A History of Popular Music in America
IT HAS BECOME a commonplace to say that popular music is an index to the life and history of a nation. Unfortunately there are still too many people who do not really believe it. They are actually unaware of the extent to which the manners, customs, and current events of every generation have been given expression in popular songs, particularly in the United States; nor do they realize how honestly, and often naively, such songs have reflected the changing character of our people.
Every period of American history has had its own characteristic songs, from the days of the Revolution, when patriotism and politics were the leading themes, to the reckless distortions of the jazz Age, with its hysterical flouting of all convention or tradition. Slang, clothes, coiffures, inventions, games, food and drink, all have figured in popular