So it's no shock that the law banning
alcohol was a dismal failure and was overturned in 1933. People had simply rebelled and turned to bootleggers and underground
bars serving alcohol called speakeasies. The soundtrack to this whole rebellion was jazz. It was a time when people were
reaching for hedonistic liberation as dancing became more sexual and wild as illustrated in dances like "The Charleston."
It was an age of incredible optimism fueled by new technology, progressivism and a booming economy.
Blues had been the
social commentary of black Americans and its feelings of despair were closely tied to discrimination that they felt from
the aftermath of the Civil War. Some historians point to the song "St. Louis Blues" by W.C. Handy, written in 1911
as the first blues song. In reality, nearly every song is a culmination of a wide array of previous influences. The roots
of blues were intertwined with gospel hymns and the songs created by plantation slaves about their frustration. By the 1920s
blacks were still treated as second-class citizens by white society and their music was ignored by the big record labels and
the emergence of radio, which hit the scene in 1920.
Jazz music was being popularized by white artists such as Al Jolson, who wore black make-up
and made history by appearing in the first talking motion picture, The Jazz Singer in 1927. The first African-American
artist to rise to widespread popularity was Louis Armstrong, first with instrumentals and then songs like "Big Butter
And Egg Man," "Keyhole Blues," and "West End Blues" in the late 1920s. Then many more began to follow.
underground black artist in the 1920s was Robert Johnson, who some people might consider the "grandfather of rock and
roll." His basic guitar riffs followed earlier established blues patterns but with a little more of a jagged edge. Johnson
never had hit records in his time but his influence can be heard and felt in future stars like Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry.
His music conjures up the image of the frustrated musician seeking notoriety by "making a deal with the devil at the
crossroads." The movie The Crossroads starring Ralph Machio touches on that theme and helped the masses become
aware of Robert Johnson.
Such bluesy music with haunting melodies in the pre-rock era was kept out of the mainstream by the powers that
be simply because it sounded to them like "devil music." The explanation for this is simply pure racist undertones
in the establishment, although many of the early blues artists believed in the devil complex and were actually commenting
on it. The one truth we can all agree on is that early blues was not happy music. It was about being cheated and mistreated.
the rise of jazz in the 1920s was the emergence of country music via the Grand Ole Opry. At the time it was commonly referred
to as "hillbilly music" because it drew from experiences of rural white American farmers in the south. Like blues,
country grew out of a form of folk music within a subculture. Some might trace the actual roots of country to Irish folk
music. By the 1940s country music had clearly become its own genre regardless of its origins and was beginning to produce
big stars like Hank Williams, Eddy Arnold and Tex Ritter. The key to their success was their close rapport with an audience
that cherished honest storytelling. It was combined with simple melodies and became reflective of people who gravitated toward
the basics of life as a contrast to the evergrowing modernization of society.
Meanwhile, jazz became the first popular music in America to fragment
into multiple genres. Mainstream music from the twenties through the forties can be summed up as "the big band era,"
which was the upbeat optimistic side of jazz. Glenn Miller is without a doubt, the most celebrated artist of this era with
his swinging pop hits like "In The Mood," "The American Patrol" and "Little Brown Jug." These
songs were pretty much the soundtrack to World War II, as was the military tribute "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" by
the Andrews Sisters. On the softer side, crooners like Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, who started out as vocalists for big
bands, became popular singing love ballads and whimsical novelties that formed the basis of "lounge music."
Frank Sinatra was considered a crooner but
with a more dynamic vocal style that allowed him to also fit in with upbeat swing. Boogie woogie was a funky outgrowth of
the bluesy and rootsy side of jazz with big band crossover appeal. Pine Top Smith was one of the early boogie woogie artists
who helped popularize the genre beginning in the late 1920s. It was boogie woogie that started to shape the sound of what
was to become known as rhythm & blues highlighted by pulsating bass lines.
The term "rock and roll" appeared in boogie woogie recordings
long before the 1950s. Throughout the thirties and forties several songs by black artists used the term as an underground
reference to sex. The topic of sex was off-limits in pop music in the pre-rock era, simply because the establishment did
not condone sex for pleasure as moral activity. Queen Victoria of Great Britain in the 1800's had set many prudent standards
that America graciously followed for many years, even after her death. The term "rockin' " was much more common,
however, than "rock and roll" as in "Good Rockin' Tonight" by Wynonie Harris in 1947. By the 1940s
rhythm & blues was becoming its own sound and wasn't necessarily strictly tied to the boogie woogie formula. Black
artists gradually were becoming more accepted in the mainstream with people like Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and Ella
Fitzgerald, who all mixed the upbeat big band sound with melancholy blues. For those jazz musicians who didn't like all
the prevalant formulas of the day, the concept of progressive or improvisational jazz began developing.
