Cover image for Tin Pan Alley : an encyclopedia of the golden age of American song
Tin Pan Alley : an encyclopedia of the golden age of American song
Jasen, David A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Routledge, 2003.
Physical Description:
xvi, 475 pages : illustrations ; 29 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML102.P66 J37 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Reference-Music

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For nearly a century, New York's famous "Tin Pan Alley" was the center of popular music publishing in this country. It was where songwriting became a profession, and songs were made-to-order for the biggest stars. Selling popular music to a mass audience from coast-to-coast involved the greatest entertainment media of the day, from minstrelsy to Broadway, to vaudeville, dance palaces, radio, and motion pictures. Successful songwriting became an art, with a host of men and women becoming famous by writing famous songs.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Tin Pan Alley was a nickname given to an actual street in Manhattan (West Twenty-eighth Street between Broadway and Sixth Avenue) where many of the music publishers had their offices. Eventually, Tin Pan Alley became the generic term for publishers of popular American sheet music. These publishing businesses hired lyricists and composers to create popular songs and promoted these songs in their sheet-music form with attractive covers. Jasen, an authority on ragtime and popular song, previously coauthored Rags and Ragtime (2d ed., Dover, 1989); Recorded Ragtime, 1897-1958 (Archon, 1973); and A Century of American Popular Music: 2,000 Best-Loved and Remembered Songs, 1899-1999 (Routledge, 2002). His latest work covers the history of Tin Pan Alley from its heyday in the 1880s to its demise in the 1950s. With more than 300 entries arranged in an A-Z format, the encyclopedia identifies composers, lyricists, publishers, singers, dancers, and bands. Illustrated with period photographs and sheet-music covers, entries include names, birth and death dates, and information ranging from a couple of sentences to several pages. Most of the entries are biographical; around a quarter of them treat genres, publishing companies, and more. A bibliography, a general index, and an index to songs are included. Entries on prominent composers and lyricists such as Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers, and Jerome Kern include a complete listing of their published songs. The lists include the year and, if applicable, the show in which each song was performed. Not only would Tin Pan Alley complement collections owning Jasen's other titles, it would be an excellent companion to The Tin Pan Alley Song Encyclopedia by Thomas Hischak RBB Ja 1 & 15 03, which also includes information and commentary on more than 1,200 individual song titles from this era. Recommended for large music collections. -- RBB Copyright 2003 Booklist

Library Journal Review

In this fine complement to Thomas Hischak's The Tin Pan Alley Song Encyclopedia, Jasen (communication arts, C.W. Post Campus, Long Island Univ.) offers 431 entries highlighting the people, publishers, and concepts associated with a music phenomenon that spanned an impressive 70 years-from roughly the 1880s to the 1950s. The scope recalls Jack Burton's The Blue Book of Tin Pan Alley: A Human Interest Encyclopedia of American Popular Music, which combines brief biographical information with partially annotated song lists. Here, the biographies are generally fuller, and the song lists are more complete and provide for only major songwriters (e.g., Irving Berlin, who is allotted eight-and-a-half pages). Since Tin Pan Alley was essentially a publishing movement, Jasen gives due coverage with publisher entries, often indicating dates and addresses. He also includes articles on various aspects of Tin Pan Alley, including "Film Music," "Coon Songs," "Song Folios," "Demonstrator," "Composing a Pop Song," "Publishing a Popular Song," and "Jazz in the Tin Pan Alley Era." In "Hit Songs," Jasen includes annotated entries for the era's blockbusters. Complete with a short history of Tin Pan Alley, this fine compendium on American popular song and the business of selling music is recommended for public and academic libraries.-Bruce R. Schueneman, Texas A&M Univ. Lib., Kingsville (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. ix
Ap. 1
Bp. 21
Cp. 59
Dp. 101
Ep. 125
Fp. 131
Gp. 145
Hp. 169
Ip. 217
Jp. 219
Kp. 231
Lp. 251
Mp. 269
Np. 295
Op. 297
Pp. 305
Rp. 325
Sp. 357
Tp. 387
Vp. 393
Wp. 405
Yp. 441
Zp. 449
Bibliographyp. 453
General Indexp. 459
Index of Songsp. 469