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Jon Stratton provides a pioneering work on Jews as a racialized group in the popular music of America, Britain and Australia during the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Rather than taking a narrative, historical approach the book consists of a number of case studies, looking at the American, British and Australian music industries. Stratton's primary motivation is to uncover how the racialized positioning of Jews, which was sometimes similar but often different in each of the societies under consideration, affected the kinds of music with which Jews have become involved. Stratton explores race as a cultural construction and continues discussions undertaken in Jewish Studies concerning the racialization of the Jews and the stereotyping of Jews in order to present an in-depth and critical understanding of Jews, race and popular music.
Charming and classically handsome, John Gilbert (1897--1936) was among the world's most recognizable actors during the silent era. He was a wild, swashbuckling figure on screen and off, and accounts of his life have focused on his high-profile romances with Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich, his legendary conflicts with Louis B. Mayer, his four tumultuous marriages, and his swift decline after the introduction of talkies. A dramatic and interesting personality, Gilbert served as one of the primary inspirations for the character of George Valentin in the Academy Award--winning movie The Artist (2011). Many myths have developed around the larger-than-life star in the eighty years since his untimely death, but this definitive biography sets the record straight. Eve Golden separates fact from fiction in John Gilbert: The Last of the Silent Film Stars, tracing the actor's life from his youth spent traveling with his mother in acting troupes to the peak of fame at MGM, where he starred opposite Mae Murray, Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, and other actresses in popular films such as The Merry Widow (1925), The Big Parade (1925), Flesh and the Devil (1926), and Love (1927). Golden debunks some of the most pernicious rumors about the actor, including the oft-repeated myth that he had a high-pitched, squeaky voice that ruined his career. Meticulous, comprehensive, and generously illustrated, this book provides a behind-the-scenes look at one of the silent era's greatest stars and the glamorous yet brutal world in which he lived.
" Anna Held (1870?-1918), a petite woman with an hourglass figure, was America's most popular musical comedy star during the two decades preceding World War I. In the colorful world of New York theater during La Belle Époque, she epitomized everything that was glamorous, sophisticated, and suggestive about turn-of-the-century Broadway. Overcoming an impoverished life as an orphan to become a music-hall star in Paris, Held rocketed to fame in America. From 1896 to 1910, she starred in hit after hit and quickly replaced Lillian Russell as the darling of the theatrical world. The first wife of legendary producer Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., Held was the brains and inspiration behind his Follies and shared his knack for publicity. Together, they brought the Paris scene to New York, complete with lavish costumes and sets and a chorus of stunningly beautiful women, dubbed ""The Anna Held Girls."" While Held was known for a champagne giggle as well as for her million-dollar bank account, there was a darker side to her life. She concealed her Jewish background and her daughter from a previous marriage. She suffered through her two husbands' gambling problems and Ziegfeld's blatant affairs with showgirls. With the outbreak of fighting in Europe, Held returned to France to support the war effort. She entertained troops and delivered medical supplies, and she was once briefly captured by the German army. Anna Held and the Birth of Ziegfeld's Broadway reveals one of the most remarkable women in the history of theatrical entertainment. With access to previously unseen family records and photographs, Eve Golden has uncovered the details of an extraordinary woman in the vibrant world of 1900s New York.
A study of the iconographic significance of the Ziegfeld girl in twentieth-century American conceptions of sexuality, race, class, and consumerism.
Jerome Kern (1885-1945) is considered one of the most versatile and influential of all American theatre and film composers. His pioneer work in developing a truly American musical sound inspired many of the great songwriters of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, and his songs include dozens of beloved standards still heard today, such as “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” and “The Way You Look Tonight.” The Jerome Kern Encyclopedia consists of entries on people, theatre and film musicals, songs, subjects, and themes related to the composer. Not only are all of Kern’s stage and screen projects from 1904 to 1946 covered, but there are also entries on all the major librettists and lyricists with whom he worked, as well as producers, directors, actors, and other individuals who figured prominently in his career. Approximately 100 of Kern’s most important songs are discussed, and other entries address awards, collaborations, working methods, song styles, and other related subjects. The encyclopedia also includes a brief biography of Kern, a chronology of his life and work, and appendices on recordings, interpolations, revivals, and remakes. The most complete work on one of America’s greatest composers, this fascinating, readable, and extensive look at Kern will appeal to theatregoers, movie musical fans, students, teachers, and professionals in musical theatre.