The big band era faded quickly after
World War II. Glenn Miller had enlisted in the military and came up missing, which was the first major blow to the genre
and then several of the main bands disbanded by the end of the decade. For awhile crooners took over. Record sales overall
began to slump, so something new was needed to excite the market. By this time the major record labels were Columbia, RCA
and Decca. Two of these labels revolutionized the music industry by issuing new configurations of recorded sound. For years
78 rpm records were the industry standard. In 1947 Columbia introduced the 33 and 1/3 rpm long-playing record, which held
a lot more music than the three minute time limit of the 78 rpm disc. That same year RCA introduced the 45 rpm record, which
only featured one song per side but was revolutionary because it used something called microgroove technology. Microgroove
allowed a lighter tonearm and needle to cut through the vinyl, giving the disc longer life. It took awhile for people to
catch on, but by the mid-fifties the 78 was an ancient dinosaur as all the labels were concentrating on 45s and LPs.
Technology has always played a big
part in shaping recorded music. Prior to the invention of the condensor microphone in 1925, for example, loud sounds such
as drums were very hard to record without distorting. Soft sounds were also hard to record because the singer had to sing
at a certain volume through a horn in order for the sound vibrations to affect the device that was cutting the groove. Then
in the early 1940s Les Paul introduced the modern electric guitar. The guitar, of course, goes back several centuries and
the electric guitar appeared as early as the 1920's in Hawaiian music, but it was Paul's hollow-body model that set
the standard for what was to follow. In all fairness, Leo Fender also introduced a similar model around the same time.
Les Paul was also the first major
pioneer in multi-track recording. Prior to his 1951 recording of "How High The Moon" with Mary Ford, the concept
of over-dubbing was only done in movies. Music was always recorded live until that time. In other words, a full band would
play the entire piece in real time and keep doing it over and over again until they got the final take. With multi-track recording,
which started out as four tracks, an artist could lay down separate tracks for different instruments and vocals. It no longer
had to be done all at once as a live performance. The key to this new technique was the Ampex reel to reel tape deck.
Magnetic tape allowed four separate channels
of audio to be recorded or played at the same time. This also opened the door for electronic reverb for the first time. Prior
to the reel to reel machine, if an artist wanted echo on their voice it had to be recorded in a room where there was natural
reverb. The reel to reel also paved the way for stereo music, a technology used in movie theaters since the early 1930s, but
absent from music recordings until the fifties. Even so, the one-signal mono sound dominated the recording industry until
the late sixties.
With the advent of the electric guitar and multi-tracking, combined with the withering of big bands and the mixing of styles
between country and r&b artists, a new sound in music was born. Enter the rock era. There's a long list of artists
who are given credit for inventing rock and roll, but the first such record to make a big national splash was "Rock Around
The Clock" by Bill Haley & The Comets in 1955. Several records prior to this hit can be considered rock and roll
including "Shake, Rattle And Roll" by Big Joe Turner, "Rocket 88" by Jackie Brenston & Ike Turner
and "Fat Man" by Fats Domino. The term "rock and roll" was brought into the mainstream in the early fifties
by a Cleveland radio DJ named Alan Freed, calling his show the "Rock And Roll Moondog Show." Early rock that leaned
more on r&b than country was also called "bop."
The message and music of rock and roll was very simple. Essentually, it was swing
dance music with a faster tempo and more raw and amplified sound than big band, blues or country. The lyrics were generally
about the high school dating experience. For the first time, the music industry began to target teenagers, which added to
the rebellious nature of the music. It's important to point out, however, that the major labels were definitely avoiding
rock and roll. The movement happened because of independent labels like Chess (who signed Chuck Berry) and Sun (who signed
Elvis Presley). Once rock and roll began to surge in the fifties, only then did the three major labels begin to take notice.
But the first wave of rock only lasted a few years. Not only were local government officials and school administrators voicing
anti-rock concerns about the rebellious behavior the music inspired, several of the movement's stars suddenly disappeared
almost overnight. Elvis was drafted in the Army, Chuck Berry went to jail for transporting a minor over a state line, Buddy
Holly died in a plane crash and Little Richard became a preacher. By the end of the decade the overall pop landscape had
swung back to a nostalgic lounge sound highlighted by Bobby Darin's "Mack The Knife."
What followed in the early 1960s was a period
of intense optimistic dance songs countered by tearful ballads that dwelled on personal tragedy. You had "The Twist"
by Chubby Checker on one hand and the romantic death lyrics of "Teen Angel" by Mark Dinning on the other. Many of
the songs of that period were novelty and for the most part, unoriginal and forgettable. They tended to be family-friendly
songs and had very little to do with the rock and roll of the fifties. Very few songs of that period had intellectual credility.
