VaudevilleanMamie Smith records "Crazy Blues" for Okeh Records, the first blues song commercially recorded by an African-American singer, the first blues song recorded at all by an African-American woman, and the first vocal blues recording of any kind, a few months after making the first documented recording by an African-American female singer, "You Can't Keep a Good Man Down" and "That Thing Called Love", which were successful enough for Okeh to commission "Crazy Blues". Stylistically, it resembles other vaudeville music of the era, but it borrows a poetic and melodic form from African-American folk music, as well as elements of unrelated "field-holler" vocal practices. More than its traditional predecessors, this mixture would come to define and epitomize the blues for later generations. The song becomes a surprising commercial success that would open up the market for African-American music by selling more than 8,000 copies a week for several months. It is followed by a string of hits by African-American women singers.
A paper shortage contributes to a cost increase and a downturn in the sheet music publishing industry.
Joseph Patek forms a family band that will become one of the longest-lasting and most influential Czech-Texan groups.
The Norfolk Jazz Quartet begins recording for OKeh, becoming "one of the earliest and most popular group to emerge" from the Tidewater area of Virginia, a fertile region for African-American singing quartets.
The National Baptist Convention's Gospel Pearls, a compilation of hymns, collected by Lucie Campbell, is released in its second edition, becoming so popular it remains in print, without a new edition, into the 1990s. It is an influential landmark in African-American church music, and is the first use of the term gospel in a collection of songs by a black church to describe the music later known as gospel music.
Vincent Lopez's dance band makes first live broadcast of a performance on the radio.
Thomas A. Dorsey moves to Chicago for the second time in his life, this time hoping to make his way in the burgeoning blues and jazz scenes; he is electrified by the singing of W. M. Nix, thus beginning his career as a pioneering gospel singer. He also composes his first song, "If I Don't Get There".
The Penn Hotel becomes the first African-American-owned hotel in Baltimore; it is on Pennsylvania Avenue, then a major center for black culture and business, and where the Douglass Theater, later more famously known as the Royal Theatre, is opened as one of the finest African-American theaters in the country. The Royal Theatre will become one of the major stops on the black entertainment circuit.
Ford Dabney's orchestra ends their eight-year run on Broadway, in the Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic Show at the New Amsterdam Theatre. They are the first "black orchestra to fill such a long engagement".
OKeh Records becomes the first major record company to realize the commercial potential of the African American market, creating a line, called the Original Race Records with Clarence Williams as director, to produce what was then called race music.
James D. Vaughan forms a record label to expand the audience for the gospel quartets he manages, an influential point in the early history of the gospel industry.
The New Orleans Rhythm Kings, the "most significant and influential of the early white jazz bands", record for Gennett, producing records that "had a direct impact on the young white musicians who developed what became known as the 'Chicago Style'."
Trixie Smith, a popular blues singer, recorded "My Man Rocks Me (With One Steady Roll)", one of the earliest uses of the terms rock and roll together in secular music.
The first Southern radio station to broadcast rural white music is WSB in Atlanta.
Rural folk performers begin to perform for local radio stations in Atlanta and Fort Worth.
Kid Ory and his Sunshine Orchestra record "Ory's Creole Trombone" and "Society Blues". These are the first instrumental jazz recording of an African-American group, and marks the beginning of the record industry focusing on "the instrumental ensemble as a source of entertainment in its own right rather than as accompaniment for singers".
King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band, performing at the Lincoln Gardens in Chicago, records with Gennett Studios, resulting in a set of recordings that are "landmark(s) in the history of jazz... the first major set of recordings by black jazz musicians". After this point, the music of "black jazz performers as well as white was preserved and circulated on record."
A new style of popular black-performed blues emerges, consisting of often self-composed songs, accompanied by a piano, exemplified by the work of singers like Clara Smith, Victoria Spivey, Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey. Smith's first recordings, "Down Hearted Blues" and "Gulf Coast Blues", are recorded this year, and becomes a "sensational" success, selling more than ten million copies and turning Smith into the most successful blues singer of the era.
Roland Hayes, the first African-American male to "win wide acclaim at home and abroad as a concert artist", gives a recital at Boston's Symphony Hall, which makes the beginning of his "long, illustrious career".
The first national contest for school bands is held, supported in part by the manufacturers of musical instruments.
George Gershwin premiers Rhapsody in Blue, an historically significant piece that fused three strands of American music: modernist classical music, instrumental jazz and popular blues; the piece "played a role in defining American musical modernism" in the 1920s, though it was "probably the most successful work in the movement to bring jazz into the concert hall", it is "better known today through lush arrangements for full symphony orchestras that have necessarily smoothed out the vernacular idiosyncrasies of its original performance style.
Ed Andrews' "Barrelhouse Blues" is the first recording of rural blues. It is still among the "most popular of American compositions".
