The Poets of Tin Pan Alley: A History of America's Great... and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $44.99
  • Save: $6.29 (14%)
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by harvestbooks
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Condition: Very good condition., Binding: Paperback / Publisher: Oxford Press / Pub. Date: May, 1992 Attributes: 322 p. / Stock#: 2044600 (FBA) * * *This item qualifies for FREE SHIPPING and Amazon Prime programs! * * *
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Poets of Tin Pan Alley: A History of America's Great Lyricists (Oxford Paperbacks) Paperback – June 25, 1992

ISBN-13: 978-0195074734 ISBN-10: 0195074734 Edition: Reprint

Buy New
Price: $38.70
29 New from $26.05 36 Used from $4.70 1 Collectible from $19.95
Amazon Price New from Used from
eTextbook
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$38.70
$26.05 $4.71

Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student



Frequently Bought Together

The Poets of Tin Pan Alley: A History of America's Great Lyricists (Oxford Paperbacks) + Stardust Melodies: A Biography of 12 of America's Most Popular Songs
Price for both: $53.96

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on the current pick, "The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee" by Marja Mills.

Product Details

  • Series: Oxford Paperbacks
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (June 25, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195074734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195074734
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #575,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

America's greatest tunes were composed by George Gershwin, Jerome Kern and Richard Rodgers, among others, but, as this popular/critical survey demonstrates, those who wrote the words for these songs were equally important figures. Furia, a Univeristy of Minnesota professor of English, perceptively assesses the styles and careers of such masters of light verse as Ira Gershwin, Oscar Hammerstein, Lorenz Hart, Howard Dietz, Yip Harburg and Al Dubin, and of two--Irving Berlin and Cole Porter--who were proficient in both words and music. He concludes with an anomaly, the country boy of Savannah, Johnny Mercer, whose blend of earthiness and elegant urbanity made him one of the few lyricists who could skillfully set to words the jazz melodies of Harold Arlen, Hoagy Carmichael and Duke Ellington.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Readers who can hum "Puttin' on the Ritz" or "Anything Goes" and who know the musicals Show Boat or Oklahoma will appreciate Furia's study of the lyrics of the "great standards." These lyrics, he argues, contributed almost as much as the melodies to a "golden age" of popular song, spanning the 1920s to the 1950s. Irving Berlin, Ira Gershwin, and Cole Porter are among those whose work is examined, but because Furia tries to survey so many writers, we get only hasty glances at each, and the prose tends to bog down in laborious analyses of rhyme scheme, alliteration, and assonance, making this read like a Ph.D. dissertation.
- Paul Baker, CUNA, Inc., Madison, Wis.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By James988 on March 26, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Delightful detailed insight into the creativity of the lyric writers of the 20th century [prior to 1960]. Furia's writing style is a pleasure to read, wonderfully free of cliches. If you appreciate genius {I do, but I'm not one} and you have a rudimentary knowledge of music [I do}, you'll love this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Samuel Chell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 4, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have to wonder if the impressive endorsements on the back cover (by Sammy Cahn, Steve Allen, Michael Feinstein) are from musical celebrities who actually read the book. The author deserves praise for bringing concentrated focus to and careful analysis of the lyrics of America's best wordsmiths, but this is not a book that seduces the reader into staying with it for extended stretches. There's historical context, learned analysis of prosody with lots of concise examples, and pithy scholarly prose. But when all is said and done, the chapters devoted to individual lyricists, as well as the book as a whole, are quite bloodless. I don't sense any clear thesis, any driving passion, even any strong personal preferences from the author.
The author's justification for such a book--that composers of melody are given credit at the expense of the lyricist--strikes me as a bit of a straw man. How many listeners can immediately associate a familiar popular standard with either its composer or lyricist? Also, the analysis of prosody and technique often overshadows consideration of the thematic integrity, or meaning, of a song. Moreover, the analyses pay too little heed to melody and harmony to make a persuasive case for the poetic power of the lyrics themselves. Finally, with song lyrics how can you separate the dancer from the dance? Were it not for Billie Holiday, Mabel Mercer and, above all, Frank Sinatra, most of these songs would be long forgotten. Certainly some consideration of the actual performance of the lyrics would seem requisite to any demonstration of their continuing vitality and importance.
Most of the above challenges are met by a book to which the author frequently alludes--Gerald Mast's "Can't Help Singin'.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By krebsman VINE VOICE on January 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book. Furia provides a fine overview with lyric analyses of all the major lyricists of the first half of the 20th Century. He also touches upon the history of Tin Pan Alley itself and other developments that were happening at the same time in music, like the rise of the film studios, the creation of ASCAP and BMI, and the "race" and "hillbilly" recordings which helped bring about the end of Tin Pan Alley dominance. Furia later wrote full biographies of Ira Gershwin and Johnny Mercer that are more complete. (He would do the world a great service if he would write a decent book on Dorothy Fields.) THE POETS OF TIN PAN ALLEY is highly recommended for all lyricists and anyone who has in interest in American popular song.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By natalie mast on July 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this a very interesting read. There were great anecdotes, interesting insights and it's not too difficult to read if you aren't musical.

The analysis of songs is also pretty fair. Yes, it talks up great songs, but it also notes that there were quite a number of banal ditties produced over the period.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anne Salazar on September 22, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book!! I picked it up somewhere, and sang inside my head on almost every single page! It is a terrific overview of the Tin Pan Alley days of GREAT music, and in this book Philip Furia has provided enough lyrics to remind us of all the songs, and it is great fun to read. I marked up my copy, and then had to buy another, clean copy to re-read. I have also bought a couple more copies of the book for friends who also love the old music.

Philip Furia is a lover of this great music, and his bio of Johnny Mercer is very well written and, again, lots of fun to read. Oh for the good ole music of yesterday! I do miss it. But because of these books -- and others like them -- it is not gone forever. Thank you to Philip Furia for sharing your love of this music with all of us! The men and women who wrote this popular music were poets indeed, and one can tell they had a lot of fun while writing the songs.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again