Most of the songs were products of either "Tin Pan Alley" or other song writing teams who wrote "safe hits"
for recording artists.
Tin Pan Alley was a specific group of writers
that included Neil Sedaka and Carole King, who cranked out assembly line formula songs day after day for various artists.
The only artists who seemed to break away from this industry structure were the Ventures, the Four Seasons and the Beach
Boys. The Ventures were an instrumental guitar-bass-n' drums outfit that didn't necessarily write their own material,
but were the closest thing of the period that could be considered innovative rock. They used different chord progessions
than the fifties hits and were pretty much the first band to put heavy emphasis on lead guitar. The Four Seasons and the
Beach Boys were unique because they wrote their own songs and had their own sound, although the Beach Boys were sued by
Chuck Berry for lifting the melody almost note for note of "Sweet Little 16" on their 1963 hit "Surfin'
If there was an underground scene to escape to at the time it was brought on by none other than the beatniks, who called their
movement the "beat generation." Leaders of this emerging counter-culture were more writers and poets than musicians,
although progressive jazz and folk were the two genres of choice for this group. The names that stand out are Jack Kerouac,
Alan Ginsburg and William Burroughs. Beat poets made recordings of rhythmic spoken word pieces set to music and to some degree
sounded loosely like early rap artists.
The underlying theme of the beat generation revolved around seeking pleasures beyond what was offered by the
establishment. It really was not so much a political movement as it was a hedonistic or wandering movement. Their views of
alienation and disenchantment with the mainstream were similar to those of the "lost generation" writers during
the post-World War I era. The beatniks also helped pave the way for the 1960s "love generation" movement popularized
by the hippies whose main themes were peace and love. The beatniks, unlike the hippies, however, were generally confined to
their subculture and did not penetrate the music charts with their anthems. One particular successful jazz artist embraced
by the beatniks was Dave Brubeck, whose instrumental hit "Take 5" broke musical ground with its 5/4 time signature,
which was considered very odd.
The pre-rock lounge and swing sounds have continued to be celebrated in the decades to follow. The New Vaudeville
Band had the most retro sound in the sixties with their big hit "Winchester Cathedral." In the seventies Englebert
Humperdinck's "After The Lovin'" and Al Matino's remake of "Volare" kept the lounge sound
alive. Frank Sinatra continued to have hits in the sixties but one of his most memorable hits was "Theme From New York,
New York" in 1980. There was a string of forties remakes in the eighties, starting with Larry Elgart's "Hooked
On Swing" and continuing with Taco's "Puttin' On The Ritz" and Depeche Mode's "Route 66."
David Lee Roth even did a remake of the thirties standard "Just A Gigolo."
In 1990 a medley called "Swing The Mood"
by Jive Bunny featured actual hit recordings of forties and fifties swing hits. Harry Connick Jr. ended up doing several classics.
Madonna's song "Hanky Panky" in 1990 was a modern version of the classic big band sound. Then for awhile the
alternative rock format embraced swing music from Squirrel Nut Zippers, Cherry Poppindaddies and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Lou
Bega closed the century with "Mambo #5." Christina Aguilerra had somewhat of a big band parody hit in the 2000s
called "Candy Man."
For more than three decades singer-actress Judy Garland
claimed the hearts of audiences worldwide. She was the leading star of Hollywood musicals during their heyday in the late
thirties and forties, playing wholesome, small-town girls loaded with big-time musical talent. Her rich, powerful voice and
dynamic delivery celebrated mainstream American pop at a time when musicals still reflected either the eccentricities of vaudeville,
or the conventions of opera and legitimate theater; she made American pop music acceptable, leading it to swing and later,
to the mellow harmonies that dominated after World War II. When her movie career waned in the 1950s, Garland became a premier
concert performer, renowned for her rapport with an audience. The love of music and desire to please so evident in her screen
portrayals became almost palpable on stage, and she inspired a devotion at home and abroad that occasionally assumed the dimensions
of a cult.
Garland's failed marriages,
her suicide attempts, and her battles with her weight, alcohol, and pills only enhanced her vulnerability and appeal; The
Best of the Music Makers cited performer Jerry Lewis as commenting that Garland "communicates for the audience. All the
things people can't say for themselves. All the stout women identify with her, the losers in love identify .. . the insomniacs,
the alcoholics and pill takers." Writing in the New Yorker, Ethan Mordden observed that Garland's "extraordinary
singing style [was] so individual yet so uneccentric," allowing her to perform cabaret jazz, show tunes, or love ballads
with equal mastery. "She made each song hers without taking anything away from the song," he decided. "Garland
is .. . strangely familiar, permanently contemporary."
