That Toddlin' Town

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2004-11-05
  • Publisher: Univ of Illinois Pr
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As a centre for jazz and blues, vaudeville, and a budding recording industry, Chicago and its environs probably spawned more nationally recognized dance bands than any other city in the United States in the 1920s and 30s. While ample attention has been paid to their black counterparts, Charles A. Sengstock Jr.'sThat Toddlin' Townlooks at the history of the white dance bands, theater orchestras, radio studio ensembles and night club bands. Sengstock examines these bands not only in terms of the music they played but also in the context of the venues in which they played and Chicago's volatile economic and social climate. Viewing the bands as an economic system, he analyzes them as businesses with all the usual pressures brought on by ambition, personality clashes, and the overriding need to serve clients. More than a mere popular phenomenon, these dance bands--along with their charismatic leaders, powerful booking agencies, and the Chicago Federation of Musicians--had a major impact on the music industry at large and influence over other entertainment media.

Table of Contents

Edgar Benson and the early Chicago booking agentsp. 9
Jules Stein and James Petrillop. 21
How radio made stars of the dance bandsp. 38
Ice rinks, beer gardens, and other early Chicago dance hallsp. 53
The Trianon, the Aragon, and the modern ballroom erap. 68
Early downtown Chicago hotels join the dance partyp. 84
The beat goes onp. 97
Dance bands thrive in Chicago's cabarets and restaurantsp. 111
The bands earn respectp. 125
Dance bands in the roadhousesp. 138
"Rah, rah, rajah"p. 148
The economic challenge of the thirtiesp. 158
The last hurrahp. 169
Maps of important Chicago dance venues, 1900-1950p. 183
Major Chicago dance venues and the bands that played therep. 187
Benson bands and orchestrasp. 195
Chicago ballroom floor dimensionsp. 196
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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