Music of the Golden Age, 1900-1950 and Beyond: A Guide to Popular Composers and Lyricists

Music of the Golden Age, 1900-1950 and Beyond: A Guide to Popular Composers and Lyricists

Music of the Golden Age, 1900-1950 and Beyond: A Guide to Popular Composers and Lyricists

Music of the Golden Age, 1900-1950 and Beyond: A Guide to Popular Composers and Lyricists

Synopsis

The Golden Age of popular music began prior to World War I with composers and lyricists writing hit songs for Tin Pan Alley, for musical plays, for Vaudeville, and for radio. It blossomed from the 1920s through the early 1950s, defined by a mood and style filled with rhythm and romance and with memorable, melodic, literate music. Although this work focuses on hit songs by major songwriters such as Berlin and Gershwin, Kern and Hammerstein, Rodgers and Porter, major collaborators are included as well. Contemporary songwriters, continuing with the style of the Golden Age include Marvin Hamlisch, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Burt Bacharach, and Stevie Wonder. A separate chapter concentrates on celebrities and women of song.

Excerpt

Rather than define Music of the Golden Age as a period of time--particular years gone by--we define it more as a style or a genre: music with melody; literate lyrics; music for dancing; songs of rhyme, rhythm, and romance. This book is largely made up of chronological listings of song hits of the Big Band Era and those years of Hollywood escapist musicals. The most prominent composers and lyricists we present created their ballads, blues, swing, and jazz tunes in the 1920s and on through the 1940s. However, the style and mood of the music we refer to as "Golden Age" was written before and after those defined decades. In the early 1900s, songwriting superstars Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein, and a few others were beginning to write in that style. In the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and up to the present, the likes of Stephen Sondheim, Marilyn and Alan Bergman, Cy Coleman, and Jimmy Webb write much that falls under the Golden Age category.

This text is designed for the sheer enjoyment and shared enlightenment of both fans and students of Golden Age music. It is divided into five chapters, each utilizing alphabetical coverage of songwriters. It begins with Pioneers in Chapter 1, covering about fifty composers and lyricists of the pre-World War I period, who paved the way, so to speak, for the writers and composers who followed. Chapter 2, the main Golden Age section of the book, includes more than 160 songwriters of prominence and productivity--alphabetically, along with chronological listings of their hits and important songs. Reference is usually made to the stage musical or Hollywood film (distinguished by italic bold) in which the song was introduced. Brief biographical sketches of the songwriters . . .

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