Garland was born Frances Gumm, the third daughter of vaudeville actors. At the age of two she toddled on to the stage
of the Minnesota theater her father owned to sing "Jingle Bells," and was so taken with performing that she had
to be forcibly removed. Following relocation to Los Angeles, Frances and her sisters formed a singing-dancing trio, The Gumm
Sisters, with their mother accompanying them on the piano. The girls became the principal support of their family as their
father's health declined, performing in vaudeville theaters around the country. After being mistakenly billed as "The
Glumm Sisters" at one stop, they changed their name to "The Three Garlands" (and Frances became Judy); the
youngest Garland emerged as the star of the act—"the little girl with the great big voice." When a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
(MGM) agent heard Judy sing he signed her to a seven-year contract on the spot, recognizing in the untrained thirteen-year-old
a wealth of natural talent.
Today's listeners are likely to associate jazz with
nightclubs and concert halls or, historically, with Chicago speakeasies and New Orleans houses of prostitution. In fact, however,
the typical occupation of most jazz musicians through the 1940s was playing for dancing. For about three decades after World
War I, jazz musicians were in frequent creative tension with the dance-band industry—exploiting and expanding its musical
resources, learning its professional lessons, earning its wages, and chafing under its difficult working conditions and many
artistic restrictions. As dance orchestras grew steadily in number, size, and popularity through the 1930s and early 1940s,
they came to be called "big bands." Like many of America's musics from the same period— Broadway and Hollywood
rural blues, "folk"
music—big-band music of the swing era has been weighted with a nostalgic value that is difficult to support. Since the
1950s, jazz enthusiasts have praised these years as a period of good taste, originality, and high musical standards, with
correlative prominence for jazz soloists and jazz-trained arrangers. To some extent this was the case. Dance bands of the
day always fed on the work of jazz soloists: their innovations in phrasing and rhythm; their repertoire, including adaptations
and assimilations from "classical" music; and, perhaps most tellingly, their own self-popularizations. But though
the improvising jazz musician provided inspiration for much of the music of the big bands, not all the better dance orchestras
were strongly jazz-oriented (Ray Noble's band was one of the
better examples of a musically interesting group with a low jazz quotient); and even the finest jazz bands some of
the time played straightforward versions of not always memorable popular tunes.
At times a piece of orchestral material was created collectively among the members of a band; the result was called
a "head" arrangement. Often these heads were largely constructed out of riffs (short phrases repeated exactly or
varied very slightly). But in most cases the transformation of soloistic thought was effected by a composer orchestrator,
usually called an arranger. The early history of jazz orchestral writing is still largely undocumented, but its basic direction
is clear. Where dance orchestras of the 1910s usually played identical stock arrangements, commissioned and sold in numbers
by music publishers, prominent bandleaders of the 1920s followed the lead of Paul Whiteman, a great success early in that
decade, in emphasizing their own special arrangements. These were usually not the product of a single author, but a band's
repertoire usually incorporated a trademark sound—a musical style that was adaptable but also identifiable. The leading
arrangers of the 1920s included Don Redman for Fletcher Henderson and McKinney's Cotton Pickers, Bill Challis for Paul
Whiteman and Jean Goldkette, and Duke Ellington for his own group.
1939 marked a high point in the public furor over big
bands, a height that could hardly be sustained. By the early 1940s, though Ellington and others continued to produce major
work, a number of musical directions away from the Henderson dominated 1930’s tradition appeared. Benny Goodman began
emphasizing the coloristically muted and harmonically involved scores of Eddie Sauter over the work of Henderson and Jimmy
Mundy. Goodman’s small groups and the John Kirby Sextet forecast the lightweight small-group sound of bop. Harry James
added a string section to his band for Mantovani style ballads, and others followed suit. Lionel Hampton and other leaders
advanced a simplified Basie style that was a strong influence on early rock ‘n’ roll. Tommy Dorsey’s band
the first of many to concentrate
on a simplified version of the Lunceford style (with arrangements by Sy Oliver himself), a trend that in the hands of Stan
Kenton and others would dominate the last years of the big-band craze. The end of that craze was hardly as sudden as its beginning.
1942 was the decisive year-a year of wartime draft, wartime shortages, a wartime entertainment tax, and wartime travel restrictions,
and the beginning of a two-year recording strike imposed by officials of the American Federation of Musicians. Although bands
grew steadily larger and musicians’ salaries steadily higher, by the late forties the continued existence of an industry
of large dance bands in large ballrooms was in doubt, and by the early 1950s that industry was moribund. The big bands had
outlived their time perhaps artistically, perhaps economically. And though their time was not of incomparable richness that
has often been painted, it was fertile enough that a great deal of its interesting work is still unheralded after many years-as
the present volume clearly shows.