The most popular of the early Lithuanian American performers, Antanas Vanagaitis, comes to the United States with a performance group.
Immigration Act of 1924 formally enacts a restriction on Japanese immigration that had effectively been in place since 1908; this is said to constitute the end of issei, or the first generation of Japanese immigration. The same bill has similar effects in other communities, making it a common marker separating different forms of immigrant culture and music, such as among Arab Americans.
WLS begins broadcasting the National Barn Dance, a popular radio program that exposes new audiences to traditional Southern and Appalachian music. This will become the first major country music radio program, lasting until 1970 (by then called National Barn Dance and broadcast on WGN).Bradley Kincaid is the show's first star; he will later be the first country star to profit from the sale of mail-order songbooks.
Bix Beiderbecke joins the Wolverine Orchestra, making his first recordings; he will be more influential than any white composer or performer in Chicago in the era, and will be perhaps the first white jazz performer to be widely respected by African-American jazz audiences. Beiderbecke was also the "first important jazzman to be inspired by contemporary classical music". His Wolverine Orchestra is the first white group to play jazz in an authentically African American style.
Record companies begin recording and marketing to Mexican Americans in California.
A more traditional sound in Finnish-American commercial recordings supplants the earlier format, which was based around semi-classical performance.
With the advent of national radio broadcasting companies, large businesses begin to sponsor a single show in its entirety. By 1927, as much as half of the total budget at major advertising companies is spent on radio.
Barn dance programs become a major part of the radio industry, led by the WSM Barn Dance in Nashville, which will later become the Grand Ole Opry. Other barn dance programs during the era are broadcast by WBAP in Fort Worth and WSB in Atlanta.
Louis Armstrong begins recording with his Hot Five and Hot Seven bands, for OKeh in Chicago. These resulting records are widely influential and establish the early jazz style, and helped launch Armstrong's career, which will eventually make him "one of the best-known and best-loved entertainers in the world". Music historian Richard Crawford has called these recordings "an enduring contribution to music history (that transcend) categorical boundaries to introduce a powerful new, utterly American mode of expression". The recordings establish Armstrong's career as the first virtuoso soloist in jazz, and move the field from one based on collective improvisation among all members of an ensemble to one in which one or more individual performers lead the performance through improvising. The Hot Five was Kid Ory, Johnny Dodds, Lil Hardin and Johnny St Cyr, while the Hot Seven added Pete Briggs and Baby Dodds, replacing Ory with John Thomas.
Lonnie Johnson begins his performing career after winning first prize at a blues concert. He will become "probably the first improvising guitarist to base his style on cleanly articulated single-string lines rather than heavily strummed chords"
James Weldon Johnson's Book of Negro Spirituals is an important reference work that contains clues "about how long and how pervasive the penchant for harmonizing was among African Americans".
The Scopes Trial is discussed in a ballad, whose broadside is sold outside the courthouse during the trial, selling more than 60,000 copies. Music historian claims that this publication brought the broadside up to date for the new media of the time.
George Antheil's Ballet mécanique is finished; it was intended to accompany a Fernand Léger film, but was later adapted into a complete composition, using "eight pianos, pianola, eight xylophones, two electric doorbells, percussion, wind machine, and 'airplane propellor', (described as) 'an adapted fan with a forty-eight-inch reach, six vicious blades, and a capacity of 4,000 revolutions per minute'". The piece will make Antheil "internationally notorious". The work may also be the "first use of (long periods of silence) for all instruments".
Blind Lemon Jefferson begins making his first recordings, for Paramount Records, which include his first two hits, "Booster Blues" and "Dry Southern Blues". He will become "one of the most important and influential of the early bluesmen", and his success will inspire record companies to search for more authentically rural styles of the blues.
The American Society of Ancient Instruments is founded by Ben Stad, a Dutch violinist, in Philadelphia. It is the "first American ensemble known to have performed on period instruments". The original ensemble included a harpsichord, viols, Baroque violins and cellos.
Roba Stanley becomes the first woman to record a solo country song, her most popular this year being "Single Life".
Sam Wooding & His Orchestra begin performing outside the United States. Wooding will become one of Philadelphia's first internationally prominent jazz musician, and he will be the first African American to tour with a jazz band outside the country, and the first American to play jazz in the Soviet Union, tour South America and record in Europe.
The dispute between theater owners who play music during silent films and the American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishers over the fees paid for the use of popular songs ends with the joining of more than 11,000 owners to the Society, pay more than $500,000 in fees. The dispute had severely limited the use of pop Tin Pan Alley songs in theaters.
The first permanent orchestra is established in Seattle.
NBC, the first of the major broadcasting networks, is created.
Arizona Dranes begins recording, soon becoming one of the "most celebrated pioneers of the Holiness-Pentecostal" gospel style.
