "harder-edged, more urgent beat." Wondrich's investigation takes readers back to the Stone Age of popular music, when West African slaves and Scots-Irish indentured servants frequently toiled alongside one another on plantations in Virginia and Barbados. As Wondrich explains, their intimacy led to musical cross-pollination and gradual homogenization into an Afro-Celtic fusion, which, in turn, produced a distinct and enduring musical dialect: "hot" music-hot as in Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Bob Wills, Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, and so on. Wondrich pursues the Afro-Celtic sound through minstrelsy and beyond as it begins to be assimilated into white culture. His analysis of a Celtic influence, along with his drive-and-swerve model, clarifies lines of generational development in African American music and enables readers to recognize connections for what they are, not as mere similarities or coincidences. Throughout, Wondrich is entertaining and engaging-just what one would expect of a man who writes about "music and cocktails" for Esquire, the New York Times, and the Village Voice. For extensive musicology collections.-Harold V. Cordry, Baldwin, KS Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569764978
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/1/2003
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • File size: 5 MB

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