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One Night on TV Is Worth Weeks at the Paramount : Popular Music on Early Television - Murray Forman

One Night on TV Is Worth Weeks at the Paramount

Popular Music on Early Television

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Elvis Presley's television debut in January 1956 is often cited as the moment when popular music and television came together. Murray Forman challenges that contention, revealing popular music as crucial to television years before Presley's sensational small-screen performances. Drawing on trade and popular journalism, internal television and music industry documents, and records of audience feedback, Forman provides a detailed history of the incorporation of musical performances into TV programming during the medium's formative years, from 1948 to 1955. He examines how executives in the music and television industries understood and responded to the convergence of the two media; how celebrity musicians such as Vaughn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, and Fred Waring struggled to adjust to television; and how relative unknowns with an intuitive feel for the medium were sometimes catapulted to stardom. Forman argues that early television production influenced the aesthetics of musical performance in the 1940s and 1950s, particularly those of emerging musical styles such as rock and roll. At the same time, popular music helped to shape the nascent medium of television—its technologies, program formats, and industry structures. Popular music performances were essential to the allure and success of TV in its early years.

"One Night on TV Is Worth Weeks at the Paramount is an important contribution to the history of TV, popular music, and the relation between television and musical performance. It is clearly well researched, and it includes fascinating information and many delightful tidbits." Pamela Robertson Wojcik, author of The Apartment Plot: Urban Living in American Film and Popular Culture, 1945 to 1975 "One Night on TV Is Worth Weeks at the Paramount is an impressive industrial and cultural history of the dazzling range of musical performances and genres on early television. Filling a much-neglected area of television studies, Murray Forman focuses not only on network shows but also on regional productions and local stations. His discussion of raced representations provides important new insights into television history, as do his accounts of regional tastes, amateur shows, and the significance of stage settings and nightclub venues." Lynn Spigel, author of TV by Design: Modern Art and the Rise of Network Television "One Night on TV Is Worth Weeks at the Paramount will be the standard work on post-war U.S. music and television. Murray Forman gives us a full picture of cultural change in a key period of media transition. Reading his book, we witness the breakup of the big bands, the dismantling of the Hollywood system, the rise of network television, and the tense politics of race and ethnicity that marked popular American entertainment in the 1940s and 1950s." Will Straw, author of Cyanide and Sin: Visualizing Crime in 50s America

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Popular Music and the Small Screen Frontier: An Introductionp. 1
Music, Image, Labor: Television's Prehistoryp. 17
"Hey TV!": Musical Pioneers and Pessimistsp. 51
Harmonizing Genresp. 115
The Look of Musicp. 169
Music in a "Sepia" Tonep. 231
Maracas, Congas, and Castanetsp. 273
Conclusion Rocking the TV Conventionsp. 319
Appendixp. 341
Notesp. 343
Bibliographyp. 363
Indexp. 389
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780822350118
ISBN-10: 0822350114
Series: Console-ing Passions
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 424
Published: 14th August 2012
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.6  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.59