American Popular Music: New Approaches to the Twentieth Century

Front Cover
Rachel Rubin, Jeffrey Paul Melnick
Univ of Massachusetts Press, 2001 - Music - 280 pages
0 Reviews

Designed as a broad introductory survey, and written by experts in the field, this book examines the rise of American music over the past hundred years -- the period in which that music came into its own and achieved unprecedented popularity. Beginning with a look at music as a business, eleven essays explore a variety of popular musical genres, including Tin Pan Alley, blues, jazz, country, gospel, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, folk, rap, and Mexican American corridos. Reading these essays, we come to see that the forms created by one group often appeal to, and are in turn influenced by, other groups -- across lines of race, ethnicity, class, gender, region, and age. The chapters speak to one another, arguing for the primacy of such concepts as minstrelsy, urbanization, hybridity, and crossover as the most powerful tools for understanding American popular music. Moving beyond outdated music-industry categories and misleading genre labels, while acknowledging the complexities of the market, the book recovers and reinforces the essential blackness of much popular music -- even a presumably white form like country and western. In addition to Rachel Rubin and Jeffrey Melnick, contributors include Reebee Garofalo, Geoffrey Jacques, Kip Lornell, Mark Anthony Neal, Millie Rahn, David Sanjek, James Smethurst, Elijah Wald, and Gail Hilson Woldu.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Selected pages

Contents

The Work of Popular Music
1
THEY WORK HARD FOR THEIR MONEY The Business of Popular Music
9
TIN PAN ALLEY AND THE BLACKJEWISH NATION
29
HOW I GOT TO MEMPHIS The Blues and the Study of American Culture
47
LISTENING TO JAZZ
65
SING ME BACK HOME Nostalgia Bakersfield and Modern Country Music
93
OFF THE CHARTS Outrage and Exclusion in the Eruption of Rock and Roll
111
ANOTHER MAN IS BEATING MY TIME Gender and Sexuality in Rhythm and Blues
127
ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF BLACK GOSPEL QUARTET SINGING
141
CONTEXTUALIZING GAP
173
THE FOLK REVIVAL Beyond Childs Canon and Sharps Song Catching
193
POLKA CONTRABANDISTA Mexican Ballads in the Modern Age
211
WORKS CITED
231
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS
249
INDEX
253
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 17 - It smells phony and false. It is sung, played, and written for the most part by cretinous goons and by means of its almost imbecilic...

About the author (2001)

Jeffrey Melnick is assistant professor of American studies at Babson College and author of A Right to Sing the Blues: African Americans, Jews, and American Popular Song.

Bibliographic information