Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Great American Songbook (Series)

Time for a change - let's do some musical history: In the 1920 to the 1960 many songs with enduring popularity were written by US songwriters and performed by several singers. The songs had their roots in theatre and Hollywood musicals. Years later this was defined as The Great American Songbook. The Songbook era ended about the time rock & roll arose. I wonder if there'll be sometimes also another - i.e. better - definition about the songs that are called PowerPop today.

There is a long list of writers and lyricists - following you'll find some of the most important artists and their songs:

Harold Arlen Over the Rainbow, Stormy Weather, I've Got the World on a String, Let's Fall in Love, That Old Black Magic, One for My Baby

Irving Berlin How Deep Is the Ocean, White Christmas, Cheek to Cheek, Puttin' on the Ritz, Let's Face the Music and Dance, There's No Business Like Show Business

Irving Berlin

Nacio Herb Brown Singin' in the Rain, Temptation

Hoagy Carmichael Stardust, Georgia on My Mind, Lazy River, The Nearness of You

Walter Donaldson My Baby Just Cares For Me, You're Driving Me Crazy

Vernon Duke April In Paris, Autumn In New York, I Can't Get Started

Duke Ellington In a Sentimental Mood, Sophisticated Lady, I'm Beginning to See the Light

Duke Ellington

Ray Henderson Bye Bye Blackbird, I'm Sitting On Top Of The World, The Best Things In Life Are Free

Herman Hupfeld As Time Goes By

Bart Howard Fly Me To the Moon

George and Ira Gershwin Summertime, I Got Rhythm, They Can't Take That Away from Me

George and Ira Gershwin

Isham Jones It Had to Be You

Jerome Kern The Way You Look Tonight, Ol' Man River

Frank Loesser Baby, It's Cold Outside, Luck Be A Lady

Johnny Mercer Moon River, Day In, Day Out

Cole Porter Night and Day, I've Got You Under My Skin, Let's Fall in Love, All of You, I Get a Kick Out of You

Cole Porter

Rodgers and Hart Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, Have You Met Miss Jones?, My Funny Valentine, The Lady Is a Tramp

Jule Styne Time After Time, Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend

Jimmy Van Heusen Come Fly with Me, Love Is The Tender Trap, Ain't That a Kick in the Head

Since the 1930s, many singers have explicitly recorded or performed large parts of the Great American Songbook, as

Ella Fitzgerald, Fred Astaire, Shirley Bassey, Tony Bennett, Nat "King" Cole, Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Bobby Darin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Doris Day, Judy Garland, Billie Holiday, Dean Martin, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra

Musical Legacy

Since the 1980s, a few singers from different genres were quite successful in treating the Songbook, as Robbie Williams (Swing When You're Winning), Harry Connick, Jr., Michael Bublé or Tom Gaebel (a German singer which is surprisingly very good!).

For some of these performers will I'll write separate postings in a little series in the next days.
I hope you like it - let me know what you think about it.

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