America's Songs: The Stories Behind the Songs of Broadway, by Philip Furia

By Philip Furia

"America's Songs" tells the "stories in the back of" the main cherished renowned songs of the final century. all of us have songs that experience a unique which means in our lives; listening to them conjures up a unique time or position. Little ask yourself that those designated songs became enduring classics. not anything brings the roarin '20s to sensible "Tea for 2" or "I'm simply Wild approximately Harry"; the good melancholy is evoked in all of its discomfort and distress in songs like "Brother are you able to Spare a Dime?"; "God Bless the United States" revives the strong desire that American democracy promised to the realm through the darkish days of global battle II; "Young at middle" inspires the postwar optimism of the '50s. after which, there are the numerous songs of affection, new romance, and heartbreak: "As Time is going By", "Always", "Am I Blue"...the checklist is never-ending. in addition to telling the tales in the back of those songs, "America's Songs" indicates, easily and succinctly, what makes a tune nice. The booklet illuminates the way in which every one nice tune melds phrases and track - sentiment and melody - right into a seamless complete. "America's Songs" additionally lines the interesting yet mysterious means of collaboration, the give-and-take among craftsmen, a composer and a lyricist, as they mixed their skills to create a music. "America's Songs" is interesting interpreting for a person attracted to the background of the songs that the United States loves.

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1916 Poor Butterfly Lyrics by John Golden, music by Raymond Hubbell The first large numbers of Chinese landed in California to build the transcontinental railroad. indd 14 4/11/06 11:32:16 AM 1910 – 1919 • 15 Chinatown, almond eyes of brown …,” 1910). It was Tin Pan Alley’s way of domesticating the mysterious East and transforming its sons and daughters into acceptable stereotypes. Nearly all the songs created a staccato effect by using parallel fift hs, along with flowing melodies and bass chords, to simulate Asian music.

Indd 1 4/11/06 11:32:05 AM 2 • America’s Songs barber shop quartet staples as “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” and “Down by the Old Mill Stream,” “Some of These Days” is a distinctively modern song. ” Like many songs of its era, “Some of These Days” portrayed AfricanAmericans in comic and frequently suggestive racist caricatures. Although demeaning, such “coon songs,” as they were unfortunately called, bristled with vernacular lyrics and rhythmical music—a refreshing change from lugubrious Victorian ballads.

St. Louis Blues Lyrics and music by W. C. Handy William Christopher Handy grew up listening to what he termed the “sorrow songs” of blacks up and down the Mississippi, but his father, a minister, frowned on blues. indd 11 4/11/06 11:32:14 AM 12 • America’s Songs and performed with his band across the South, but white audiences asked him to play “his” kind of music. By inserting “flatted” minor notes into major-key melodies, Handy could create the feel of the blues in his renditions of popular songs.

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