by John Rayburn
This book is about one of the greatest periods in American history, a time when music helped relieve some of the worries of the Great Depression and World War II.
It was a magical time enhanced by radio as well as the great live performances. Radio and music of the Big Band Era were made for each other, and the so-called Swing Years were a golden age of rhythm. It was not just music that made you want to dance. It was music that made you glow, music that made you want to sing, music that made you come alive, music for falling in love. And, despite the passage of time, it still is.
This is an effort to relive the compelling, pulsating excitement that filled ballrooms across the land—a chance to be somewhat a part of the invigorating time when, as someone once remarked, “the sounds of a thousand golden horns filled the air,” those ballrooms were packed, and radio and jukeboxes poured music into the air.
Author John Rayburn had conversations and interviews with many of the stars of the glorious past, so many of the stories have a warm, personalized flavor. He tells you about their talent, their beautiful music, and how they were able to help push aside some of the fears of the day. It’s as though you’re sitting there listening to radio shunt aside the anguish of one of the most outstanding eras in the nation’s 242-year history.
You feel as though you’re there with personalized stories of such major stars as Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Nat King Cole, Jo Stafford, Buddy Rich, Anita O’Day, Charlie Barnet, Helen Forrest, Les Paul, Sarah Vaughan and a great many more.
You will be told such personalized anecdotes as which famous crooner was invited to sing along with a big band when he was only four years old? Which big band enjoyed receiving big tips from mobster Al Capone? How did Nathaniel Adams Coles become Nat King Cole? Who gambled away part of a band’s income and left Woody Herman in serious debt to the IRS? What was Norma Deloris Egstrom’s professional name? Who once angrily threw a pitcher of water at drummer Buddy Rich? How did Shirley Luster become June Christy?
Page Count: 302
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Publish Date: May 3, 2020
Imprint: Sunbury Press
MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Big Band & Swing
MUSIC / History & Criticism
HISTORY / United States / 20th Century