Listening to Classic American Popular Songs
In the twenties, thirties, and forties, now-legendary American songwriters and lyricists created a repertoire of popular songs, songs that have captured the hearts of generations of music lovers. George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen, Hoagy Carmichael and many others, along with such lyricists as Ira Gershwin, Lorenz Hart, and Dorothy Fields, produced extraordinary songs of signal importance to the American musical heritage. In this book Allen Forte shares his love of American popular song. He discusses in detail twenty-three songs, ranging from Gershwin’s “Fascinating Rhythm” (1924) to Irving Berlin’s “Steppin’ Out with My Baby” (1947), guiding readers and listeners toward a deeper appreciation of this vital and engaging music.
Forte writes for the general reader, assuming no background other than a familiarity with basic music notation. Each song is discussed individually and includes complete lyrics and simple leadsheet notation. Forte discusses the songs’ distinctive musical features and their sophisticated, often touching and witty lyrics. Readers can follow the music while they listen to the accompanying compact disc, which was specially recorded for this volume by baritone Richard Lalli and pianist-arranger Gary Chapman, with Allen Forte, pianist-arranger for “Embraceable You” and “Come Rain or Come Shine”.
Learn about these favorite songs and more:
“How Long Has This Been Going On?”
“What Is This Thing Called Love?”
“Autumn in New York”
“I’ve Got You Under My Skin”
“The Nearness of You”
“That Old Black Magic”
“Come Rain or Come Shine”