They Also Wrote: Evaluative Essays on Lesser-Known Popular American Songwriters Prior to the Rock Era

Overview

Shining a light on under-appreciated or unknown American popular songwriters active from 1848 until 1955, William E. Studwell profiles three hundred and forty-four of them in evaluative historical essays. The essays provide biographical data, focus on the songs for which the songwriter is best known, then list the lesser-known songs in chronological order. Although most of the people included in the book will be new to readers, one section does focus on "Famous Persons Not Primarily Known for their Songwriting," ...

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Overview

Shining a light on under-appreciated or unknown American popular songwriters active from 1848 until 1955, William E. Studwell profiles three hundred and forty-four of them in evaluative historical essays. The essays provide biographical data, focus on the songs for which the songwriter is best known, then list the lesser-known songs in chronological order. Although most of the people included in the book will be new to readers, one section does focus on "Famous Persons Not Primarily Known for their Songwriting," including Benny Goodman and Dale Evans. Readers interested in a variety of song styles will find ample material to hold their interest—from barbershop quartet songs, patriotic songs, and college songs to jazz compositions, big band numbers, and country-westerns. Information detailed here for the first time will make this reference source significant not only for those interested in the profiled songwriters, but also as a repository of cultural information about our musical past.

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Editorial Reviews

American Reference Books Annual (ARBA)
Studwell should be commended for his effort to enlighten students, teachers, and others interested in this aspect of American popular music. His work is highly recommended for all music reference collections.
Dirty Linen
As a reference work, this volume does provide some valuable information...
American Reference Books Annual
Studwell should be commended for his effort to enlighten students, teachers, and others interested in this aspect of American popular music. His work is highly recommended for all music reference collections.
Reference and User Services Quarterly
Recommended for music libraries and academic or public libraries with large music reference collections.
Rapport
It's an invaluable collection and an overdue tribute.
Booknews
The 344 songwriters Studwell (information science, Northern Illinois U.) profiles are divided into sections on famous people not primarily known for their songwriting; underappreciated masters, contributors, and creators of classics; and obscure creators of standards and songs and minor songwriters of note. After basic biographical information, he discusses their best known or most interesting songs in relation to their impact on American culture past and present. Then he lists as many of the writer's lesser known songs as he can find. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810837898
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Pages: 440
  • Product dimensions: 5.88 (w) x 8.68 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

William E. Studwell is a librarian and writer who has authored a number of books on various aspects of musical history, including The Classic Rock and Roll Reader, College Fight Songs, and Barbershops, Bullets, and Ballads. He has contributed over 340 articles to professional journals and has more than 460 radio, TV, and print media appearances to his credit.

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