| THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK
the singers, the songwriters, and the songs
In this illustrated celebration of American popular song, music historian Ken Bloom takes you on a visual journey like no other, introducing the art form's greatest creators and interpreters, assessing their careers and achievements, and weaving together a sublimely entertaining narrative history in words and hundreds of pictures. You'll find the stories and works of your favorite artists and writers here, from singers Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Barbara Cook, and Billie Holiday to songwriters Richard Rodgers, Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer, Cole Porter, and Dorothy Fields. And you'll meet some figures you may know little or nothing about, but who have contributed mightily to American music, including Gus Kahn, Harry Warren, Sylvia Syms, Burton Lane, Blossom Deane, Julie London, Arthur Schwartz, and Anita O'Day.
Throughout the book, Bloom includes informative essays on a number of related topics, from the stories of the first music publishers and "song pluggers" to the start of the Big Band era and such musical sub-genres as Christmas songs and war songs. And on every page, beautiful photographs - many of them rare and never before published - help convey the spirit of the subject, creating perhaps the first book that you will find yourself "humming" as you turn the pages.
The history of American popular music unfolds much like the history of America itself, a rich chronicle of diverse individuals coming together to create work that is groundbreaking, enduring, and that defines us as a culture. Dozens of incredible artists and literally hundreds of songs are brought to life in these pages, comprising a century of great music - from turn-of-the-century marches, minstrel songs, and waltzes through the golden era of the big bands and great songwriters, all the way to the eclipse of popular music by rock-and-roll in the 60s and its revival by a younger generation in the new century.
"American popular song is ourcountry's invention and its great gift,"comments Michael Feinstein in the Foreword. "Songs express our inner feelings and elevate the mundane to the magnificent." Open The American Songbook and discover - or rediscover-the magnificent soundtrack of American life over the past century.
THE BIG BANDS
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