There was a considerable range of styles among the hundreds
of popular bands. Many of the better known bands reflected the individuality of the bandleader, the lead arranger, and the
personnel. Count Basie played a relaxed propulsive swing, Bob Crosby more of a dixieland style, Benny Goodman a hard driving
swing, and Duke Ellington’s compositions were varied and sophisticated. Many bands featured strong instrumentalists,
whose sounds dominated, such as the clarinets of Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and Woody Herman, the trombone of Jack Teagarden,
the trumpet of Harry James, the drums of Gene Krupa, and the vibes of Lionel Hampton. The popularity of many of the major
bands was amplified by star vocalists, such as Frank Sinatra with Tommy Dorsey, Helen O'Connell and Bob Eberly with Jimmy
Dorsey, Ella Fitzgerald with Chick Webb, Billie Holiday and Jimmy Rushing with Count Basie, Dick Haymes and Helen Forrest
with Harry James, Doris Day with Les Brown, Toni Arden and Ken Curtis with Shep Fields and Peggy Lee with Benny Goodman. Some
bands were society bands that relied on strong ensembles but little on soloists or vocalists, such as the bands of Guy Lombardo
and Paul Whiteman.
By this time the
Big Band was such a dominant force in jazz that the older generation found they either had to adapt to it or simply retire
- with no market for small-group recordings (made worse by a depression-era industry reluctant to take risks), some musicians
such as Louis Armstrong and Earl Hines fronted their own bands, while others, like Jelly Roll Morton and King Oliver, lapsed
Elvis Presley was more influential as a performer, and
only as a performer, than any other musician in world history. In some respects Elvis resembled other influential performers,
including the famous Italian violinist Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840) and the Hungarian pianist Franz Liszt (1811-1886).
Like them Elvis was ‘wild’: an exciting, charismatic, and enormously successful performer. Liszt was the firstEuropean
performer to attract groupies: young women who followed him wherever he went. Elvis also had his groupies, thousands of them.
Unlike Liszt and Paganini, however, Elvis did not compose any of his own music. Yet the ways in which he performed the songs
he sang, all of them written by other people, transformed twentieth-century popular music worldwide. As John Lennon, a member
of the Beatles, once said: “Before Elvis there was nothing.” Insofar as the history of rock music goes, Lennon
was more or less correct. Elvis was born Elvis Aron (or ‘Aaron’) Presley on 8 January 1935 in Tupelo,Mississippi,
a small town in the Deep South of the United States. Elvis’s family was poor; his father was often unemployed and once
went to jail for fraud. Except for a little instruction on the guitar, Elvis was entirely self-taught as a performer. As a
child he listened mostly to gospel music and later sang in several gospel choirs as a member of the First Assembly of God
Church. He also listened to the hillbilly music associated with poor white Southerners and their social problems. In 1948
the Presley family moved to Memphis, Tennessee, a good-sized city famous for Beale Street, a fourblock- long collection of
hotels, bars, restaurants, and other venues for Black (African American) music-making. After graduating from high school in
1952, Elvis took a job driving a truck. Two years later, in 1954, he came to the attention of Sam Phillips, owner of Sun Records.
In June of that year Elvis—together with local musicians Scotty Moore (guitar) and Bill Black (bass)—recorded
“That’s All Right, Mama” and
Suddenly his recordings caught on; their blend of Black
and White (Caucasian American) musical elements, combined with his unusually flexible and playful vocal style, rapidly transformed
American popular music and led to the global success of rock. Almost before he knew it, Elvis was travelling throughout the
American South giving concerts. By the end of 1956, unquestionably the most important year of his professional life, he had
appeared a dozen times on national television and sold millions of records. The same year Elvis became a movie star when
he appeared in Love Me Tender, the first in a long
series of motion pictures; the film’s title was taken from a song he had recorded the previous year. Meanwhile his powerful
stage presence challenged the values of many conservative Americans, who perceived his glamorous bad-boy appeal as ‘dangerous’.
Although Loving You (1957), Jailhouse Rock (1957), and Kid Creole (1958) earned money for their producers, the songs Elvis
recorded for their soundtracks failed to achieve critical acclaim. After serving in the army for two years (1958-1960), Elvis
made movies and records with gradually diminishing success. Furthermore, even such hits as “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”
and “It’s Now or Never”, which he recorded after returning to civilian life, marked Elvis’s willingness
to retreat from more
and culturally challenging music, and to adopt a more familiar and conventional performing style.
The so-called British Invasion of American pop in 1963-1964 and
the subsequent success of younger stars, including the Beatles, temporarily ended Elvis’s fame as an innovative musician.
In 1968, however, he staged a comeback, performing many of his older songs live before a small, informal audience. This performance,
televised throughout the United States and known today as the Singer Special (because the programme was sponsored by the Singer
Sewing Machine Company), revitalised Elvis’s reputation. So did “In the Ghetto” and “Suspicious Minds”,
hit songs he recorded in 1969 and his first
hits since the early 1960s
The bebop style of drumming occurred in the 1940's.
