[Dixielandjazz] American Song Book

Kay Spencer kay2840 at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 6 09:07:48 PST 2006

I don't know whether this will post correctly to the DJML, but if not, go to wikipedia.com and search American Songbook....  From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia  
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  The Great American Songbook is an informal term referring to a period of American popular music songwriting that took place between the 1930s and 1960s.
  Songwriters considered part of this group include:
   Harold Arlen ("Somewhere Over the Rainbow", "Stormy Weather")   
   Irving Berlin ("White Christmas", "Always", "Blue Skies")   
   Hoagy Carmichael ("Stardust", "Georgia On My Mind", "The Nearness Of You")   
   Duke Ellington ("In A Sentimental Mood", "It Don’t Mean A Thing", "Satin Doll", "Mood Indigo", "Sophisticated Lady")   
   George and Ira Gershwin ("Someone to Watch Over Me", "S’Wonderful", "Summertime")   
   Jerome Kern ("Ol' Man River", "The Way You Look Tonight", "All The Things You Are", "The Song is You", "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes")   
   Henry Mancini ("Moon River", "Days Of Wine And Roses")   
   Johnny Mandel ("The Shadow of Your Smile")   
   Johnny Mercer ("One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)")   
   Cole Porter ("Night and Day", "I've Got You Under My Skin", "Begin The Beguine")   
   Rodgers and Hammerstein ("Oh What a Beautiful Mornin'", "Shall We Dance?", "The Sound of Music")   
   Rodgers and Hart ("Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered", "My Romance", "Have You Met Miss Jones", "My Funny Valentine") 
  Most of these songs are written in verse-chorus form, with a 32-bar chorus most often in AABA or ABAB form. Characteristically they feature strong melodies, thoughtful lyrics incorporating sophisticated rhymes, and a skillful thematic connection between music and words.
  Many of these songs were written for Broadway or motion picture musicals. Often the verses of the songs refer explicitly to the plots of these works, but usually the songs themselves refer to more timeless situations (typically, the vicissitudes of love). This greater generality made it easier for songs to be added or subtracted from a show, or revived in a different show.
  Since the 1930's, many singers and musicians have explicitly recorded or performed large parts of the Great American Songbook, to the extent that interpreting material from the Songbook forms a large part of jazz music today.
  Ella Fitzgerald's popular and influential Sings the ... Songbook series on Verve in the 1950s and 60's collated 252 songs from the Songbook. Amongst jazz singers, the influential interpreters of the Great American Songbook have included Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Barbra Streisand (particularly in her earlier work), Sammy Davis, Jr., Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee, Carmen McRae, Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Blossom Dearie, Cleo Laine, and Mel Torme.
  From the 1980s on, there has been a revival of the Songbook with Andrea Marcovicci, Michael Feinstein, John Pizzarelli, and Michael Bublé among the most noted interpreters. John Stevens, a 2004 American Idol contestant, also gave exposure to this trend. Established singers in other genres have also had success in treating the Songbook, including Linda Ronstadt, Carly Simon, Bette Midler, Barry Manilow, Queen Latifah, Joni Mitchell, Boz Scaggs, Robbie Williams, and especially Rod Stewart.
  [edit] See also    
   Classic pop   
   Jazz standards   
   Tin Pan Alley 
  Kay in Gilroy

Russ Guarino <russg at redshift.com> wrote:
  I'm not familiar with the "American Song Book" Is this a gig book or a commonly
known list of tunes?

Russ Guarino

Steve Barbone wrote:

> "Larry Walton Entertainment - St. Louis" wrote (polite snips)
> > I think you should add the musicians themselves although it would come under
> > what killed live music.
> Careful now :-) VBG.
> > In the wedding trade the high end client is still there but the great middle
> > and low end is almost gone to the DJ's. Funny thing, most of them cost more
> > than a band and they can afford mega bucks for advertising and full page ads
> > in the yellow pages which we just can't.
> Interesting point. I think it goes to the DJs because the bands/contractors
> have left those live venues where the prospective bride and groom go. The
> kids see a DJ and not a band and so they hire the DJ. Lack of advertising or
> band marketing also contributes.
> I find that our wedding gigs 10+ per year, come from live performances in
> venues where those few who actually do get married these days, go. I also
> find that we end up turning down the low end weddings that pay $100 per man
> for 4 hours. Basically because we can earn more, and don't wish to tie up,
> Saturday dates for that paltry sum.
> Mid range weddings are still relatively plentiful. ($2100-$3000) as are high
> end, but at the higher end, folks want Big Bands and Singers. Since we do
> Jazz weddings only, we do not accept the other stuff.
> Typical wedding inquiry below, from one who had not heard us but her friends
> had and recommended she call us. (received a year ago)
> ----
> Dear Mr. Barbone,
> "I am writing to ask if your jazz band plays at weddings. If so, what kind
> of jazz do you play? I must admit that I don't know much about jazz, but I
> do like West Coast jazz (Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, etc.). I am not having
> dancing at my wedding reception, but I would like to have music. Therefore,
> I am looking for a jazz band that will play West Coast jazz which will set a
> lush and romantic mood as our guests eat and spend time together. My
> wedding will be on June 2, 2007. Please let me know if you are even
> available on that date. Finally, how much do you charge for playing for
> about 4-5 hours?"
> "I look forward to hearing from you."
> ----
> We actually did this one, last Feb, as a quintet, American Songbook, 5
> hours, $500 a man. Played soft, romantic jazz, love songs, adding some
> Dixieland. Bride and attendees loved our "West Coast Jazz" sound. Now, nine
> months later, they still write to tell us that guests are still talking
> about how great the music was.
> Like I posted previously, most of the folks in the USA have no idea what
> jazz is, whether the music is good or not, and what the various styles are.
> And so I post this, not to brag, but to remove any doubts competent jazz
> bands may have about supplying music for a wedding.
> HINT: In your website, add a sentence at the top of your schedule page about
> your band being the best wedding band in the St Louis area. Soon, your
> website will automatically come up when someone googles for "Wedding Bands +
> St Louis" and you will start getting calls for weddings.
> Cheers,
> Steve Barbone
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