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America's Songs: The Stories Behind the Songs of Broadway, Hollywood, and Tin Pan Alley

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  25 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
'America's Songs' tells the stories behind the most beloved popular songs of the last century. This book, along with telling the stories, suggests, simply and succinctly, what makes a song great. It describes the way each song melds words and music, sentiment and melody.
Hardcover, 328 pages
Published February 1st 2008 by Routledge (first published May 12th 2006)
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Paul Bryant
I’ll keep this brief because I know you aren’t as obsessed with old popular music as I am. So here are a couple of bits which amused me.

Even though Harry Woods was born without fingers on his left hand, his mother encouraged him to study piano (p59)

Harry became a songwriter, so his ma couldn’t have been all wrong. But he had a violent temper.

He once got into a barroom brawl that was so bad somebody called the police. They found Woods sitting astride his adversary clutching him by the throat with
...more
Joan
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The concise stories behind Broadway and Tin Pan Alley songs are fascinating reading.

I was so enthralled by the Cole Porter section of the book, that I ordered a download of Poter's greatest hits.
Louis Armstrong singing "Let's Fall in Love" is not to be missed!

The co-author of this book, Michael Lasser, gave a very animated presentation at the Frist and he would be a wonderful speaker for our choral and music students.
David
Sep 17, 2010 rated it liked it
Furia goes through all the standards, providing anecdotes about each song's origins and a little analysis of what makes it special.
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