The drummers that were associated with this new way of playing completely revolutionized jazz music and their influences are
still with us today. But before we can examine "bop" we must first understand its origins. Jazz evolved from a fusion
of European harmonies and African rhythms around the turn of the century. From about 1900 to 1920 the beginnings of jazz were
present in a form of a New Orleans popular music called "ragtime". This music was closely associated with vaudeville.
The style of drumming during this period was more similar to a military way of playing than the traditional jazz approach.
All of the rhythms were played mostly on the snare and bass drum with emphasis on beats two and four. Sometimes these patterns
were played on a wood block or rim. Cymbals were mainly used to accent the end of phrases. One of the techniques used was
called double drumming. W.F.L. explains "The bass drum was placed to the right of the player with the cymbal of top.
The player would strike the bass drum and cymbal with the snare stick, then quickly pass to the snare drum for the afterbeat
with an occasional roll squeezed in."1 This technique still existed through the 20's. Although variations of
the bass drum pedal appeared in the late 1800's,
it did not really begin to be used until the 1910's. This invention made double drumming obsolete. The suspended cymbal
holder was invented in 1909 by C.B. Wanamaker.2 The ragtime drum set consisted of snare, bass drum (large), cymbal (Chinese),
and accessories called "traps". These accessories included woodblocks, cowbells, and Chinese toms. It is believed
the reason for the Chinese influence was due in part because of the great many Chinese people that settled in the large American
cities. These instruments would be readily available. The early ragtime drummers included James Lent, William Reitz, Buddy
Gilmore, Tony Sarbaro and the infamous Baby Dodds.
By the 1920's some major changes began to take place.
First the jazz scene moves from New Orleans to Chicago; second the ensembles become larger (thus the term "big band");
third drum solos become common; and fourth new innovations in the drum set. At the turn of the century ragtime was spreading
across the US. The bands of New Orleans would travel to other big cities to play. Jazz groups began to pop up all over the
US. One of the major cities for this to occur was Chicago. It was here that drummers such as Vic Berton and Gene Krupa revolutionized
drum playing and it was here that big band became popular. With the advent of the bigger ensembles new techniques had to be
developed. Drummers now began playing the bass drum on all four beats and playing, what is know referred to as the jazz pattern(ding-ding-da-ding),
on the cymbal. Vic Berton is considered to be the first to use this technique. The pattern would be played either as a choked
cymbal or on the hi hat.
Until the 1930's jazz was rarely considered a medium
designed to display virtuoso drum performances, but during the 20's the drum solo came into being and by the late 20's
the extended solo became common. Because of this, the technical demand on the drummer was much greater. Drummers such as Gene
Krupa became famous for their technical prowess. Major changes in the drum set started to occur. Drummers discarded the Chinese
cymbal in favor of the European model. The most popular size ranged from ten to thirteen inches in diameter. Drummers such
as Zutty Singleton began to use a device by Ludwig called "Bick-a-da-Bock Hand Cymbals". This would later become
the hi hat cymbal. The first hi hat pedal cymbals appeared around 1927. In 1937 Leedy advertised a tom-tom which
contained separate tension adjustments for both the
top and bottom heads. Other drummers from this era included Chick Webb, Sonny Greer, and Jonathan "Jo" Jones.
1 March 1921, Withernsea, Yorkshire, England. After
taking up the trumpet and playing in brass bands, Baker moved to London, in the late '30s, to become a professional musician.
During the next few years he established himself as an outstanding technician capable of playing in any jazz or dance band.
In the early '40s, he played in the bands of Lew Stone and George Chisholm before joining Ted Heath in 1944. He remained
with Heath until 1949, and was featured on many recording sessions and countless concerts. In the early '50s he was regularly
on the radio, leading his own band, the Baker's Dozen, on a weekly late-night show which lasted throughout the decade.
In the '60s he led his own groups and recorded film soundtracks, all the while building his reputation as one of the best
trumpet players in the world even though he played only rarely outside the UK. At the end of the decade he was featured in
Benny Goodman's British band. Baker's career continued throughout the '70s, with appearances as co-leader of the
Best of British Jazz touring package, and with Ted Heath recreations and the bands led by Don Lusher and other former colleagues.
In the early '80s, Baker turned down an invitation to take over leadership of the Harry James band after the latter's
death. He could still be regularly heard playing concerts and club dates and was also on television, usually off-camera, playing
soundtracks for Alan Plater's popular UK television series THE BEIDERBECKE AFFAIR and THE BEIDERBECKE TAPES. In 1989,
he took part in a major recording undertaking which set out to recreate the classic recordings of Louis Armstrong using modern
recording techniques. Baker took the Armstrong role, comfortably confounding the date on his birth certificate with his masterful
playing. A fiery soloist with a remarkable technical capacity which he never uses simply for effect, Baker is one of the UK's
greatest contributions to the international jazz scene.
