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“Something We Cannot Get in England”: Hearing Anglo-American Difference in America Dances

“Something We Cannot Get in England”: Hearing Anglo-American Difference in America Dances CHRISTINA BAADE “Something We Cannot Get in England”: Hearing Anglo- American Difference in America Dances I cannot help deploring the tendency shown by many of your correspondents to belittle the magnificent playing of American stars and at the same time to glorify the regrettable imitative attempts of their British counterparts. Surely they must appreciate that jazz is in origin American, and that whatever efforts may be made in this country they cannot help but fall short of the inspired playing of the trans- atlantic geniuses. —William Pousarby, letter to Melody Maker, December 9, 1939 If you were a jazz fan in Britain during the summer of 1938, you would have made a special point to turn your wireless set to the BBC’s National Programme at 10:30 p.m. on July 9. The series America Dances was start- ing a summer run of weekly relays from the United States. You were expecting, assuming the absence of atmospheric interference, to hear a broadcast by Count Basie and his band, whose recordings had been issued in England since April 1937 to growing acclaim. As the Gramophone jazz record critic Edgar Jackson declared in his November 1937 review of “One O’Clock Jump”: “Basie’s band http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Music University of Illinois Press

“Something We Cannot Get in England”: Hearing Anglo-American Difference in America Dances

American Music , Volume 33 (3) – Jan 14, 2016

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
ISSN
1945-2349

Abstract

CHRISTINA BAADE “Something We Cannot Get in England”: Hearing Anglo- American Difference in America Dances I cannot help deploring the tendency shown by many of your correspondents to belittle the magnificent playing of American stars and at the same time to glorify the regrettable imitative attempts of their British counterparts. Surely they must appreciate that jazz is in origin American, and that whatever efforts may be made in this country they cannot help but fall short of the inspired playing of the trans- atlantic geniuses. —William Pousarby, letter to Melody Maker, December 9, 1939 If you were a jazz fan in Britain during the summer of 1938, you would have made a special point to turn your wireless set to the BBC’s National Programme at 10:30 p.m. on July 9. The series America Dances was start- ing a summer run of weekly relays from the United States. You were expecting, assuming the absence of atmospheric interference, to hear a broadcast by Count Basie and his band, whose recordings had been issued in England since April 1937 to growing acclaim. As the Gramophone jazz record critic Edgar Jackson declared in his November 1937 review of “One O’Clock Jump”: “Basie’s band

Journal

American MusicUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Jan 14, 2016

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