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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Music of The Great Depression: (American History Through Music)

Music of The Great Depression: (American History Through Music)

1 rating: 5.0
2005 non-fiction book by William H. Young and Nancy K. Young

Description: Prior to the stock market crash of 1929 American music still possessed a distinct tendency towards elitism, as songwriters and composers sought to avoid the mass appeal that critics scorned. During the Depression, however, radio came to … see full wiki

Author: Michael H. Young and Nancy K. Young
Genre: Music History
Publisher: Greenwood Press
Date Published: February 28, 2005
1 review about Music of The Great Depression: (American...

This outstanding reference volume is also a terrific read!

  • Mar 21, 2011
Rating:
+5
In the 1930's America was experiencing it's most trying economic downtown.  Fully 25% of the population was out of work at the peak of the Great Depression and most of those who were lucky enough to be employed were living from paycheck to paycheck.  Surely, the sad state of this nation's economy would have to qualify as the major story of that decade.  Yet, while it may not have been all that evident at the time there were a myriad of important social and cultural changes taking place in this country in the 1930's. The relatively new medium of radio was hitting it's stride.  Radios were affordable and could be found in nearly every home.  Motion pictures were no longer silent and the "swing" era was upon us.  Great songwriters like Jerome Kern, Rogers and Hart, George and Ira Gershwin and Irving Berlin were busy creating memorable tunes that would one day fill the Great American Songbook.  And for the first time ever the music of talented black artists like Fats Waller and Duke Ellington was being heard by white America.  Sounds exciting doesn't it?  In "Music of the Great Depression (American History Through Music)" co-authors William H. Young and Nancy K. Young bring these and other 1930's social and cultural trends to life. This is an informative and fascinating walk down memory lane.

As a reference book, "Music of the Great Depression" succeeds on every level. This book is just packed with all kinds of useful information for those seeking to do research on this period.  But what makes this book so unique is that it is also a terrific cover to cover read at the same time.  In fact, I am not sure I have ever come across anything quite like it.  In addition, the authors take the time to discuss some of the less popular musical genres of the era such as folk, gospel, western swing and the blues. The fact of the matter is I simply did not want to put this book down.  As someone who has been a student of American popular music for several decades I must tell you that I found a tremendous amount of new and useful information in this book.  My hats off to the authors for a truly phenomenal job.  In my opinion, "Music of the Great Depression (American History Through Music)" deserves a spot in every library in America.  It is that good.    Very highly recommended!
This outstanding reference volume is also a terrific read! This outstanding reference volume is also a terrific read! This outstanding reference volume is also a terrific read! This outstanding reference volume is also a terrific read!

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