Count Basie, the Dorsey Brothers, Duke Ellington - these were the American idols of the Golden era of big bands, the soundtrack to what Tom Brokaw called "the greatest generation." Author William F. Lee surveys the evolution of the big band phenomenon in American Big Band. It is a comprehensive and chronological investigation of 650 bands in the U.S., canvassing the entire 20th century. Swing bands, Mickey Mouse or commercial bands, and studio bands are all considered. The role of jazz in the big band movement, what's happened musically since the general demise of the big bands, the colleges and universities role, ghost bands, and the future for the big bands are explored.
This ultimate guide to big bands includes hundreds of entries spanning the history of this American musical style. Each entry contains the band name, its leader, essential personnel, the years it existed, tops hits, and a brief description of the band.