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When Swing Was the Thing: Personality Profiles of the Big Band Era Hardcover – March 2, 2009
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About the Author
John Tumpak is a jazz journalist who specializes in writing about the Big Band Era. His articles have been published in the United States, Canada, and England and archived in several historical societies, universities, and the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University. An accomplished and popular public speaker, Tumpak makes Big Band Era presentations at jazz events and conferences on a regular basis and frequently appears on radio and television discussing the Era. He is on the Board of Directors of the Big Band Academy of America and covers their Annual Reunion for jazz publications. Tumpak is also a member of the Jazz Journalists Association, Los Angeles Jazz Institute, and Los Angeles Jazz Society.
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Top Customer Reviews
I had another kind of expectations. To much literature of not so wellknown big- band's musicians. Well, what a pitty, the feeling after reception is "lost money"
Some of these musical greats that Tumpak has written about have long left us. Many are still with us, thank God, with the sobering reminder that the ranks of these pioneering musical personalities are rapidly thinning. This printed project is a testament of their lives and legacies while enthusiastically celebrating each personality's unique individual imprint to the history of American popular music.
Every page of Tumpak's work is filled with scholarship, fastidious research, and fun reading. It's living history at its best. It is also, as he wrote, a "labor of love." And it shows!
This is a must-have book for the library of the Big Band Era aficionado.
- Stephen Fratallone/Jazz Connection Magazine
One doesn't need to be a musician, bandleader, or fan of big band music to enjoy and learn about the history of the Depression Era and its main source of entertainment that meant so much to America during those hard times. John Tumpak explains it all in detail through the lives of those that made it happen in his new book WHEN SWING WAS THE THING: PERSONAL PROFILES OF THE BIG BAND ERA. Tumpak tells how the big bands bolstered our nation's morale when most people were and out of woek having only a radio, a record player, and but a few pennies to go to the movies or ballrooms to listen, watch and dance to big bands that would provide them hours of pleasure that was so dearly needed in those difficult days.
John Tumpak's book is historically accurate, entertaining, and educational for readers of all ages. Through personal interviews he interestingly covers the lives of big band leader, musicians, vocalists and contributors who participated in the Big Band Era. Many of his subject's life stories have never been told before and will be new to even the most dedicated big band enthusiast. it should be required reading for the current generation to allow them to appreciate and understand the enjoyment their grandparents and great-grandparents experienced during those difficult years of the Great Depression and World War II when swinging fifteen piece big bands were at the peak of American entertainment
The Big Bands brought to the fore over a half century ago are one of this nation's most important contributions to the world's musical art. Tumpak's lovingly assembled book chronicles that time with many facts never before known and will become a permanent record to be referenced for years to come. Not to be missed if you're a fan of the Big Band Era; highly recommended to help you BECOME a fan of that time.