When the middle class embraced the values of domesticity and propriety before the 20th century swept them away, popular songs recorded their point of view.
Born in 1896
By accident of biology, more important songwriters were born in 1896 than any other year. A hour to take advantage of a lucky accident.
The Waltz and the Polka
Once the upper crust tamed the waltz and polka, we had a chance to discover how wide-ranging these two popular dance forms really were.
This Must Be Illegal
Tributes to what may just be the most delightful form of sin.
Hurry on Down to My House
Home may be where the heart is, but it isn’t necessary what you think it is. House and Home don’t always sort out neatly.
Real People, Real TalkHow song lyrics changed early in the 20th century from stylized to realistic, formal to slangy, ornate to conversational.
Charm SongsHard to define, Charm Songs fill the middle ground between ballads and comic songs. Their name reflects the fact that they’re irresistible.
The Sentimental BalladRomantic, elevated, impassioned, melodramatic, pure, and repressed — the major song form of the 19th century.
“If It Wasn’t for the Irish and the Jews”From the Irish to the Jews in Tin Pan Alley, a musical history about discrimination and acceptance.
Listings prior to August 2012 can only found by using the navigation menu to the left.