Entertainment during the Great Depression
During the 1930s the United States was facing its longest and most deep economic downturn, the Great Depression. Spending money on entertainment was out of the question for most people. The United put the nation back to work, included artists and entertainers in its assistance programs. The entertainers, in turn, provided cheap or free amusements for people which allowed them to forget about their troubles for a while.
Americans loved a variety of musical genres in the 1930s. Big band and jazz music were increasingly popular. Duke Ellington and his big band played several types of music, from blues to gospel to jazz and more. One of his most successful songs was titled It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing). From the decade of the 1920s, music continued to enjoy wild popularity as a form of entertainment. In the 1930s, it was important that it did not cost a lot, and that it diverted people's attention.
Many films still highly cherished today were created during the 1920s. During that period, Walt Disney, the pioneer animator, produced films Americans loved to see. One of his most well-known animations was the tale of the Three Little Pigs, originally produced in 1933. Another of his became a part of American culture. Half a century later, his productions are still famous and frequently viewed by children and adults.
Comedies were popular films in the 1930s. A good laugh eased the mind and brought joy in a time of adversity. Films that showed how America was fighting against the Great Depression became popular as well. Towards the late 1930s, movies from other countries began to play in American theaters.
Listening to radio broadcasting became a source of nearly free entertainment for millions of Americans. The radio stations had a little bit of everything for all ages, young and old. One of the most common radio shows for young children was Little Orphan Annie. The show is about an adventurous young girl who had an equally adventurous dog named Sandy. Together, Annie and Sandy would try to solve mysteries. The show was so loved by children that they soon began to purchase small items of merchandise such as pins of Annie. Adults listened to newscasts, radio theater, the Grand Ole Opry, soap operas, and sermons as well.