A Statement of Purpose . . . .
The Interlude was a time in the life of the United States of America that seemed to coincide with that special decade that proved to be the best time to be young and an American. The most destructive war in all of the history of our planet had been concluded and we were victorious, and had fought the just fight. Because of the results of the war's destructiveness, the U.S.A. was in a position to benefit from an artificial world economy that made this country the world's supplier of manufactured goods and technology. In future years we would lose that position to some of our former enemies, but during that time this was unthinkable. Coming back to a peacetime atmosphere, the returning veterans set their sights on home and family, and in an echo of an earlier time, a "return to normalcy".
One of the great diversions was the entertainment field. Television was in its infancy, and radio was still king but its days were numbered. Movie going was a weekly ritual for a majority of the citizens of this country, and the changing face of music was an important part of the scene. The 1940s was the single most revolutionary decade in the history of American music. The pop music of the 30s, Swing, had evolved into the big band sound that were serving as backdrops for featured vocalists. The more inventive and daring of these musicians had developed the strange and slightly frightening sounds of bebop that would evolve into modern jazz. Country music had come down out of the hills and had dropped its "hillbilly" image and added many trappings of more serious popular phrasings and instrumentation behind developing stars such as Eddy Arnold, Ernest Tubb, and a young Hank Williams. The country blues of the southern sharecropper had been electrified (both figuratively and musically) into the urban blues of the northern cities and would soon become Rhythm & Blues which gave us the rock and roll revolution. Mainstream pop music had seen the big band era come to an end as the last year of the World War concluded.The next decade would be the last that rock music was not the dominant sound, and it wound up to be a swirling soundscape of many competing formats and styles.
This publication will tell the story of that decade, one that has been overlooked because of many factors, not the least of which was the absence of any central hero or anti-hero that led the way (in contrast to Bing Crosby in the 30s, Sinatra in the early 40s, Elvis in the 50s, or The Beatles in the 60s). There was also an inclination to play it safe and pander to the more mature audience, leaving teenagers and young adults to search for their own outlets which led to the rock and roll explosion of the early fifties. The music of these years was carefully crafted which certainly differentiated it from what was to follow. There were no throwaway tunes, no 'B' sides, where as Tony Bennett has said many times, the songs were recorded with serious professionalism so they would last for future years and could be works of pride. At least that was the thought process that went into the making of many of the post war pop recordings, and given a careful listen you can tell that a certain amount of craftsmanship is obvious in a great many of these recordings.
This then is the story of the Interlude Years, the time between the fall of the big bands and the rise of rock and roll. Let your imagination take you to a place where the Make Believe Ballroom hosts the sounds of the time, at that place where the 20th Century Limited crosses Route 66 at a place called Tuxedo Junction, and everybody is . . . . . . . forever young.
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