Talk:Great American Songbook

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Original Research tag[edit]

Let me start by saying that this article is probably entirely true, BUT it is still going to need more sources and citations. Try searching on Google Scholar, because I'm sure that there have been studies on this somewhere. Also, if the sources that are cited confirm all of the information presented in the article, then there need to be more in-text citations so readers are assured that the article is of high quality. — OranL (talk) 22:39, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

Stevie Wonder, Astrud Gilberto?[edit]

Stevie Wonder also interpreted the Songbook ("Hello, Young Lovers", "God Bless The Child," and "At Last" among others), as did Astrud Gilberto ("Day by Day," "Fly Me To The Moon"). Just wanted to see them included in the list of interpreters. 75.106.72.221 (talk) 22:15, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Who's on the list?[edit]

Antonio Carlos Jobim part of the Great American Songbook? *scratching head* Really? --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 05:35, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

There's no official membership list, and he's clearly not one of the primary names, but he gets many Google hits in this context. But if you have expertise/deep knowledge in this subject, feel free to correct, or to break the names out into major and minor contributors. Wasted Time R 16:12, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
well, the expression is "the great AMERICAN songbook". There are a lot of google hits, but that's mostly because the same people who interpret the American standards also interpret Jobim. Likewise Michel Legrand. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 04:34, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

Country Western[edit]

Add it if you want (I think something should be said about this) - Various country artists, most notable Willy Nelson (Stardust), have also sung from the GAS. Ghaller 00:49, 29 August 2007 (UTC)


Make a template[edit]

A template page containing something like the box at the bottom of the page should be made. That way, when people are added/removed, every page that contains the template is updated (as opposed to going through each by hand). 66.229.182.113 01:59, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Ask and ye shall receive. :) see {{Great American Songbook}}  — MrDolomite | Talk 05:38, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Perry Como[edit]

Why is Perry Como not on the infobox list of American songbook singers? If you look at Perry Como LPs the great majority of them are "standards". --Sicamous 18:20, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

  • Because nobody has added him to the infobox, that's all! Feel free to; I'm also surprised he isn't there. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 16:33, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Duh! I gotta wake myself up. I added him --Sicamous 04:16, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Sources[edit]

I see the warning is at the top again about the lack of sources referenced. Exactly what statements in the article need support from citations? From a quick skim I can't see anything in particular. I suppose that if you want to give the canon of names/songs some more backup then cite Friedwald or Alex Wilder, maybe. --ND 20:19, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

The entire article needs to be sourced. There is no source for the title "Great American Songbook", all the songs, etc, etc... There needs to be references and citations. I'm not saying that I think the article is not accurate, I think is is. But without citations and references it is not encyclopedic. What I don't want to see happen is songs listed because someone just happens to think it qualifies as part of the songbook. I also don't want this to be original research. It is not unusual that articles get written without attribution, the tag makes that clear. -- Samuel Wantman 21:04, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Crosby Arlen Kapp.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Crosby Arlen Kapp.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 20:22, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:CompleteEllaSongbooks.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:CompleteEllaSongbooks.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 20:39, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

POV[edit]

"For its devotees, the Great American Songbook represents a level of musical and lyrical sophistication that has yet to be equaled."

Erm, you can say that about any group of fans of anything. It's POV distilled perfectly into a sentence. --Dweller (talk) 13:33, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. I happen to agree with the POV, but it would be better to quote someone notable and influential on the question of the GAS's importance. 65.213.77.129 (talk) 19:17, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

I quite deliberately added the weasel-words "nebulously-defined concept" because they exactly describe the GAS. I recently added "As Time Goes By", "Folks Who Live on the Hill" and a few other songs that nobody in his right mind would object to, but I held off on "A Fine Romance" because it's a duet - go figure. I know this is an encyclopedia, but I think it's important to keep the definition nebulous, or it would become a pointless war. (Why is 1960 the cut-off date? Well, it just IS, and should stay that way.) But given the above, sources are still desperately needed, even if they only point to nebulous statements from various nebulous "greats" (Diana Krall? Umm ... probably. Rickie Lee Jones? Ehhh...) who interpret the songs. Thoughts welcome. Stephen Foster (talk) 05:04, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

I have seen a book (or books) of sheet music called "The Great American Songbook". I think what the article is really missing is the origin of the phrase and who decided the cut off date of 1960? Saying "Well, it just IS" doesn't quite cut it in an encyclopedia. Steve Lowther (talk) 15:54, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

"Sophistication"? What is that? It originally meant adulterated, false, and devious. According to the wikipedia entry, it is still not an entirely positive quality:

Sophistication is the quality of refinement — displaying good taste, wisdom and subtlety rather than crudeness, stupidity and vulgarity. In the perception of social class, sophistication can link with concepts such as status, privilege and superiority.