Several popular songs by vaudeville singer Blind Lemon Jefferson kicks off a wave of solo male folk-blues artists recording commercially. Jefferson is believed to become the first to record a slide guitar in this year.
The New York city council enacts a set of restrictions on music performance, intending to crack down on cabarets. The restrictions hamper the city's musical life until their repeal in 1988.
The Los Angeles newspaper Rafu Shimpo begins documenting Japanese music in that city.
Eva Jessye moves to New York, where she will soon become a fixture in the city's musical life, eventually becoming the "first black woman to win international distinction as a professional choral conductor".
OKeh executive Ralph Peer records a wave of old-time musicians after letting it slip that Pop Stoneman had earned more than three thousand dollars in royalties the previous year; among those who come to seek their own fortune are the Carter Family, who will become wildly popular in the burgeoning country music industry, and Jimmie Rodgers, who was the most influential figure in what was then known as hillbilly music. These legendary recording sessions are often considered the historical foundation for country music. Peer's codified the standard contractual arrangements between music publishers and performers with regards to session fees and songwriting remuneration.
Roger Pryor Dodge begins transcribing the jazz solos; these transcriptions will be performed onstage, proving "that a sympathetic reading of hot solos from notation... lost nothing of the intrinsic beauty of the melodic line".
Bix Beiderbecke makes a series of recordings with Frank Trumbauer; though Beiderbecke would remain fairly obscure during his lifetime, he will go on to be remembered as perhaps the first "legendary jazz musician". This reputation will be helped by the fact that he was white, rather than black, as were most respected jazz musicians of the time.
Henry Cowell founds the quarterly periodical New Music, which helped expose, introduce and organize European and Russian music to American composers.
Jerome Kern's musical Show Boat is a "watershed (that leaves) earlier, more loosely constructed musicals far behind". Its major innovation is in using a well-developed plot, based on a novel by Edna Ferber, rather than appealing primarily in showy dancing, sets and catchy songs. It has been called the "first great American musical show".
Duke Ellington's career begins when he is hired a whites-only nightclub called the Cotton Club in Harlem. He will go on to develop one of the most distinctive styles in early jazz, combining elements of "sweet" dance bands, ragtime, stride and other genres. Trumpeter Bubber Miley creates a "growling" sound that becomes a characteristic element of Ellington's style, an element later adapted for the trombone by Tricky Sam Nanton.
Flautist Alberto Socarras comes to New York, where he will become an important part of jazz history by bringing Afro-Cuban musical elements to the American jazz scene.
The composer George Antheil is the subject of a concert, billed as "The Biggest Musical Event of the Year", and promoted by Ezra Pound and Donald Friede, which features his ultramodern works, ending with the "presumptive piece de resistance", Ballet mécanique, which turns out to be a "colossal flop". One review said that no piece had ever "(flopped) to earth with a more sickening and merited thud".
A major flood in Mississippi will become one of the most musically notable natural disasters in American history, subject of many blues and gospel songs, most famously Charley Patton's "High Water Everywhere" and Elder Edwards' "The 1927 Flood". This year's "Explosion in the Fairmount Mines" by Blind Alfred Reed, referring to a mining accident in West Virginia that resulted in more than 300 deaths, is perhaps the most popular of many songs about mining disasters released during this era.
The Communist International officially defines jazz as a "proletarian music", leading to an association between jazz and leftist politics in the United States.
Jackson, Mississippi music store owner H. C. Speir becomes a talent scout for all the major record labels, and will be responsible for signing many of the major Mississippi bluesmen who will become famous later in the century.
The Savoy Ballroom opens in Chicago, soon becoming the premier African-American music venue in the city.
The Silver Leaf Quartette's "Sleep On, Mother" introduces a new technique to African-American singing quartets, in which the lead "vocalist... apart from the remaining voices, which (supply) a repeating rhythmic pattern or riff", allowing the Quartette to develop the use of nonsense syllables as a rhythmic device (the clanka-lanka technique).
George Herzog is the first musicological scholar to identify the "rise", the "formal device of including repeated or new melodic material sung at a higher pitch level than the opening phrases of a song", which his research showed was characteristic of the Mohave and Diegueño Native Americans; Bruno Nettl will later conclude that it is distinctive to most of the California region. This research established the basis for the modern study of music areas, the distribution of musical traits across a region.
Bradley Kincaid publishes a songbook entitled My Favorite Mountain Ballads and Old-Time Songs, a popular collection that will help "keep alive the kind of mountain songs that (are) fast disappearing from the American musical landscape".
The first major black entertainer on a major radio network is Jack L. Cooper of WSBC in Chicago, who hosts a music and comedy show.
Warner Brothers purchases M. Witmark & Sons, a music publishing firm. Though this is not the first film company to incorporate a music publishing business, the purchase is a major event that signals Hollywood's new approach to the use of music in films.
