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The Song is Ended: Songwriters and American…

The Song is Ended: Songwriters and American Music, 1900-1950

by William G. Hyland

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0195086112, Hardcover)

"Embraceable You." "Someone to Watch Over Me." "Alexander's Ragtime Band." "My Funny Valentine." "White Christmas." Irving Berlin once wrote a song entitled "The Song is Ended, But the Melody Lingers On," and surely the title is a perfect epitaph for an incomparable era of American songwriting that endowed us with so many of our most beloved ballads and rousing showstoppers.

The Song is Ended is the story of the Golden Age of American popular music, and a celebration of the enduring melodies and colorful life stories of five of this century's most engaging songwriters: Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Richard Rodgers, with a fond bow in the direction of Victor Herbert and George M. Cohan. Author William G. Hyland provides an expert analysis of trends in popular songwriting during the first half of this century, escorting readers on a fascinating tour of the sights and sounds of fifty-odd years of American music, from the scratchy victrolas and Old World melodies of New York's teeming Lower East Side, to the hustle and bustle of Tin Pan Alley, to the hot rhythms and smoky clubs of the Jazz Age, to the sound stages of Hollywood and the glittering Broadway triumphs of "Showboat", "Anything Goes", "Porgy and Bess", "Pal Joey", and "Oklahoma!". Nostalgic lovers of good music will delight in the stories behind some of their favorite songs: Irving Berlin, for example, originally wrote his tender and romantic classic "I'll Be Loving You, Always," for a Marx Brothers revue (he wisely cut it), and he first composed "God Bless America" as an enlisted soldier in 1918, only to put it aside for almost twenty years when the pianist helping him rehearse for an army benefit complained "Geez, another patriotic song?"

From Cole Porter's light-hearted and irrepressible "You're the Top" to Rodgers and Hart's wistful "Blue Moon" or the unforgettable "Summertime" from George Gershwin's masterful "Porgy and Bess," The Song is Ended captures the charm, freshness and vitality of a truly great era in American musical history. The melodies from this golden era truly linger on, just as Berlin predicted, and reverberate on every page of this superb volume.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:36 -0400)

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