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Swingin' the Dream: Big Band Jazz and the Rebirth of American Cultureby Lewis A. Erenberg
Synopses & Reviews
During the 1930s, swing bands combined jazz and popular music to create large-scale dreams for the Depression generation, capturing the imagination of America's young people, music critics, and the music business. Swingin' the Dream explores that world, looking at the racial mixing-up and musical swinging-out that shook the nation and has kept people dancing ever since.
"Swingin' the Dream is an intelligent, provocative study of the big band era, chiefly during its golden hours in the 1930s; not merely does Lewis A. Erenberg give the music its full due, but he places it in a larger context and makes, for the most part, a plausible case for its importance."—Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World
"An absorbing read for fans and an insightful view of the impact of an important homegrown art form."—Publishers Weekly
"[A] fascinating celebration of the decade or so in which American popular music basked in the sunlight of a seemingly endless high noon."—Tony Russell, Times Literary Supplement
Book News Annotation:
Erenberg (history, Loyola U., Chicago) details the cultural and social significance of the swing music subculture in New York City and its relation to the economic, racial, and political realities of depression era America. Contending that at key points in the history of the creation of swing audiences and critics interacted with musicians and promoters to determine the form the music took, he concludes that the swing band explosion suggests that the preoccupation with democratic cultural forms that marked the New Deal years was wider and deeper than had previously been thought.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In this well-rounded, highly personal account of jazz and its culture, Erenberg shows how a dance subculture forged in New York city in the late 1920s and early 1930s became a music genre of national proportions. 32 halftones.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
Pt. 1: From Jazz to Swing, 1929-1935
1: Just One More Chance: The Fall of the Jazz Age and the Rise of Swing, 1929-1935
Pt. 2: Now they Call it Swing, 1935-1942
2: The Crowd Goes Wild: The Youth Culture of Swing
3: Swing Is Here: Benny Goodman and the Triumph of American Music
4: News from the Great Wide World: Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Black Swing Bands
5: Swing Left: The Politics of Race and Culture in the Swing Era
6: The City of Swing: New York and the Dance Band Business in Black and White
Pt. 3: Culture Noir, 1942-1954
7: Swing Goes to War: Glenn Miller and the Popular Music of World War II
8: The War in Jazz
9: Coda and Conclusion: Red Scares and Head Scares
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