Wednesday, May 2, 2007


The first of the categories, in (computer) alphabetical order, is the 20's decade of the 20th century.
About the decades categories: in them I catalogued all that would not easily fit into categories or sub-categories set apart on their own, due to their importance, but still constitute portrait of an "era". For example, the most important type of music that came out of the 1920's is Jazz music, but, as I consider it a category on its own, under Jazz/Classic, examples of 20's jazz pieces won't be included in this post.
Also, sub-categories are a way to categorize sub-genres, as well as Artists, who stand on their own as a category, be it for organizational purposes or due to their significance and contribution to the genre.
Nonetheless, it was the Jazz era...or as I like to call it, the "early between wars" era - new forms of mass communication were being set into place, creating roots, as the true beginning of the 20th century. The "war to end all wars" was over, and life couldn't be sweeter. What were the masses listening to? Easy, quick-paced, uplifting tunes, that came out of their roots in southern united states and spread to the "western" world like a bikini bomb, through radio and the first commercial films and animations. Speaking of animations, the examples presented include two "Betty Boop" (Helen Kane's remarkable voice) tunes: the unavoidable (and original) "I Wanna Be Loved By You" and the lesser known "He's So Unusual".
Betty Boop's "boop-oop-a-doop" somehow marked the era, and continued to be covered throughout the later decades.
In one cartoon show, Betty went to court and asked the judge to be leanient and not take her "boop-oop-a-doop" away.

Betty Boop (Helen Kane) - Don't Take My "boop-oop-a-doop" away.

I've included a version of "We're In The Money", a huge 20's hit, although I'm not sure who the performer is, in this case- Ginger Rogers has been suggested, but I have reasonable doubts about it. If it is her, it's probably a 30's recording.
Silent films were dead, and Al Jolson ripped the silver screen apart in full sound!
The "young and rebel" girls were lifting the rim of their skirts above the ankle and dancing the "charleston" with their partners in the dance-halls.
For music, it was the pre-swing era that established jazz as a "pop" genre and produced what is today considered "classic jazz".
The technology allowing the preservation of musical performances for future generations was starting to widespread and consolidate its commercial and industrial base. There was suddenly "big" money to be made in the entertainment business.
Anything and everything in the past can be said to have had effect on the present state of things as we know it, but I believe the 1920's decade did it in a style unmatchable to other eras, that marked the start of mass communication and the release from old shackles into a bloom of expression of freedom in the western world, specially symbolized by jazz music.
Audio files:

Betty Boop (Helen Kane) - I Wanna Be Loved By You

Betty Boop (Helen Kane) - He's So Unusual (1929)

Ginger Rogers (?) - We're in the money!