The Jazz Age: Popular Music in the 1920s

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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.

Spicing his account with lively anecdotes and inside stories, he describes the astonishing outpouring of significant musical innovations that emerged during the "Roaring Twenties".

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195060829
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/28/1989
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.38 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet 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.

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Table of Contents

I The Jazz Age
1 "Flappers Are We" 3
2 King Oliver, Jelly Roll, and Satchmo 14
3 Bix, Austin High, and Chicago Style 31
4 Pops and Smack 41
II The Harlem Renaissance
5 Duke, Ethel, and the Harlem Scene 57
6 "The Birth of the Blues" 67
7 "Kitten on the Keys" 80
8 Shuffle Along 88
III Tin Pan Alley
9 "Dardanella" 95
10 "The Sheik of Araby" 111
11 "Three O'Clock in the Morning" 120
12 "Yes! We Have No Bananas"/"Charleston" 132
13 "Rhapsody and Romance in Blue" 142
14 "Tea for Two" 157
15 "The Black Bottom" 170
16 "Talkies" and Theme Songs 184
17 "The Singing Fool" 200
18 California Gold Rush 213
IV The Musical Theatre
19 The Musical Revue 231
20 The Golden Coterie 250
21 The Operetta Revival 271
22 Song Laureate of the Roaring Twenties 275
Epilogue 285
Notes 289
Bibliography 303
Discography 311
Variety's "Golden 100 Tin Pan Alley Songs" 319
Index 321
Song Index 339
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