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The Jazz Age

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Jamie Hamilton

on 7 March 2013

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Transcript of The Jazz Age

The Harlem Renaissance... a musical, artistic, and literary revolution in the African-American community during the 1920s, bringing black culture into the limelight. The Cotton Club, modeled after a Southern plantation, was a famous speakeasy in Harlem. Only African-Americans were permitted to perform at the Cotton Club. Legends like Duke Ellington brought their music there and became instrumental in introducing America to jazz. Duke Ellington and the Cotton Club Band Old Man Blues (1930) Langston Hughes (1902-1967) The most influential and most loved writer of the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes focused on spreading the spirit of black culture to all of America through his writing. Homesick Blues Langston Hughes Lois Mailou Jones Originally designing textiles with graphic, tribal designs, Jones was once asked, "How could you have designed that? You're a colored girl."

Seeking recognition for her work, Jones turned to the fine arts. Many of her paintings reflect African-American traditions, history, and values. Art Sedalia, North Carolina (1929) Watercolor Jazz Poetry Influenced by the Jazz music and the culture of the jazz scene, poets began referring to jazz works in their poems. As the style continued, these "jazz poets" began to incorporate the improvisation and bringing in rhythms and styles associated with jazz music An Emerging
Genre Jazz-related works appeared early in the 20s. These mentioned the jazz scene, but hadn't yet incorporated the unconventional styling that jazz poetry would later adopt. What defined jazz poets as more than that, was their ability to blend the feel of the music with their writing. Drum on your drums, batter on your banjoes,
sob on the long cool winding saxophones.
Go to it, O jazzmen.

Sling your knuckles on the bottoms of the happy
tin pans, let your trombones ooze, and go husha-
husha-hush with the slippery sand-paper. Droning a drowsy syncopated tune,
Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon,
I heard a Negro play.
Down on Lenox Avenue the other night
By the pale dull pallor of an old gas light
He did a lazy sway ....
He did a lazy sway ....
To the tune o' those Weary Blues.
With his ebony hands on each ivory key
He made that poor piano moan with melody.
O Blues!
Swaying to and fro on his rickety stool
He played that sad raggy tune like a musical fool.
Sweet Blues! Jazz Fantasia by Carl Sandburg Weary Blues By Langston Hughes Women Empowered by new freedoms like voting and driving Portrayed in new ways in the media and advertising. Financially independent, able to get their own jobs, and were not as tied down in marriages any longer Flappers Flappers Short "bob" haircuts Shorter, knee-length skirts (scandalous!) Partied unsupervised with men Hugging and kissing in public Smoking and drinking Ditzy? Shallow? Or educated and disillusioned? Sources http://cai.ucdavis.edu/uccp/workingweary.html http://allpoetry.com/poem/8479261-Jazz_Fantasia-by-Carl_Sandburg http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/1920s_America.htm http://www.history.com/topics/roaring-twenties http://www.trailend.org/dow-jazzage.htm http://www.d.umn.edu/cla/faculty/tbacig/studproj/is3099/jazzcult/20sjazz/jazzpoetry.html http://www.johndclare.net/America_roaring_20s_women.ppt Broadway in the 1920's After the war, Times Square was considered THE place for celebrations. With eccentric lights that almost made the night brighter than the day, it attracted people from all over.

Broadway in particular was at its prime. There were between 70-80 theaters; historians have not been able to settle on a specific number. Broadway Statistics... Broadways' production jumped in just about a decade. There were 126 shows produced in 1917, and by 1928 production had jumped to 264. This is STILL the all-time high for Broadway production in recorded history. Major Show Themes... Since this time period was referred to as the "Roaring Twenties", signifying reckless, irresponsible, and materialistic behavior; the shows played on that. They eradicated old, traditional story-lines and turned the drama into more of life criticism. Theater Guild Created by Lawrence Langner, this was a group whose purpose was essentially to produce non-commercial works by American and foreign playwrights. The corporation highly influenced world theater, producing roughly 228 plays on Broadway. MOVIES! The greatest output of featured films occurred between the 20's and the 30's. [To put that into perspective, they had about 800 per year. Now we barely make 500 per year!] Leading stars were: Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, D.W. Griffith, and Douglas Fairbanks. Five biggest studios were: Warner Brothers-First National Pictures, Famous Players-Lasky Corporation (later Paramount), RKO Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), and Fox Film Corporation (later 20th Century Fox). "Poverty Row" was a set of studios that made cheap, independent pictures. The most famous of them turning out to be Disney Studios and C.B.C Film Sales Company (later Columbia Pictures). Talkies First talkie movie was "The Jazz Singer" (1927) Animation Disney's first animation film was "Steamboat Willie" (1928) Radio... By 1923, nearly 3 million Americans owned a radio. Radios broadcast news bulletins, advertisements, and music! By the mid 1920's most stations were operated by non-profit organizations, colleges and universities. First commercial broadcast was on November 2, 1920; announcing the results of the presidential election in Pittsburg. By 1922 there were 30 stations in America; in 1923 there were 550 stations. http://www.mapsites.net/gotham01/webpages/alisonhannah/broad1920s.html
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