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Swingin' the Dream Big Band Jazz and the Rebirth of American Culture cover
  • ISBN: 9780226215167
  • ISBN10: 0226215164

Swingin' the Dream Big Band Jazz and the Rebirth of American Culture

by Lewis A. Erenberg

  • List Price: $30.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
  • Publish date: 05/01/1998
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Description
During the 1930s, swing bands combined jazz and popular music to create large scale dreams for a depression generation, capturing the imaginations of America's young people, music critics, and the music business. Swingin' the Dream explores that world, taking a look into the racial mixing-up and musical swinging-out that shook the nation in the 1930s and 1940s.

Long before organized baseball and the armed forces experienced racial integration, the jazz world was pushing existing boundaries with big band swing. Jazz musicians created a national fever with their thrilling new sounds, and the fan culture that surrounded them broke down the barriers that separated people of different races and backgrounds. Swing music served as a conduit between an American identity bound up with "whiteness" and a more expansive, revolutionary vision of our national culture.

In Swingin' the Dream, Lewis 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. An innovative combination of jazz and popular music, by World War II, it was the music that universally symbolized American society.

Erenberg tells the story of swing's rapid rise to prominence through the fans who made it popular. His correspondence with hundreds of swing lovers reveals how audiences first responded to big band jazz and his examination of music periodicals and independent newspapers of the time thoroughly tracks the genre's broad social influence. The result is a well-rounded, highly personal account of the music and culture that bolstered a nation during its lowest period and propelled it into its greatest boom -- a music that remains legendaryin our minds today.

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