Presented in the striking format of Ken Bloom’s successful Broadway Musicals, this rich visual history of popular song covers all of the prominent figures behind the music, in front of the bandstand, and on top of the piano. “The Singers” includes Louis Armstrong, Tony Bennett, Barbara Cook, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Ella Fitzgerald, and dozens more; “ The Songwriters” features Harold Arlen, Hoagy Carmichael, Dorothy Fields, Stephen Foster, Richard Rodgers, Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, and a host of others; a lively section discusses the Big Bands; and a decade-by-decade insert puts the entire history of popular music in perspective through words and pictures.
Each one of the more than 200 listings in the book features the artist’s personal and professional history, great songs, and important contributions, plus photos (many rare), record covers, anecdotes, quotes, and more. Sidebars and features throughout cover topics of interest—everything from Arrangers, Vocal Groups, and Keepers of the Flame to Tin Pan Alley, Parodists, and Classical Crossovers—making this the most thorough survey of its kind. Throughout, all of the great songs are discussed—literally hundreds of songs, from “Stardust” to “My Funny Valentine” to “White Christmas.” Illustrated biographies, discographies, chronologies, and indices make The American Songbook a full-fledged reference as well as a pictorial feast.
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Ken Bloom and Frank Vlastnik are the co-authors of Sitcoms. Bloom is the author of The American Songbook: The Singers, the Songwriters, and the Songs; Jerry Herman: The Lyrics; and a two-volume history of Twentieth Century-Fox music, among other books. He lives in New York City.
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