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The Tin Pan Alley Song Encyclopedia Paperback – September 30, 2002


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Tin Pan Alley refers to the American popular music business from the mid-nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries, and the songs written for parlor pianos, sing-alongs, dance orchestras, radio broadcasts, etc. This book is an A-Z listing of more than 1,200 popular songs, many of which are still familiar. Each entry includes the year the song was published and highly readable information about its composition and performance history. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"The Tin Pan Alley Song Encyclopedia is a solid, comprehensive, 552-page reference work of more than 1,200 popular songs written from the mid-19th century through the 1950s….A core addition to any personal, public library, or academic American Music History reference collection."

-

Wisconsin Bookwatch



"A delight to read, this will be an essential resource on popular songs written between the mid-19th century and the 1950s. For all libraries."

-

Library Journal, Starred Review



"No other work provides this kind of detail on the songs themselves….Recommended. General and academic collections."

-

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 552 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwood (September 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0313360618
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313360619
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,869,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Eddie Landsberg VINE VOICE on July 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book... my main gripe is that with the (publisher's) price tag and the word "encyclopedia" combined I kinda expected a bit more.

First - - in all fairness to the author/publisher:
Sadly, an item like this probably isn't in such great demand, meaning its a 500 page book published and researched for a niche audience. As a result, the author/publisher do have to re-cap their costs... I imagine the author was a one man team, so he had to do a lot of hard work by himself to put it together - - its not like he had a team of researchers writing it for him, and since (due to fault of public taste) its not a book that's likely to have such demand that over-runs alone will be filling up the dollar bins at commercial book stores around the planet... As a result, I admire the hard work and author of the publisher for their project and salute them for not only completing the project, but getting it out to the public (quite a costly challenge in itself.)

That said - - the book basically has an alphabetical listing of tunes and for each one a descriptive paragraph. The information is fascinating on a trivial and anecdotal level, but by no means "exhaustive". Some of the information you could easily look up for yourself (for example here and there on the web, or even by just looking at the sheet music - - as if you'd have THAT many tunes in your piano bench.) As an example, the author usually names some artists who recorded memorable versions of the tune, but there's no discography of recordings - - exhaustive or inexhaustive, and let's face it, if it was a Tin Pan Alley Standard - - everybody recorded it anyway.
With the word "encyclopedia" I kind of expected to see more dates, numbers, categorization and cross-referential goodies.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on January 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Exhaustively compiled and painstakingly edited by Thomas S. Hischak (Professor of Theater, State University of New York College, Cortland, NY), The Tin Pan Alley Song Encyclopedia is a solid, comprehensive, 552-page reference work of more than 1,200 popular songs written from the mid-19th century through the 1950s. The songs chosen for reference were drawn from the melodies written for saloons, piano player rolls, sheet music, radio broadcasts, concerts, and more - although not including those written expressly for the stage or the silver screen. Each alphabetized entry presents a brief, concise history of the song, its creation, and a list of famous plays or movies in which the song was adopted or reprised. The Tin Pan Alley Song Encyclopedia is a core addition to any personal, public library, or academic American Music History reference collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By F. Morris Rosman on July 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
I work in the non-profit world, helping disadvantaged children get access to music and music education...so I need a lot of reference materials. At first glance, this Encyclopedia looked terrific - easy to use, lots of information...but my heart plummeted when I read the paragraph about "A-Tisket, A-Tasket", Ella Fitzgerald's first big hit. Mr. Hischak states that Ella was only 15 years old at that time - and yet, he states it was 1938...AND ELLA WAS BORN IN 1917!!!
Come on - this is a major goof.
Now I'm wondering how many more errors there may be.
AUGH!
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