Manuel Acuña emigrates from Mexico to California, where he will become one of the leading musical directors in the Mexican-California music industry.
One of the most popular performers of Peking opera in history, Mei Lanfang, visits the United States, bringing that tradition to North America.
Henry Cowell publishes New Musical Resources, which is "probably the earliest comprehensive statement of intent by a 'modernistic' American composer (and) and indispensable document in the history of American music".
With "Mood Indigo", Duke Ellington becomes "increasingly innovative... in his use of chromaticism and bitonal harmonies, as well as in the temporal extension of his compositions".
The creative peak of jazz in Kansas City, as the "city becomes a magnet for black musicians", including touring bands from across the country, Delta and urban blues singers, and jazzmen from New Orleans and elsewhere. Major characteristics of the Kansas City jazz style include the use of repeated riffs, "short melodic ideas -- repeated again and again by the full ensemble, often in unison by the brasses and sometimes by the rhythm section to support solo improvisation", and the accenting of all four beats equally, rather than the first and third as in New Orleans jazz. The Kansas City style also influences the blues, which becomes "lustier and more powerful".
Eva Jessye becomes one of the first "professional female choral conductors, black or white, in the United States", leading a choir on NBC and CBS.
Chicago becomes the center for the blues record industry.
Frank Sinatra begins performing; he will go on to become one of the first musical superstars and the first teen idol, and inspires a legion of Italian American performers.
The end of the golden age of Finnish American entertainment, which was dominated by solo troubadours.
John Tasker Howard's Our American Music is published; it is the only general history of American music written during the era. His work focused on Americans who composed in European styles.
Max Steiner's score for the film Cimarron garners favorable reviews, and helps move the motion picture industry towards accepting music as a film element equal to speech and sound effects in importance.
Shirley Graham becomes the first female African American to gain fame composing operas and librettos, beginning with Tom-Tom, which is first produced in Cleveland and possibly the first "black opera produced on a grandiose scale with a professional cast".
Bird of Paradise is credited with helping to sustain popularity for Hawaiian music, and Hawaii-themed stage and film productions.
Fats Waller broadcasts Fats Waller's Rhythm Club over WLW in Cincinnati. He is the best known of the Harlem-based jazz pianists, and the first to "adapt the style of jazz pianism to the pipe organ and the Hammond organ".
Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Herschel Evans and Lester Young participate in "the most famous cutting contest in all of jazz history", with the end result being an increase in popularity for the light, melodic sound of Lester Young as opposed to the more heavy vibrato sound of Coleman Hawkins.
"Echale Salsita", a recording by Ignacio Piñeiro, is the first known use of the word salsa in a musical context; it will eventually come to denote a specific form of Latin-North American popular music known as salsa.
Lester Young joins Count Basie's band, beginning his career. He will be the first major jazz saxophonist, helping make that instrument an integral an iconic part of jazz, and will establish the saxophone as an instrument capable of creating a unique style, rather than merely accompanying the other instruments or playing in a manner derivative of Louis Armstrong.
Ballroom-style polka becomes the dominant form of the music among Polish-American communities.
The first permanent orchestra is established in Kansas City.
The Metropolitan Opera forms an Opera Guild to sponsor informative lectures, organize inexpensive concerts for children and involve other organizations in fundraising efforts.
Alan and John Lomax went on a music recording trip to the South, in search of music among the blacks who "had had the least contact with jazz, the radio, and with the white man". One of their recording subjects was Lead Belly, who then accompanied the Lomax's on a renowned tour of college campuses. This tour would help inspire the American folk revival of the mid-20th century.
Benny Goodman buys the compositions and arrangements of Fletcher Henderson, a well-known black bandleader, then uses them in Let's Dance, an NBC radio show, the following year; this is, for many in the mostly white audience, their first exposure to swing music. Goodman becomes the first white bandleader to be considered a jazz master.
Virgil Thomson's Four Saints in Three Acts is the first opera with a black cast presented on Broadway. It is perceived as "electrifying (and) shocking" by opera critics, for it flouted many of the conventions of the genre.
Kenneth Morris begins working for the gospel publisher Lillian E. Bowles, where he will give gospel its "second infusion of jazz". Morris will later found one of the largest gospel publishing companies in the world.
"Big band jazz enters "the public consciousness... when a white dance band led by clarinetist Benny Goodman played at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles"; this has been "credited with launching the Swing Era, a new age of popular music". Goodman will become "internationally acclaimed as both solo performer and bandleader".
George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess premiers on Broadway; the "folk opera" was an innovative piece that mixed African-American music with techniques from the musical theater and American popular song. It is the first distinctively American opera.
Ethnomusicologist George Herzog identifies the "main stylistic identifier" of the Native Americans of the Great Basin, the paired phrasing of the melody and text of each of the phrases that constitute the piece.
