Tin Pan Alley: A Chronicle of the American Popular Music Racket

By Isaac Goldberg | Go to book overview

4. Blackface into White

THE minstrel show, as we have seen, contained in its "olio" the germ of its successor. Theatrical forms, like others, do not represent a steady, clear-cut evolution from lower to higher. They may be visualized rather as a series of parallel lines of uneven length. The older forms get the earlier start, but even after they have been superseded by fresher appeals to public patronage, they run along beside their rivals. The minstrel show did not die out as soon as Variety came in; nor did Variety die out when, in time, Musical Comedy put on satin gowns, silk stockings, flashy scenery, and grew away from its mother, Burlesque.

It is to Tony Pastor that the development of the variety show owes an unforgettable debt. He had come to it, not too inappropriately, from minstrelsy and from the circus ring. Born in New York, on Greenwich street, in 1840, of a father who for many years was a musician in the orchestra of the Park Theatre, he early absorbed the atmosphere of the playhouse. As a mere tot, Antonio had seen and heard the quartet of the original Virginia Serenaders at the theater where his father played. Here, indeed, must have been born his histrionic ambitions. At eight he had already made his début as a singer of comic duets with Christian B. Woodruff, later State Senator, in a Temperance Meeting at the old Dey Street Church. A few years later we discover him buying

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Tin Pan Alley: A Chronicle of the American Popular Music Racket
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • About the Author vi
  • Introduction vii
  • Table of Contents xiii
  • List of Illustrations xv
  • 1. ≪vamp Till Ready . . .≫ 1
  • 2. Before the Flood 13
  • 3. Pearls of Minstrelsy 31
  • 4. Blackface into White 60
  • 5. the Rise of Tin Pan Alley 84
  • 6. the Rise of Tin Pan Alley: Ragtime 139
  • 7- Sousa, De Koven, And--Principally --Victor Herbert 178
  • 8. Ballyhoo 197
  • 9. Transition 234
  • 10. King Jazz 259
  • 11. Bye, Bye, Theme Song 297
  • 12. Codetta 320
  • Acknowledgments 326
  • Index 329
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