Stomp and Swerve

Stomp and Swerve

American Music Gets Hot, 1843–1924

eBook - 2003
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The early decades of American popular music—Stephen Foster, Scott Joplin, John Philip Sousa, Enrico Caruso—are, for most listeners, the dark ages. It wasn't until the mid-1920s that the full spectrum of this music—black and white, urban and rural, sophisticated and crude—made it onto records for all to hear. This book brings a forgotten music, hot music, to life by describing how it became the dominant American music—how it outlasted sentimental waltzes and parlor ballads, symphonic marches and Tin Pan Alley novelty numbers—and how it became rock 'n' roll. It reveals that the young men and women of that bygone era had the same musical instincts as their descendants Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, and even Ozzy Osbourne. In minstrelsy, ragtime, brass bands, early jazz and blues, fiddle music, and many other forms, there was as much stomping and swerving as can be found in the most exciting performances of hot jazz, funk, and rock. Along the way, it explains how the strange combination of African with Scotch and Irish influences made music in the United States vastly different from other African and Caribbean forms; shares terrific stories about minstrel shows, “coon" songs, whorehouses, knife fights, and other low-life phenomena; and showcases a motley collection of performers heretofore unknown to all but the most avid musicologists and collectors.
Publisher: Chicago : Chicago Review Press, 2003
Copyright Date: ©2003
ISBN: 9781569764961
Branch Call Number: Electronic book
Characteristics: 1 online resource (274 pages)
Additional Contributors: ProQuest (Firm)


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Mar 26, 2011

Interesting and idiosyncratic, the gutty style a little off-putting. Listen to a 1902 recording, and a 1920 recording--WHAT happened to American music in the 20 years? That is the question this book answers, and Wondrich does a great job of tracing the elements which came together after WWI to produce jazz. One may quarrel with his assessment of some performers but he does justice to Mamie Smith, James Reece Europe, and the Original Dixieland Jazz Band--his relating of those three is worth the price of admission alone.


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