Narciso Martínez's polka "La chicharronera" becomes a "big hit", and an "instant and lasting success" that set the foundation for the American conjunto style.
The Soul Stirrers form. They will establish "most of the practices of the modern gospel quartet style", including the addition of a fifth man and guitar accompaniment.
Count Basie's orchestra gains a national following, the first major jazz band from Kansas City. He also developed a "new, stripped-down style that would remain his signature for the rest of his career".
To counteract a German "cultural offensive" in Latin America, the United States government institutes a cultural program, the Division of Cultural Relations, which will soon be folded into the Office of War Information.
The Monroe Brothers begin recording, setting the stage for the development of bluegrass, and establishing their style: "sad songs sung with tight vocal harmonies that were often played at lightning speeds with spell-binding instrumental virtuosity".
The radio industry matures, beginning to more successfully focus on increasing market share rather than "abstract cultural good", diminishing the "demand for fine-art music and correspondingly (increasing) the demand for popular music".
Big bandswing music makes jazz a part of mainstream American pop. The popularity of swing ensembles inspires many jazz enthusiasts to focus on the improvisation and innovation, rather than the danceable pop sound of swing. This is the first form of popular music to be divided into separate realms of commercial and artistic success. A number of jazz music journals also begin documenting the burgeoning genre of swing.
Chicago becomes a "center for blues performance" in the city's large African-American community, while a kind of piano-based blues called boogie-woogie becomes the most popular form of the blues.
The Hollywood musical settles on a format based around a "romantic comedy" with "four or five songs and a dance or two".
The town of Lindsborg, Kansas begins holding public celebrations of Swedish culture; the town will become a center for Swedish American music later in the century.
The piano accordion reaches its height of popularity, with many schools teaching the instrument and its repertoire, which depends in large part on Italian-derived music.
The bands of Lu Watters, Eddie Condon and Bob Crosby become popular in New York City, inspiring a revival of interest in old-time New Orleans-style jazz that will peak at the end of the following decade.
The importance of the tres in the Cuban son peaks, while Arsenio Rodríguez enjoys the height of his popularity; Rodriguez' main innovation is to incorporate the mambo, which is introduced in Cuba in this same era.
Nat "King" Cole forms a piano, guitar and bass trio, which is credited as the beginning of a rhythm and blues style meant to accompany conversation instead of dancing, known as club blues or cocktail music in black and white clubs, respectively.
Aaron Copland's El Salón México is premiered in London, published by Boosey & Hawkes, and then premiered in Boston. The work is a surprise success across the country. Copland becomes the "first North American composer since Gottschalk to form a far-reaching connection with Latin America".
John H. Hammond, a talent scout and the "first important jazz critic and record collector to become an impresario and record producer in his own right", stages the first of his From Spirituals to Swing series of concerts, a watershed event in American music history. Held at Carnegie Hall, these shows would "introduce the jump blues of Big Joe Turner" to New Yorkers. The concert would also introduce Rosetta Tharpe and provide New York with its first major concert produced for an integrated audience,. This same year, Carnegie Hall features its first jazz band, led by Benny Goodman, in a concert that helps establish the legitimacy of swing music in the eyes of music aficionados and scholars.
Louis Jordan leaves Chick Webb's orchestra to form a small band, the Tympany Five, that will contribute towards transforming the popular big band swing style to a smaller, combo style known as jump blues, an important milestone in the evolution of rhythm and blues.
Music critic and classical performer Winthrop Sargeant publishes Jazz, Hot and Hybrid, a book that demonstrates increasing academic acceptance of jazz, demonstrating "through musical analysis that jazz repaid close listening, especially its rhythm".
Roy Harris' Symphony No. 3 is an influential work that uses a number of techniques that become common in subsequent American classical music, including "massive but spacious textures; a new emphasis on vital, syncopated rhythms... and a rich harmonic palette".
Roy Harris composes his Third Symphony in One Movement, a self-consciously American piece that drew upon his perception of American music as focused on rhythm, especially the "asymmetrical balancing of rhythmic phrases".
Trombonist Glenn Miller leads a band to a "pinnacle of popular success beyond that of any other group of the time".
The first Evenings on the Roof concert is held in Los Angeles; this series of concerts, eventually known as the Monday Evening Concerts, filled an unotherwise empty niche in Los Angeles, "programming modern works in a city whose musical institutions generally ignored such works".
Duke Ellington innovates the "use of the extended form" in jazz with Concerto for Cootie.Jimmy Blanton joins Ellington's band this year, going on to innovate the use of his instrument, the "string bass from an instrument that played chiefly notes on the four beats of a measure to a solo instrument that played fluent melodies, with fast running notes, sharply defined phrases, and ingenious melodic turns".
