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Broadway to Main StreetHow Show Tunes Enchanted America$
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Laurence Maslon

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199832538

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199832538.001.0001

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Songs for Swingin’ Show Fans

Songs for Swingin’ Show Fans

Hit Singles and the Catalog of Broadway

(p.91) Chapter 7 Songs for Swingin’ Show Fans
Broadway to Main Street

Laurence Maslon

Oxford University Press

The market for single recordings, now on the 45 rpm format, was still huge in the 1950s. Songs from Broadway shows were immensely popular with commercial singers at the time, such as Perry Como, Dinah Shore, Peggy Lee, and Rosemary Clooney; their renditions often shot to the top of the pop charts for weeks on end. Often these songs were placed by music publishers with A&R (artists and repertory) divisions in advance of their appearance in the actual Broadway show, as a way to promote both song and show. The LP format had matured by the mid-1950s and artists such as Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald dug deep into the catalog of Broadway songs from the earlier decades of the century to fill out extended “songbook” tributes to great Broadway songwriters, often restoring obscure material to the popular consciousness.

Keywords:   Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered, Pal Joey, Mitch Miller, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney, Songbook, Verve Records

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