Music in the 1920's

 When Jazz was introduced in the 1920's throughout America, people were amazed. It became popular in no time. By the mid 1920's, Jazz music was being played in roadhouses and dance halls all throughout America. The influence from jazz music came from music used by dance and marching bands throughout that time. Radio and phonograph records (over 100 million were bought) brought jazz to remote locations. Jazz provided the opportunity for struggling soloists to achieve their dreams.
However, not everyone was a fan of jazz music. Some people considered it to be the devils music. Debates were held between supporters and non-supporters. Music critic, Ernest Newman was not a fan of jazz and harshly critized it in a 1927 magazing article. Paul Whiteman, a famous jazz artist, fired back saying that jazz was a genuine musical force. 
Famous Jazz Player:
Paul Whiteman's band was probably the most popular jazz band in the 1920's. Along with the most popular, the group was probably the most controversal too. He called himself "The King Of Jazz." His first hit, Whispering, was released after WWI which gave Whiteman a name in Jazz music. This record sold over two million copies after it was first released. His place in history was found in 1924 when he commissioned Rhapsody in Blue produced by George Gershwin. This became the band's signature tune.
Overall Affect:
Jazz music was something new and exciting in America. Although it was very controversial at times and not considered "real music," it allowed people to express their feelings and it gave those struggling artist a better opportunity to become a star.
 Click below to view a short slideshow including pictures of famous jazz musicians during the 1920's.
Ragtime took awhile to be introduced into the music and dancing world. It was not the most popular type of dance music at the time but it was slowly being incorporated into compositions. Irving Berlin, a famous Tin Pan Alley composer, was one of many who were beginning to include ragtime into their works.
Jelly Roll Morton:
He was born in 1890 and was very famous for his jazz music. However, he was also very well known for incorporating ragtime into his works along with Irving Berlin. Morton formed Red Hot Peppers and produced several records. He was a big influence on combining jazz and ragtime.
Overall Affect:
Although ragtime didn't have as big of an affect on America as jazz did, it is still a key component. Ragtime influenced jazz musicians and composers produced hits by combining the two together. It had a lasting influence and it was still being produced and recorded throughout America.


This is advertising Alexander's Ragtime Band which was very popular during the 1920's.
This was advertising Blind Blake's recordings made throughout the 1920's


Blind Blake's recordings were produced during the 1920's.
Broadway in the 1920's had hit prime time. In just one season, over 50 new musicals had opened. People would pay up to $3.50 just to go and watch. Back then, that was a lot of money. Amazing developments in musical theatre was also seen. Billboards lit up the night sky with amazing color and dazzling lights.
Those involved in broadway were serious about musical theatre and put all their pride into their performances. They wanted to provide entertainment while making a living. 
Famous Broadway Shows:

No, No, Nanette - The first show was in 1925 and has been performed 321 times. This musical is about a young woman named Nanette who sheds her ladylike side and heads for the wild and exciting side of life.
Show Boat - this was produced by Oscar Hammerstein and Jerome Kern. It was the first play to move away from frivolous revues of previous shows and it also was the first to use mature subject matter and integrate the music and plot.
Overall Affect:
Broadway shows in the 20's was another way for people to express their emotions. People were serious about performing and wanted to show the changes that were happening in America whether they were performed in a serious manner or in a comedic way. Broadway had a major influence on American society and is still popular today.

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