Live Music in America: A History from Jenny Lind to Beyonce

ISBN : 9780197570531

Steve Waksman
656 Pages
156 x235 mm
Pub date
Jul 2022
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When the Swedish concert singer Jenny Lind toured the U.S. in 1850, she became the prototype for the modern pop star. Meanwhile, her manager, P.T. Barnum, became the prototype for another figure of enduring significance: the pop culture impresario. Starting with Lind's fabled U.S. tour and winding all the way into the twenty-first century, Live Music in America surveys the ongoing impact and changing conditions of live music performance in the U.S. It covers a range of historic performances, from the Fisk Jubilee Singers expanding the sphere of African American music in the 1870s, to Benny Goodman bringing swing to Carnegie Hall in 1938, to 1952's Moondog Coronation Ball in Cleveland - arguably the first rock and roll concert - to Beyonce's boundary-shattering performance at the 2018 Coachella festival. More than that, the book details the roles played by performers, audiences, media commentators, and a variety of live music producers (promoters, agents, sound and stage technicians) in shaping what live music means and how it has evolved. Live Music in America connects what occurs behind the scenes to what takes place on stage to highlight the ways in which live music is very deliberately produced and does not just spontaneously materialize. Along the way, author Steve Waksman uses previously unstudied archival materials to shed new light on the origins of jazz, the emergence of rock 'n' roll, and the rise of the modern music festival.


Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction: Toward a History of Liveness
1. Selling the Nightingale: Jenny Lind, P.T. Barnum, and the Management of the American Crowd
2. Staging the Spiritual: The Fisk Jubilee Singers and the Postbellum Public Sphere
3. Economies of Performance: Tony Pastor, Ernest Hogan, and the Emergence of Vaudeville
4. Remaking Liveness: The Social Geography of Early Jazz
5. Culture High and Low: Reinventing Concert Music
6. The Perfect Package: Rock 'n' Roll Concerts in the 1950s
7. Crowds, Chaos, and Community: Music Festivals from Newport to New Orleans
8. The Politics of Scale: Arenas, Stadiums, and the Industrialization of Liveness
9. Staging Hip-Hop: Race, Rap, and the Remapping of Musical Performance
Conclusion: A Homecoming

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