The Swing Years

The Swing Years

3.81 (139 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

In the 1930s swing music was everywhere-on radio, recordings, and in the great ballrooms, hotels, theatres, and clubs. Perhaps at no other time were drummers more central to the sound and spirit of jazz. Benny Goodman showcased Gene Krupa. Jimmy Dorsey featured Ray McKinley. Artie Shaw helped make Buddy Rich a star while Count Basie riffed with the innovative Jo Jones. Drummers were at the core of this music; as Jo Jones said, "The drummer is the key-the heartbeat of jazz." An oral history told by the drummers, other musicians, and industry figures, Drummin' Men is also Burt Korall's memoir of more than fifty years in jazz. Personal and moving, the book is a celebration of the music of the time and the men who made it. Meet Chick Webb, small, fragile-looking, a hunchback from childhood, whose explosive drumming style thrilled and amazed; Gene Krupa, the great showman and pacemaker; Ray McKinley, whose rhythmic charm, light touch, and musical approach provided a great example for countless others, and the many more that populate this story. Based on interviews with a collection of the most important jazzmen, Drummin' Men offers an inside view of the swing years that cannot be found anywhere else.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 592 pages
  • 154.94 x 228.6 x 38.1mm | 453.59g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 15th Anniversary ed.
  • 0195326881
  • 9780195326888
  • 1,021,948

About Burt Korall

Burt Korall is a music industry veteran, jazz authority and former drummer who has been the director of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop for almost fifteen years. Also a music critic, record producer, editor, broadcaster, and journalist, his articles have appeared in The New York Times, New York Daily News, The New York Post, Saturday Review, The Village Voice, Down Beat, Playboy, and International Musician. He is the author of Drummin' Men: The Bebop Years (OUP 2002) and co-author of The Jazz Word. He lives in Mount Vernon, New York.show more

Review quote

"The most ambitious, comprehensive, and original survey of post-Reconstruction Southern history to appear since Woodward's Origins.... Ayers's book deepens and enriches our sense of the diversity and complexity of southern life." -George M. Fredrickson, The New York Review of Books "Here, at last, is a subtle, compelling view of the late 19th-century South whose scholarship is up-to-date.... In a synthesis that captures the late 19th-century South in its bewildering complexity, Ayers does get the New South right." -Washington Post Book Worldshow more

Back cover copy

At a public picnic in the South in the 1890s, a young man paid five cents for his first chance to hear the revolutionary Edison talking machine. He eagerly listened as the soundman placed the needle down, only to find that through the tubes he held to his ears came the chilling sounds of a lynching. In this story, with its blend of new technology and old hatreds, genteel picnics and mob violence, Edward Ayers captures the history of the South in the years between Reconstruction and the turn of the century - a combination of progress and reaction that defined the contradictory promise of the New South. Ranging from the Georgia coast to the Tennessee mountains, from the power brokers to tenant farmers, Ayers depicts a land of startling contrasts - a time of progress and repression, of new industries and old ways. Ayers takes us from remote Southern towns, revolutionized by the spread of the railroads, to the statehouses where Democratic "Redeemers" swept away the legacy of Reconstruction; from the small farmers, trapped into growing nothing but cotton, to the new industries of Birmingham; from abuse and intimacy in the family to tumultuous public meetings of the prohibitionists. He explores every aspect of society, politics, and the economy, detailing the importance of each in the emerging New South. Here is the local Baptist congregation, the country store, the tobacco-stained second-class railroad car, the rise of Populism: the teeming, nineteenth-century South comes to life in these pages. And central to the entire story is the role of race relations, from alliances and friendships between blacks and whites to the spread of Jim Crow laws and disenfranchisement. Ayers weaves all thesedetails into the contradictory story of the New South, showing how the region developed the patterns it was to follow for the next fifty years. When Edward Ayers published Vengeance & Justice, a landmark study of crime and punishment in the nineteenth-century South, he received universal acclaim. Now he provides an unforgettable account of the New South - a land with one foot in the future and the other in the past.show more

Rating details

139 ratings
3.81 out of 5 stars
5 26% (36)
4 40% (56)
3 24% (34)
2 8% (11)
1 1% (2)
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