In 1940, a song plugger told bandleader Les Brown about
Doris Day, the girl singer with Bob Crosby and the Bobcats. “I went and saw the show,” Brown said, “went
backstage and hired her …. The band started cooking, you might say.” Before long, though, Day left to get married.
The marriage soon soured when her husband began to abuse her. At the same time, Brown had his first hit recording, a novelty
by Ben Homer and Alan Courtney called “Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio,” based on DiMaggio’s record fifty-six
game hitting streak in 1941. In 1943, Day had finally had enough; she divorced her husband and rejoined the band.
A year later, Homer took Brown another song on which he was working. Within a half hour, the band leader changed
the rhythm of the verse and added a bridge to complete the song. He gave the melody to his publisher, Buddy Morris, who had
three different lyricists try their hands. Brown described what happened next: “Buddy was reading a travel book written
by an Englishman and it was called “Sentimental Journey,” about this guy going all over Europe. He mentioned the
inns he was staying in.” Morris thought it would make a good title for a song and mentioned it to Bud Green, who had
added the nonsense words to the jive classic, “Flat Foot Floogie with the Floy Floy.” Brown said, “But Green
wrote a nice lyric. He even had to make up a word to rhyme with “journey:” “Never thought my heart would
be so yearny . . .” This nostalgic tune evokes memories of the 40s, in a way few others can do. The vocal was sensitively
done by Doris Day, despite unfounded fears of the extreme vocal ranges required. Some in the band first thought that the song
was not going to connect with the kids, but at its debut in the Hotel Pennsylvania's Cafe Rouge the kids went crazy! It
was finally recorded at the Les Brown Band's first session after the infamous recording ban. Even now, nearly 60 years
later, the song still pleases... and still calls to mind the names of Les Brown and Doris Day. The recording was released
by Columbia Records, with the flip side "Twilight Time". The record first reached the Billboard charts on March
29, 1945 and lasted 23 weeks on the chart, peaking at #1.
Doris Day’s recording of “Sentimental Journey”
became one of the defining anthems of return for soldiers taking a “sentimental journey home.” Like other train
songs from the Swing era, the 2/4 rhythm and strong beat fit the clickety-clack of a train, here punctuated by a line that
echoes the whistle’s wail: “Seven … that’s the time we leave at seven.”
She is known the world over by her first name and as
the undisputed, reigning “Queen Of Soul,” Aretha Franklin is peerless. This 2005 recipient of a Presidential Medal
Of Freedom honor (the U.S.A.’s highest honor), 17 Grammy Awards (and counting), a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
and a Grammy Living Legend Award. She has received countless international and national awards and accolades. Aretha has achieved
global recognition on an unprecedented scale. She has influenced generations of singers from Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole and
Mary J. Blige to “American Idol” winner Fantasia Burrino and Oscarwinning Jennifer Hudson. Her ever-distinctive
soulful, to-the-bone vocal style has graced the music charts for over four decades and while her ‘live’ performances
have touched the hearts of literally millions since she began her musical journey as a gospel-singing child prodigy, it is
her rich legacy of recordings that are a testament to the power, majesty and genius of this one-of-a-kind artist of the first
Beyond the timeless classic hits such as “Respect,”
“A Natural Woman,” “Chain Of Fools,” “Think,” “Daydreaming” and “Freeway
Of Love” among the dozens of chart-topping records that have established her as a cultural icon, Aretha Franklin’s
catalog of over forty albums informs listeners of her unmatched, unparalleled artistry as an interpreter of song, bar none.
Her elevation to ‘royal’ status is indeed not just a function of her hitmaking ability but of her unique inventiveness
as a musician who fuses art and soul seamlessly. Indeed, it’s often been said that Aretha could take ‘happy birthday’
and turn it into a veritable opus and while those who know her will testify to her culinary skills in the kitchen, it is her
mastery as a musical chef that is evident on each and every one of those forty-plus albums, many of which have achieved gold
and platinum status. As is widely known, Aretha – born in Memphis, reared in Buffalo but a longtime resident of Detroit
– began her personal musical journey singing at her much-revered father Reverend C.L. Franklin’s New Bethel Baptist
Church at a very young age. While she was unquestionably influenced by the presence of such gospel luminaries as Clara Ward
(a strong influence), Mahalia Jackson and the Reverend James Cleveland in the Franklin household, it was secular performers
such as Dinah Washington and Sam Cooke (also
to the Franklin residence) who helped shape Aretha’s wide-ranging interest in popular music. Young Aretha also heard
the doo-wop sounds of Nolan Strong and The Diablos, The Moonglows, The 5 Royales and The Satins as well as popular ‘50s
hitmakers such as Johnny Ace, Little Willie John, Jackie Wilson, Big Maybelle and Little Esther on the radio. Aretha’s
interest in a wide range of popular music became evident when she began her own recording career at Columbia Records, although
it should be noted that her powerful, emotive style was first heard on a gospel recording made in 1956 with her father and
released by Chess Records in the mid-‘60s. With the support of her father, Aretha traveled to New York City in 1960
and after a demo which contained her version of a Helen Humes tune titled “Today I Sing The Blues” made its way to the ears of executive John Hammond (responsible
for signing such artists as Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith and Bob Dylan), Aretha was signed to Columbia in 1960.
