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Shvoong Home>Entertainment>Music>What is the Great American Songbook? Review

What is the Great American Songbook?

Book Review   by:EstudiosFAM     Original Author: Documentos EstudiosFAM
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Is an informal term referring to the interrelated music of Broadway musical theater, the Hollywood musical, and Tin Pan Alley (some sort of american publishers association), in a period that begins roughly in the 1920s and tapers off around 1960 with the coming of rock and roll. Aside from the enduring popularity of this music in its original context, it also became (and remains) the central repertoire of jazz musicians. (In jazz, such tunes are simply referred to as "standards".) For its devotees, the GAS (as it is sometimes abbreviated) represents a level of musical and lyrical sophistication that has yet to be equalled. (This is sometimes as a way of casting aspersions on rock music and everything that followed in its wake.). THE SONG WRITERS AND THEIR SONGS: There is no definitive list of which musicians and lyricists are part of the Great American Songbook. Major songwriters considered part of this group include, but are not limited to: Harold Arlen("Somewhere Over the Rainbow", "Stormy Weather", "It's Only a Paper Moon", "I've Got the World on a String", "I've Got A Right To Sing The Blues”); Irving Berlin("White Christmas", "Always", "Blue Skies", "Cheek to Cheek", "Puttin' on the Ritz"); Hoagy Carmichael”,("Stardust", "Georgia On My Mind", "The Nearness Of You", "Skylark"); Duke Ellington ("In A Sentimental Mood", "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)", "Satin Doll", "Mood Indio", "Sophisticated Lady", "I'm Beginning to See the Light"); George and Ira Gershwin ("Someone to Watch Over Me", "S’Wonderful", "Summertime", "Embraceable You", "I Got Rhythm", "Fascinating Rhythm", "The Man I Love", "They Can't Take That Away from Me", "Our Love Is Here to Stay"); Jerome Kern ("Ol' Man River", "The Way You Look Tonight", "All The Things You Are", "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"); Johnny Mandel ("The Shadow of Your Smile"); Johnny Mercer ("One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)", "That Old Black Magic", "Blues in the Night", "Come Rain or Come Shine"); Cole Porter ("Night and Day", "I've Got You Under My Skin", "Begin The Beguine", "Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love", "What Is This Thing Called Love?", "Love for Sale", "You're the Top", "Just One of Those Things", "I Get a Kick Out of You", "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye", "In the Still of the Night", "It's De-Lovely", "My Heart Belongs to Daddy"); Rodgers and Hammerstein ("Oh What a Beautiful Mornin", "People Will Say We're in Love", "It Might as Well Be Spring", "If I Loved You", "Some Enchanted Evening", "Shall We Dance?", "My Favorite Things"); Rodgers and Hart ("Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered", "My Romance", "Stardust", "Georgia On My Mind", "The Nearness Of You", "Skylark"); Duke Ellington ("In A Sentimental Mood", "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)", "Satin Doll", "Mood Indigo", "Sophisticated Lady", "I'm Beginning to See the Light"); George and Ira Gershwin ("Someone to Watch Over Me", "S’Wonderful", "Summertime", "Embraceable You", "I Got Rhythm", "Fascinating Rhythm", "The Man I Love", "They Can't Take That Away from Me", "Our Love Is Here to Stay");Jerome Kern ("Ol' Man River", "The Way You Look Tonight", "All The Things You Are", "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"); Johnny Mandel ("The Shadow of Your Smile"); Johnny Mercer ("One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)", That Old Black Magic", "Blues in the Night", "Come Rain or Come Shine") ;Cole Porter ("Night and Day", "I've Got You Under My Skin", "Begin The Beguine", "Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love", "What Is This Thing Called Love?", "Love for Sale", "You're the Top", "Just One of Those Things", "I Get a Kick Out of You", "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye", "In the Still of the Night", "It's De-Lovely", "My Heart Belongs to Daddy"); Rodgers and HammersteiWe're in Love", "It Might as Well Be Spring", "If I Loved You", "Some Enchanted Evening", "Shall We Dance?", "My Favorite Things"); Rodgers and Hart ("Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered", "My Romance", "Have You Met Miss Jones?", "My Funny Valentine", "Blue Moon", "The Lady Is a Tramp", "Thou Swell", "Lover", "Where or When", "This Can't Be Love"); Jimmy Van Heusen ("All the Way", "But Beautiful", "Come Fly with Me", , "Imagination" ).
THE SINGERS: Ella Fitzgerald’s popular and influential Songbook series on Verve in the 1950s and 60s collated 252 songs from the Songbook. Amongst other singers, influential interpreters of the Great American Songbook include Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Tony Bennett, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Barbra Streisand (particularly in her earlier work), Sammy Davis, Jr., Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee, Dinah Shore, Carmen McRae, Billie Holiday, Perry Como, Dinah Washington, Nina Simone, Vic Damone, Cleo Laine, Jack Jones, Mel Tormé and a few others. CONTEMPORARY MUSICIANS: Over the last couple of decades there has been a revival of the Songbook by contemporary musicians. The most notable being in 1983 with popular rock vocalist Linda Ronstadt doing her part to rehabilitate, what had been by then classified as "elevator music" and or Vintage Pop. In the decade prior to Beatlemania, most of the great band singers and crooners of the 40's and 50's codified a half-century of American pop standards on dozens of albums, many of them now long out-of-print." Since then, vocalists such as Harry Connick, Jr., Michael Feinstein, John Pizzarelli, Diana Krall and Michael Bublé have been notable, if not always consistent, interpreters.
Published: September 05, 2007   
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