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“Ragtime” was born in the African-American communities of St. Louis in the 1890’s. This style takes traditional march form, much like the music of John Philip Sousa, and adds the syncopated, or “ragged”, rhythms of African music. ("Ragtime". Wikipedia.) Ragtime was very popular dance music, that later evolved into Jazz. Black dances (dances inspired by African style dance moves) became wildly popular with the general public. Some moves were the shimmy, turkey trot, buzzard lope, chicken scratch, monkey glide, and the bunny hug. The white audiences first saw the dances preformed at vaudeville shows, and later they were preformed by exhibition dancers at the clubs. ("1920's Music". 1920/30.com.)
Jazz music began in the early 1900's. it was originated from blues and ragtime music that was popular in the late 1800's. The genre is mainly performed by African Americans. The Dixieland Jass Band becomes the first to record jazz music. Jazz spread to dance halls, speakeasies, manifested in marching bands, and was popular on the radio. Some popular jazz artists were Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton, and Red Hot Poppers. ("1920's Music". 1920/30.com.)
The 1920s were Broadways prime years where it really began to boom and bring in more money, people paid up to $3.50 a seat. ("1920's Music". 1920/30.com.) Before the creation of talking films, musicals were originated in the theatrical Broadway area of New York City. George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Irving Berlin were very successful composers and a lot of their work was turned into the first musical films. ("1920's Music". 1920/30.com.)
Folk songs can be about different subjects like war, work, civil rights, economic hardship, nonsense, satire, and love songs. Folk music predates many genres, and songs were brought over from people immigrating to America from countries such as England, as well as songs sung by the African American slaves. During the Great Depression era of the 1930s, America experienced a folk revival. Pressure placed on the growing recording industry to generate profit inspired artists to begin recording folk songs as a way of replicating already famous songs. One of the most famous folk artist and song writers from this time period is Woody Guthrie. (Shared Google Document.)
Swing gained popularity around 1935 and begun "the Swing Era" which lasted about 10 years. Benny Goodman's big band played at the Palomar in Los Angeles. This would be known as the "unofficial" start of the Swing Era. (Shared Google Document.) Swing music is a sub genre of jazz, but its easier to dance to swing which is why it gained so much popularity. Because of WWII swing musics popularity took a decline, as it was hard to have such large bands in venues.
Traditional Pop refers to post-big band and pre-rock & roll pop music. Traditional pop drew from a repertoire of songs written by professional songwriters and were performed by a vocalist that was supported by either an orchestra or a small band.
In traditional pop, the song is the key -- although the singer is the focal point, this style of singing doesn't rely on vocal improvisations like jazz singing does. Traditional pop can also refer to the orchestra leaders and arrangers that provided the instrumental settings for vocalists. Frank Sinatra was one of the most popular pop artists of the 20th century, having sold over 150 million records worldwide. The phenomenon became officially known as "Sinatramania" after his "legendary opening" at the Paramount Theatre in New York on December 30, 1942.
"Rhythm and Blues, often abbreviated as R&B, is a popular genre of African-American music that originated in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe music being marketed toward urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat" was becoming growing popularity. In the commercial rhythm and blues being perform in the 1950s-70s, the bands usually consisted of a piano, one or more guitars, bass, drums, saxophone, and possibly backing vocalists. R&B lyrical themes were inspired by the African-American experience of pain as well as the quest for freedom and joy. Lyrics focused on themes of triumphs and failures in terms of relationships, freedom, economics, aspirations, and sex." ("Rhythm and Blues". Wikipedia.)
In the 50’s, R&B was led by vocalists like Ray Charles and Ruth Brown, and by vocal groups like the Drifters and the Coasters. R&B started to evolve into soul, which was much funkier and when compared to the heavy rhythms of R&B. Soul came to describe a number of R&B-based music styles from Motown to Stax. ("Rhythm and Blues History". The Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame Museum.)