A period of jazz innovation begins to evolve in Harlem, led by a group of performers who clustered around Minton's Playhouse, where they "experimented with new techniques and approaches, trading ideas with others of an innovative bent", "rooted in Swing Era practice but pushing beyond its norms of tonality and velocity". This is an important part of the origin of bebop.
Jazz audiences become increasingly interested in the history of jazz, as well as a "new field called discography (which dealt with jazz's) recorded 'documents', and a few European and American writers were reviewing jazz records critically in print".
Woody Guthrie first performs in New York City, his subsequent fame will help to inspire the American folk revival of the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Guthrie records Dust Bowl Ballads this year; though the album is a commercial failure, it radically alters "how guitar pickers, record buyers and college professors approached folk music". The album, recorded for Victor Records, is based on Guthrie's own experiences in the Dust Bowl.
Machito, a Cuban-American bandleader, forms an orchestra (Machito & His AfroCubans) that will mix jazz with elements of Cuban folk music; the orchestra's arrangements, by Mario Bauzá are a particularly important key to its success.
New York City police begin fingerprinting all employees of every club where music is performed; identification cards are given to musicians and are required for them to legally perform in any club. Many musicians are refused cards due to alleged dubious character, most often past narcotics charges.
Billy Eckstine performs "Skylark" on network radio, becoming the first African-American vocalist to do so.
Haprischordist Putnam Aldrich's Harvard dissertation on French Baroque ornamentation is "one of the earliest American studies on performance practice". Aldrich will also, as a member of the Stanford University faculty, develop the first graduate program in early music in the country.
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's Oklahoma! premiers; its reception "surpassed by far anything previously achieved by a Broadway musical play". The musical's success inspires composers to generally agree that "shows emphasizing songs, dances, and high-spirited romance lacked the impact of integrated shows whose musical numbers were rooted in the drama".
Two band training facilities are open for the U.S. Army, one at Camp Crowder and one at Camp Lee in Virginia. The former will close the following year.
Esquire begins a poll of jazz critics, a practice that becomes widespread among music periodicals. The results are controversial due to the success of several African Americans in some categories.
The American Federation of Musicians recording ban ends, and the union becomes an integral part of the American music industry. One of the concessions is the end of tracking, in which bits of old film music were re-used; the union succeeded in banning this practice.
With audiences having been unable to acquire new jazz records under the recording ban, many fans were unaware of the shift from the popular swing era to what would eventually be known as bebop. The reaction was hostile to the new style. The first bebop recordings are made this year, after the ban ends, by a band founded by Billy Eckstine.
Billboard launches specialist music charts, in addition to the long-standing general chart, to identify the most-played "hillbilly" and "race" songs on jukeboxes.Louis Jordan's "G.I. Jive" becomes the first song to simultaneously top all three Billboard charts: "pop", "race" and "folk". The first country music chart ever is "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records".
The Dance Collection of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is formed; it will be the "largest and most comprehensive archive in the world devoted to the documentation of dance".
The Roberta Martin Singers adds two female performers, making it the "first combination of male and female voices in one ensemble". The Singers were performing and recording in New York, working with independent labels that focused on jazz and rhythm and blues.
The end of the creative peak of jazz in Manhattan.
A thirty-one-treble-button accordion with triple rows becomes the dominant form of the instrument used in the Tejanocorrido; specifically the Hohner Corona II and Gabbanelli are popular kinds of accordion.
Walter Solek introduces English language polkas to the Polish American repertoire.
The approximate end of the period of greatest mainstream popularity for swing music.
The Magnetophon tape recording technology, created in Germany, is brought to the United States following World War 2. The United States will become the home of tape technology.
Approximate: Charles and William Brown form Brown Radio Productions, one of the first commercial recording and radio broadcasting companies in Nashville, soon to be the home for the American country music industry.
The composer Elliott Carter publishes a piano sonata, a "daring advance in his development as a composer", establishing his reputation for working towards "more and more complex atonal musical (styles) while steering clear of musical systems".
Henry Glover, talent scout for King, becomes one of the "first black men in the postwar record business to be given any creative clout". He originally worked in the white folk or hillbilly field, then branched into "race music" with Bullmoose Jackson, a popular singer of "naughty novelties and lugubrious ballads".
Louis Jordan's "Let the Good Times Roll" becomes a symbol of "economic prosperity and a new era in (the United States') social history" for all Americans, while for many blacks, the song signified an "end to racial inequalities" due to the cross-cultural mixing that became common during the recently ended World War 2.
The "idea that music could have an essence separate from the way it sounded in performance", an idea long seen as exclusive to Western classical music, comes to be applied to jazz through performers like Charlie Parker, focusing on "creation and performance, in the manner of classical musicians letting reception take care of itself"
Many country performers begin experimenting with a pedal steel, a steel guitar on a stand set up so that the guitarist can change pitches and chords.
