It’s easy to lose sight of just how fucking great the musical legacy of America in the 20th century really is. On top of the dudes you’d read about in this space like Copland and Barber, there’s also the giants of jazz like Ellington and Basie, the early rock and roll stars like Little Richard and Chuck Berry, brilliant folk artists like Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger, hip-hop pioneers like Run DMC and Grandmaster Flash, and on and on and on and on and on. And yet, you can make the argument that the greatest collection of musical talent that America produced were the popular songwriters of the ’30’s, ’40’s, and ’50’s. George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, Richard Rodgers, Sammy Cahn, I mean Jesus of Nazareth that’s a murderer’s row of great songwriting.
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