[Dixielandjazz] American Song Book

Steve Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Mon Nov 6 09:34:40 PST 2006

Hi Russ:

The "American Song Book", or "Great American Song Book" as it is sometimes
called is a commonly known compilation of tunes that were written by the Tin
Pan Alley composers and the Musical Show Composers during the hey day of
Popular Music Tunes in the USA. Say roughly from 1920 to 1970, give or take.

These are the songs by composers such as; Irving Berlin, George Gershwin,
Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen, Leonard Bernstein, Hoagy Carmichael, Cy Coleman,
Matt Dennis, Walter Donaldson, Vernon Duke, Duke Ellington, Allen Lerner,
Frank Loesser, Henry Mancini, Johnny Mercer, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers,
Sigmund Romberg, Arthur Schwartz, Julie Styne, James Van Heusen, Fats
Waller, Harry Warren, Kurt Weill, Vincent Youmans and Victor Young. Plus I
would include songs by a few of the more current composers (even if some are
not Americans) such as; The Beatles, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Michel Legrand,
Bert Bacharach, Stevie Wonder et al.

No doubt I've left some out, but these are, IMO, the main composers whose
tunes make up what we call "The Great American Song Book".

I am very fortunate in that Barbone Street employs a guitarist, bassist, and
trombonist who know these tunes (about 1500 of them at least) without
resorting to having to find the written music for them. Thus we are
comfortable in any wedding setting and or other gig where the audience might
request such tunes. MANY can be and are played as Dixieland.

These are also the tunes that the "Society Bands" of Lester Lanin, Meyer
Davis, Howard Lanin and the others played at all the High Society Soirees
back in the halcyon days of debutantes and those wonderful coming out
parties and weddings.

Steve Barbone 

Russ Guarino at 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?
>> Steve Barbone wrote: (Snipped for brevity)
>> 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.

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