Inspired by pioneer Bill Monroe and his band, a generation of younger prformers, many of them working-class and frequently migrants from rural areas to cities, form a number of important proto-bluegrass bands.
The technology behind electric loudspeakers and amplifiers begins progressing rapidly.
The guitar becomes the most prominent instrument in the blues.
The nascent bebop jazz scene comes to include a number of defining cultural characteristics, including the "unfortunate fashionability of heroin", which was inspired, in large part, by the success of addict Charlie Parker, the use of African-American vernacular-derived slang, and criticism of the racial politics of the era.
The independent record labels that dominate the African-American music industry begin targeting the growing teenage demographic by signing performers from that age group. Jesse Stone and Dave Bartholomew are among the legendary talent scouts from this era.
When the major radio networks, CBS, NBC and Mutual, begin focusing more on television than radio, they cease pressuring the FCC to limit the number of radio stations in each market. The result is more fragmentation in the radio industry, and stations that target niche markets, such as African Americans.
The Ravens become one of the first African-American groups to reach the pop charts.
Jazz musician and composer Thelonious Monk makes a number of famous recordings, making him a favorite among many other jazz artists at the time, but he will not receive mainstream accolades until the late 1950s.
One of the most successful performers of Afro-Cuban music is Miguelito Valdez, who forms his own band this year.
Three hundred Indonesian seamen desert their ship in New York, seeking residence in the United States; though it requires a court battle, they are successful, marking the beginning of Indonesian immigration.
Billy Eckstine signs with MGM, soon becoming the first African-American male to become a pop idol. He will be the "first black ballad singer to succeed as a soloist independently of a dance band".
Dave Carey and Albert McCarthy begin publishing the Jazz Directory, the first published discography to organize entries by matrix-number. The work was intended to be comprehensive, but will never be published beyond the letter "L", because the rise of the LP led to a proliferation of a recorded music, making a comprehensive directory impractical.
The federal government begins to offer incentives to Native Americans to move to urban areas; the policy promotes the intertribal mixing, stimulating the growth of the powwow.
Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool launches his solo career, creating a new style with a number of like-minded musicians, characterized by an emphasis on "coloristic timbral effects achieved through unusual pairings of instruments..., no vibrato, and a seamless integration of written and improvised music". This is the beginning of cool jazz and chamber jazz.
Lionel "Chica" Sesma is hired by KOWL in Los Angeles to host a bilingual program that will soon switch to focus exclusively on Latin music; Sesma will become "synonymous with Latin dance music throughout" the 1950s and 60s.
The band of Tito Rodríguez achieves great success, with Rodriguez becoming one of the first major Puerto Rican stars in the New York Latin music scene and his band becoming a leader of the Palladium Dance Hall era and an important group in the international popularization of Caribbean-derived dance music.
Tito Puente's band, the Mambo Boys, has their first hit with "Abanico", establishing Puente's career; he is known for having brought his groups percussion section to the forefront, which will become the standard for Cuban dance bands in the United States until the 1990s.
The establishment of the People's Republic of China leads to a schism between Chinese Americans and Chinese in China, with many Chinese intellectuals stranded in the United States. The Chinese American music community becomes polarized as a result, with separate communities of upper-class intellectuals, working classes and various linguistic or ethnic groups, each developing distinct musical traditions.
Leo Ornstein's Living Music of the Americas is the "first publication to cover the entire spectrum of musical composition in the Western Hermisphere".
Miller, James. Flowers in the Dustbin: The Rise of Rock and Roll, 1947–1977. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN0-684-80873-0.
Mitchell, Gillian (2007). The North American Folk Music Revival: Nation and Identity in the United States. Ashgate Publishing. ISBN0-7546-5756-6.
Moon, Krystyn R. (August 2003). ""There's No Yellow in the Red, White, and Blue": The Creation of Anti-Japanese Music during World War II". The Pacific Historical Review. University of California Press. 72 (3): 333–352. doi:10.1525/phr.2003.72.3.333.
Moore, Allan (2003). The Cambridge Companion to Blues and Gospel Music. Cambridge University Press. ISBN0-521-00107-2.
Peretti, Burton W. (2008). Lift Every Voice. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN0-7425-5811-8.
Malone, Bill C.; David Stricklin (2003). Southern Music/American Music. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN0-8131-9055-X.
John Shepherd; David Horn; Dave Laing; Paul Oliver; Peter Wicke, eds. (2003). Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, Volume 1: Media, Industry and Society. London: Continuum. ISBN0-8264-6321-5.
^Barnard, Stephen; Donna Halper and Dave Laing. "Radio". The Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World. pp. 451–461. Barnard, Halper and Laing question KDKA's claim, pointing to 8MK in Detroit and 1XE in Medford Hillside as possible precursors in the United States.
