Tagged: The Jazz Age Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • mistermuse 12:01 am on May 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , book recommendation, , , , , , , , The Jazz Age   


    The 1920s were an era of great contradictions. After winning WWI, the United States seemed to be (on the surface) a more liberated country than previously, finally shaking off the restrictions of the Victorian era. Dresses became shorter, many more women entered the workforce, dancing became more exciting and sensuous, some movies actually hinted strongly at sex, the economy was prosperous, and jazz seemed to be everywhere as the country experienced something like a decade-long party [known as The Jazz Age and The Roaring 20s].
    But a closer look reveals Republicans ruled the White House, liquor was illegal (even if gangsters and bootleggers made it widely available), the Ku Klux Klan was at the height of its popularity (with lynchings of blacks commonplace), racism was institutionalized, big business had few restrictions, poverty was widespread, and there was no safety net. It was a great era to be rich and white, but the poor and blacks were barely tolerated by average middle-class citizens. –Scott Yanow, author of CLASSIC JAZZ*

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    The above puts Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 nonstop transatlantic flight (see my last post) in broader historical context. ‘Fellow’ aviator Elinor Smith Sullivan later said, “It’s hard to describe the impact Lindbergh had on people. The twenties was such an innocent time.” This helps explain why songs like LINDBERGH, EAGLE OF THE USA and LUCKY LINDY were written by wantwits with words which would make wittier writers wince.

    Thus, the wittiest composer/lyricist this side of the Atlantic, Cole Porter, put the Jazz Age in earthier terms:

    In other words….

    Our flight of fancy, like Lindbergh’s, ends in gay Paree with a song (recorded in 1930) from Porter’s 1929 musical FIFTY MILLION FRENCHMEN:

    *Kindle edition available online for as low as $17.99 (highly recommended for classic jazz lovers)




    • calmkate 4:48 pm on May 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      What a great collection … that performer in the first one did it exceptionally well 🙂

      Why don’t you write poetry anymore?

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 5:41 pm on May 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Kate. Actually, I do still write poetry — just not as often as I used to. Recent posts which include one or more of my poems are those of May 14, April 14 & 11, and March 17 & 12. I’ll probably publish another one by the end of the month, as I haven’t yet decided what to write for my next post.

        Liked by 2 people

        • calmkate 5:57 pm on May 24, 2018 Permalink

          thanks I’ll read those as time permits … so do we have a date by the kitchen door?

          Liked by 1 person

        • calmkate 6:01 pm on May 24, 2018 Permalink

          Silly me, of course I totally enjoyed some of these already …just looking forward to more 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 9:10 pm on May 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Glad you enjoyed them, Kate.
      As for the kitchen door, I don’t have a cow shed for the moon to shine over, so I guess we’re out of luck — as is anyone else who’s trying to figure out what we’re talking about. 🙂


    • restlessjo 4:32 am on May 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Love this version of Let’s Misbehave. What a magnetic personality 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Don Frankel 11:12 am on May 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Since the booze was flowing the dresses were coming it must have been…

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 11:45 am on May 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Billie is absolutely Easy To Love on this one, Don….especially when backed by the great Teddy Wilson and his Orchestra. Incidentally, this recording was made three days after I was born — I wonder if they had me in mind when they recorded it?


    • America On Coffee 11:16 pm on May 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Enjoyable unique entertainment.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 8:47 am on May 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      My pleasure. In my opinion, the music and songs of that era have never been surpassed for pure listening pleasure.


    • Silver Screenings 7:19 pm on June 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I love the first performer with her rendition of Let’s Misbehave. She does a terrific job.

      Cole Porter is a gem. The songs are catchy and amusing and smart.

      Thanks for the book recommendation. The Roaring Twenties have certainly been glamourized, but there is the other side of the coin.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 8:24 pm on June 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Right you are!

      Cole Porter didn’t have much of a singing voice, but the clip is fascinating nonetheless because it’s interesting to hear how famous songwriters of yesteryear sounded. Several of them (Harold Arlen, for example) actually had very good voices.


  • mistermuse 12:01 am on June 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , the 1920s. the 1930s, The Great Depression, The Jazz Age   


    You’ve got to hand it to Cole Porter. He’s a rich boy who made good. 
    –Oscar Levant (said jokingly of his born-into-wealth friend)

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    If you, like me, are a child of parents born in the first decade of the 20th Century, you no doubt have at least a second-hand feel (if not first-hand familiarity) for that time in America known as “The Roaring Twenties” (AKA “The Jazz Age”) and “The Great Depression” (the 1930s). I was born too late in the Depression to recall what I saw then, but what I heard transcends the times. It’s the music, Cupid. Not that it was entirely romantic.

    You remember music (take that however you wish). In the words of Lorenz Hart: It’s Easy To Remember (but so hard to forget)….or, put another – Irving Berlin’s – way: The Song Is Ended (but the melody lingers on). Today, however, we celebrate a master songwriter of those times whose music is Easy To Love: Cole Porter, born June 9, 1892.

    To that end, I quote Fred Lounsberry, Editor of “103 lyrics of Cole Porter” (Random House):
    Mixing of opposites, wide knowledge, spunk, individuality, realism, restraint, rascality, maturity. This is a pretty complete list of what makes Cole Porter’s lyrics delightfully different, but the really primary strength of his lyrics is intelligence, putting all his facts, facilities and philosophies into the right balance to make good entertainment.

    So, without further ado, Let’s Do It — let’s do a few of those 1920s & 30s Cole Porter songs that are as likely to parody romantic bliss as to evoke it (including two versions of Let’s Misbehave):




    There, now — that wasn’t so bad, was it?


    • Thom Hickey 12:45 am on June 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks. CP pure class. Regards thom


    • mistermuse 9:09 am on June 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Thom. I tried to comment on one of your posts (“Fanfare For the Duke”), but it didn’t seem to “take,” so I’ll say here that your mention of Duke Ellington calls to mind other “royalty” from the golden age of jazz: Count Basie, King Oliver and (a little more recent) Nat King Cole.


    • Don Frankel 8:05 am on June 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Without any doubt one of the greatest and one of my favorite recordings of all time is…


    • mistermuse 8:46 am on June 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Don, it doesn’t get much better than a great singer singing a great song by a great writer….but let it also be noted that for every well-known great Porter song like “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” there are many little-known great Porter songs like “At Long Last Love,” “I Concentrate On You,” “Every Time We Say Goodbye” and the two I linked to at the end of my post, “Let’s Misbehave” and “It’s Bad For Me.” They’re good for us to know too!


    • Don Frankel 4:33 am on June 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      You’re right Muse. Another of my favorites and a little Jobin thrown in too.


    • mistermuse 10:22 am on June 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Don. I own a whole bunch of Sinatra records, but none with Jobim.


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