B0839. RONALD PEARSALL. POPULAR MUSIC OF THE TWENTIES. Totowa, NJ, Roman and Littlefield, 1976. 176pp. Photos and Illus.; Index; Select Bibliography; DJ in mylar. - 0-87471-747-7
“The 1920s was an exciting time for popular music. The pioneer days of the gramophone were over and electrical recording precipitated the age of hi-fi. The talking, singing picture arrived, and most important, the 1920s saw the introduction of radio. To start with, radio was just a fad but it soon proved to be the most epoch-making invention of the age. Music hall went into decline but the musical prospered. For the first time the public was beginning to be given what it wanted, not what it was thought it should have.
This book includes some breathtaking casual racism - an unattributed quote on page 70 describes Duke Ellington's band as ‘a coloured unit in which the expected faults of coon bands - a noticeable crudeness and somewhat poor tone - are by no means so apparent as usual’ - and this quoted on p 92, from an article by Constant Lambert, British composer : ‘the fact that at least ninety percent of jazz tunes are written by Jews undoubtedly goes far to account for the curiously sagging quality - so typical of Jewish art - the almost masochistic melancholy of the average foxtrot’. Ronald Pearsall, in criticising this guy, ends up sounding equally tasteless: ‘Lambert represented a mentality that waged war on Tin Pan Alley for providing an article that was indescribably awful, and accused it of being a commercialised Wailing Wall’.”
- John Mullen