Traditional Cajun music is a blend of instrumental sounds
and playing styles that were first learned from Louisiana's early settlers and later on from incoming immigrants. Black
Creoles contributed rhythms and percussion techniques
and improvised such instrumentation as washtubs for drums, kitchen soup spoons and washboards. The Spanish contributed the
guitar. The violin and musical triangle have
been credited to settlers from France. German-Jewish merchants imported the accordion from Austria right after it was invented
in the early 19th century. Acadians and Creole musicians
learned how to coax familiar tunes and invented new ones on this music-making contraption. The Irish and Anglo-Americans contributed
new fiddle tunes and dances such as reels and
jigs; and all of this eventually became a gumbo of musical sounds that were perfected into what is now Cajun music. It has
a distinctive pattern, different from most other folk music. Finally, because Cajun music is dance music, one of the most essential elements is rhythm.
Cajun musicians were greatly influenced in the 1930s
and 1940s by country-western singers and instrumentation. The accordion was not always the lead instrument in a Cajun band,
and many groups still include an intermix of sound from string, and/or steel and electric guitars to entertain their dancing audiences and to accompany the vocalist. Today,
a typical Cajun band may include the sounds from accordions, fiddles, rhythm-bass-steel or electric guitars, drums and other
percussion instruments such as the steel triangle, modified kitchen soup spoons and even a musical washboard.
The folk music revival is sometimes said to have begun
with Pete Seeger. The Weavers, formed in 1947 by Seeger, had a big hit in 1949 with Leadbelly's "Goodnight, Irene".
This hit was probably one of the first glimmerings of the folk music revival.
Although carried along by a handful of artists releasing records, the folk-music
scene's development was still only as a sort of cult phenomenon in bohemian circles in places like New York City (especially
Greenwich Village and North Beach), and in the college and university districts of cities like Boston, Denver, Chicago and
elsewhere. It was hip, but not terribly widespread.
In the 1950s and after, acoustic folk-song performance became associated with the coffee houses, private parties,
open-air concerts and sing-alongs, and college-campus concerts. It blended, to some degree, with the so-called beatnik scene,
and dedicated singers of folk songs (as well as folk-influenced original material) traveled through what was called "the
coffee-house circuit" across the U.S. and Canada.
The folk revival is closely
associated with the career of The Weavers, formed in November of 1948 by Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, Fred Hellerman, and Ronnie
Gilbert of People's Songs, of which Seeger had been president and Hays executive secretary. People's Songs, which
disbanded in 1948-49, had been a clearing house for labor movement songs (and in particular, the CIO, which at the time was
one of the few if not the only union that was racially integrated), and in 1948 had thrown all its resources to the failed
presidential campaign of Progressive Party candidate Henry Wallace, a folk music aficionado (his running mate was a country
music singer-guitarist). Hays and Seeger had formerly sung together as the politically activist Almanac Singers, a group which
they founded in 1941 and whose personnel often included Woody Guthrie, Josh White, Lead Belly, Cisco Houston, and Bess Lomax
Hawes. The Weavers had a big hit in 1950 with the single of Lead Belly's "Goodnight, Irene". This was number
one on the Billboard charts for many months. On its flip side was Tzena, Tzena, Tzena, an Israeli dance song that concurrently
reached number two on the charts. This was followed by a string of Weaver hit singles that sold millions, including "So
Long It's Been Good to Know You" (by Woody Guthrie) and "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine". The Weavers' career
ended abruptly when they were dropped from Decca's catalog because Pete Seeger had been listed in the publication Red
Channels as a probable subversive. Radio stations refused to play their records and concert venues canceled their engagements.
A former employee of People's Songs, Harvey Matusow, himself a former Communist Party member, had informed the FBI that
the Weavers were Communists, too, although Matsuow later recanted and admitted he had lied. Pete Seeger and Lee Hays were
called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1955. Despite this, a Christmas Weaver reunion concert
in 1955 was a smash success and the Vanguard LP album of that concert, issued in 1957, was one of the top sellers of that
year, followed by other smash albums.