This gets to why the songs so nostalgically described here fell out of favor. I am not saying it is a good thing, but the fact is that the appeal of these songs is far from universal, as claimed in the article, unless you define universal as able to be easily switched from one musical comedy to another, as the article (absurdly) does.173.77.106.151 (talk) 12:54, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

sourcing[edit]

A "Great American Songbook" template is apparently now being placed on each of the artists involved. But "Great American Songbook" is not a very commonly used term, and there is in fact no reliable source given in this article for the term. Who uses it? How widely is it used? Let's get it cited, or change the title, as with the template there will be a lot more eyes on the page. - Nunh-huh 20:26, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Why do you think it's not a very commonly used term? Try typing the phrase into Google--you get 383,000 hits, including the titles of countless jazz & popsong albums. This is such an easily verifiable fact that I fail to see the need for a citation. --ND (talk) 09:28, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
I created that template and I now think it's outlived it's usefulness. Anyone who sang a single song from the canon is now included, and it's vast and unweidly. Is Shelby Flint really equal to Sinatra or Fitzgerald? We should deff uase Wilder for citing the term, but as for artists, it's a NPOV minefield. Jobim, anyone? Gareth E Kegg (talk) 10:02, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the creator :P) that the template really is too selective/POV, in an incredibly expansive set of articles, to be useful, and should be removed from the articles on which it has been placed. But the term also needs sourcing, and a brief history of its origins and current use needs to be added to the article. - Nunh-huh 23:45, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

The template has been nominated for deletion. It suffers from the same lack of sourcing that this article does. -- SamuelWantman 07:39, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

The article needs to say something about the term "Great American Songbook" - when it originated and so forth. It is not simply self-explanatory.Sylvain1972 (talk) 03:31, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Fats Waller[edit]

I suppose Fats Waller wasn't important enough to appear in your songbook list. --67.150.12.234 (talk) 05:01, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

Kurt Weil?[edit]

Why does Kurt Weil not qualify? 173.77.106.151 (talk) 11:14, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

How about Gus Kahn as an adjunct to Isham Jones?

Italicized?[edit]

Should the title be italicized? Hyacinth (talk) 03:31, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Why? It's not actually the name of a songbook; it's a concept. --jpgordon::==( o ) 03:36, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Too much emphasis on Wilder's opinions?[edit]

While I certainly think that Alec Wilder's book is worth mentioning I'm not sure that his informal pecking order of GAS composers should be included in full. All of this stuff is subjective, of course, but Wilder doesn't even include Sammy Fain in his list, and it's a bit of a mystery to me how such a prolific composer of GAS standards as Harry Warren would not rate in the very highest echelon of GAS songwriters. Badmintonhist (talk) 17:22, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

Jonathan Schwartz[edit]

- removed reference to Jonathan Schwartz. Some consider him an authority, others consider him an opportunist who is not a real authority on the subject. For the sake of neutrality and keeping this Wikipedia entry more legitimate, it's best to omit Mr. Schwartz — Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.204.165.42 (talk) 02:28, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

Unsubstantiated charges of "opportunism" are not enough to strip Schwartz of his strong lifelong connection to the genre and his influential boosterism of such music on modern radio. As an announcer, his functional authority is appropriate enough to serve as the source of a single poignant turn of phrase. SteveStrummer (talk) 20:08, 19 November 2012 (UTC)


I'm an announcer so thus I've declared him an opportunist. I've also declared myself an expert on Jonathan Schwartz.

That statement I made is ridiculous - and so is your reasoning for keeping him as part of this article. He ought be omitted. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.43.222.186 (talk) 20:05, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

Just saying that does not make it so. The statement in the article is well-sourced, and Mr. Schwartz is clearly involved enough to offer an informed description of the genre. SteveStrummer (talk) 21:36, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

Intro paragraph[edit]

The intro paragraph should make it clear that there is no actual publication called "The Great American Songbook." I always believed that it was an actual book, published and distributed by a publishing company. It's unlikely that I was the only person with this misunderstanding, so there should be a clear statement that it is not a real book. 50.149.25.27 (talk) 05:44, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

OK, I've edited it to reflect that -- see if that helps. Softlavender (talk) 06:44, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Example[edit]

I just alphabetized Jimmy McHugh's songlist. Howzabout some of the frequent editors of this page alphabetize other songwriters' lists? For coherency's sake? Tapered (talk) 08:05, 13 February 2014 (UTC)