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.
Satch and BingFriends at a time when blacks and whites were rarely friends, Armstrong and Crosby had a rare chemistry when they performed together.
Life Is Like a TrainEven if it isn’t, follow along for a century of songs about riding the rails, from the suburbs to the other end of the continent.
Good Times and BadIt’s always a time for hope, but preferably with your eyes wide open.
Sob SongsIrving Berlin coined the term so here are the great “sob songs,” music and words by the master.
The Songs of William JeromeAn important lyricist from Tin Pan Alley when sheet music decided the fate of a song.
Maceo Pinkard and His Lyricists
Maceo Pinkard was the first African-American composer to work mainly with white lyricists.
Listings prior to August 2012 can only found by using the navigation menu to the left.