^ abcdefghijkPreston, Katherine K.; Susan Key, Judith Tick, Frank J. Cipolla and Raoul F. Camus. "Snapshot: Four Views of Music in the United States". The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. pp. 554–569.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
^ abcdSeeger, Anthony and Paul Théberg, "Technology and Media", pp. 235–249, in the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music
^Laing, Dave. "Agent". The Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World. pp. 532–533.
^Levine, Victoria Lindsay. "Northeast". The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. pp. 461–465.Morgan, Henry Louis (1962) . League of the Ho-dé-no-sau-nee or Iroquois. Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press.
^ abcdefgLevy, Mark; Carl Rahkonen and Ain Haas. "Scandinavian and Baltic Music". The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. pp. 866–881.
^ abAsai, Susan M. "Japanese Music". The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. pp. 967–974.
^ abRasmussen, Anne K. "Middle Eastern Music". The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. pp. 1028–1041.
^Horn, David; David Sanjek. "Victor". The Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World. pp. 768–769. ... during three days that would become legendary in country music, he recorded the first recordings of the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers
^Keeling, Richard. "California". The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. pp. 412–419.Herzog, George (1928). "The Yuman Musical Style". Journal of American Folklore. 41 (160): 183–231. doi:10.2307/534896. Nettl, Bruno (1954). North American Indian Musical Styles. Philadelphia: American Folklore Society.
^Reyes, Adelaida. "IDentity, Diversity, and Interaction". The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. pp. 504–518.Baker, Theodore (1881). Uber die Musik der nordamerikanischen Wilden. Leipzig: Breitkopf u. Härtel.
^Sanjek, David; David Horn. "Vocalion Records". The Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World. pp. 772–773.
^José Angel Gutiérrez. "Chapter 7, Chicano Music: Evolution and Politics to 1950", The Roots of Texas Music (Centennial Series of the Association of Former Students, Texas A&M University; No. 93), edited by Lawrence Clayton and Joe W. Specht, College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University Press, 2003, pp. 161–163.
^Rahkonen, Carl. "French Music". The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. pp. 854–859.
^Oliver, Paul. "Nostalgia". Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World. pp. 292–294. Oliver notes that two million copies were sold, and that it was recording in forty languages, forty-six arrangements, and a total of more than five hundred times.
^Romero, Brenda M. "Great Basin". The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. pp. 420–427.Herzog, George (1935). "Plains Ghost Dance and Great Basin Music". American Anthropologist. 38 (3): 403–419. doi:10.1525/aa.1935.37.3.02a00040.
^Oliver, Paul. "Bluebird". The Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World. pp. 691–692. In the fall of 1939, Bluebird had a major success with Muggy Spanier and His Ragtime Band, arguably the first band of the 'trad jazz revival'.
^Horn, David; David Buckley. "War and Armed Conflict". Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World. pp. 389–395. Horn and Buckley note that the song was also popular among the French and Italians.
^Street, John. "Politics". Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World. pp. 299–294. Street notes that Davis emulated Wilbert Lee O'Daniel, a Texan who came to fame with his band, the Hillbilly Boys, and became a U.S. Senator in 1941
^Levine, Victoria Lindsay; Judith A. Gray. "Musical Interactions". The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music.Howard, James H. (1955). "The Pan-Indian Culture of Oklahoma". Scientific Monthly. 18 (5): 215–220.
Blesh, Rudi. Shining Trumpets: A History of Jazz. New York: Knopf.
Carey, Dave (1949–1957). The Directory of Recorded Jazz and Swing Music. Fordingbridge, Hampshire/London: Delphic Press/Cassell.
Cassidy, Donna (1997). Painting the Musical City: Jazz and Cultural Identity in American Art, 1910–1940. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.
Delauney, Charles. Hot Discography. Paris: Jazz Hot.
DeVeaux, Scott (1997). The Birth of Bebop: A Social and Musical History. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.
Samuel A. Floyd Jr., ed. (1990). Black Music in the Harlem Renaissance: A Collection of Essays. New York: Westport.
Glasser, Ruth. My Music Is My Flag: Puerto Rican Musicians and Their New York Communities, 1917–1940. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
Lomax, Alan (New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1949). Mister Jelly Roll: The Fortunes of Jelly Roll Morton, New Orleans Creole and 'Inventor of Jazz'. New York: Pantheon Books.Check date values in: |year= (help)
Frederic Ramsey Jr.; Charles Edward Smith, eds. (1939). Jazzmen. Harcourt Brace.
Rust, Brian. Jazz Records, A-Z, 1932–1942. Hatch End, Middlesex: The author.
Schleman, Hilton (1936). Rhythm on Record: Who's Who and Register of Recorded Dance Music, 1906–1936. London: Melody Maker.
Schuller, Gunther. The Swing Era: The Development of Jazz, 1930–1945. New York: Oxford University Press.
Stowe, David W. (1994). Swing Changes: Big Band Jazz in New Deal America. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.