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.
"I am deeply moved by Arnold Shaw's The Jazz Age."--Quincy Jones. "As one who grew up in the 1920s, and has been reading Arnold Shaw with admiration for some twenty-odd years, I read The Jazz Age not only nostalgically, but also with gratitude to one who tells us so much, and so knowledgeably, about what lay behind the music that I and many others of our generation simply took--at the time--for granted."--Henry Pleasants. "A unique portrayal
of the 1920s."--Library Journal